Both Shopify and Square provide point-of-sale (POS) solutions for both online stores and brick-and-mortar locations. They make accepting various payment forms simple and help with the backend reporting and accounting for your business.

If you’re wondering about Shopify vs. Square, you’ll find what you need to know in this article. We’ll offer a side-by-side comparison of each service to guide you.

What is Shopify?

Shopify, one of the leading platforms to enable business owners to manage their website and total online sales, lets you integrate sales management across your website, eBay and Amazon so you can see sales all in one place.

The simple, easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface offers a great option for business owners to choose Shopify. You can easily add new website content and products.

You can also take the payment processing tools you enjoy from your online presence and use them for in-person sales as well. Shopify offers a point-of-sale application that allows you to accept payments from an Apple or Android device using the Shopify app. 

What is Square?

Shopify offers an eCommerce payment solution and Square offers point-of-sale software. The free software enables small businesses to accept payments from mobile devices with ease.

Because Square POS has no monthly fees, it’s an ideal payment processing solution for small businesses that process $10,000 or less each month in sales. The payment processor collects a small fee on top of the standard credit card fees to cover its service.

You can add on additional software to handle things like payroll and team management. You can apply for a loan or acquire a business debit card through Square to keep your financial products together. The company also offers products specifically tailored to retail operations and restaurants. You pay a small monthly fee with those services, unlike with the standard POS software. 

A few years ago, it expanded its services to eCommerce websites when it purchased Weebly in 2018. Now it’s a prime competitor to Shopify’s eCommerce CMS while still serving as a leader in POS systems for small businesses.

Shopify vs. Square

Who uses Shopify POS vs. Square POS? To compare Square and Shopify, you’ll need to take a deep dive into each service’s features. Each has unique strengths and suited for particular industries. We’ll walk you through the primary features and explain which platform is best for each primary eCommerce function.

The Flexible Platform 

Shopify has 2,000 apps to customize your online store, whereas Square only has about 130. This makes Shopify far more flexible than Square because you can integrate additional services easily. You’ll also find more templates customized to meet the needs of your industry with Shopify. Shopify also offers more than 100 payment gateway options, which makes it more flexible to meet your needs.

Most flexible platform: Shopify

The One with Better Plugins

Shopify offers far more plugins than the Square eCommerce platform Weebly. Many 3rd-party Shopify plugins cost money. Overall pricing for your Shopify website can slowly creep up as you add more plugins. However, you can also integrate your software services like marketing automation and your CRM to make your website more powerful.

eCommerce CMS with best plugins: Shopify

The One with Better Templates

Both Shopify and Square offer many templates or themes to make your website look great. These mobile-optimized templates are based on the types of products and services you sell. 

Square’s website CMS is all drag-and-drop, which makes it easy to manage the look and style of your website once you choose a theme. 

Overall, Shopify offers more templates to customize your website based on your industry to cater to your customers.

eCommerce CMS with best templates: Shopify

The Cheaper Option

Shopify eCommerce starts at $29 a month and charges 2.9% of the transaction cost plus $0.30. A Weebly eCommerce website (which Square owns) costs $26 per month and charges a flat fee of 2.6% of the transaction cost plus $0.10 if you use Square payments. 

Shopify POS lists its fee as 2.7% per transaction. The free light version is somewhat limited. To upgrade to Pro, you’ll need to spend $89 a month to get access to things like inventory management, unlimited staff and registers and analytics.

Square POS charges a flat fee of 2.6% of the transaction cost plus $0.10 but the software itself is free. You can get 1 free magstripe reader. Each additional reader is $10. You can also upgrade to a contactless or chip reader for $49. The company also offers terminals and registers for companies that need more advanced hardware.

Less expensive solution: Square

The One with the Better eCommerce Experience

You can customize Shopify. You can set each step of the checkout experience to match the needs of your customers. You can’t customize Square as easily and it doesn’t allow you as many options for accepting payments. Because Shopify has so many more years of experience at building an outstanding eCommerce experience, it wins out in this area.

Best eCommerce experience: Shopify

The One with the Better SEO Features

Shopify provides a huge time-saving feature that busy business owners really appreciate. The CMS automatically provides a page title and meta description. While you might still want to customize these important SEO elements, you will have a starting point to save you valuable time. 

Another great SEO feature from Shopify is a reminder to create a redirect when you change a webpage’s URL. 

Shopify provides many plugins to enhance your SEO efforts. Square does not offer these robust SEO plugins and only has basic SEO functionality to help small businesses get started.

Best SEO features: Shopify

The One with Better Support

Shopify offers 24/7 phone support to its customers. 

Square provides support through its support center with articles and videos. You can read trending topics or search the help center using keywords. If you can’t find what you need on the Square support page, you can ask the support assistant but there’s no easy way to get in touch with a person to help troubleshoot an issue.

Best eCommerce CMS for customer support: Shopify

The One Where Blogging is Available

Shopify offers a fully integrated blogging service to make it easy to manage your website all in one place. Square’s eCommerce capabilities and online shopping cart can integrate into other online platforms so that you can still have a blog, but blogging is not native within Square.

eCommerce CMS with blogging: Shopify

The One with Better In-Person POS Capabilities

The Square POS offers far more superiority to the Shopify POS capabilities. Plus, you’ll pay a little less per transaction with Square than you will with Shopify for in-person services.

If you plan to do pop-ups or trade shows, Shopify’s POS will serve you just fine. But for extended, in-person daily use, Square is far superior.

Best solution for in-person POS: Square

What Does Your Business Need?

The question of who uses Shopify and Square comes down to whether your business is primarily online or in-person. For companies that do more business online, Shopify is far superior to Square. Companies that do more business in person may fit Square best. Restaurants especially benefit from Square’s tailored services.

While both platforms offer good eCommerce services, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each based on your business and industry.