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Squarespace and Etsy are some of the website builders that have seen the novice web development niche blossom. They have offered salvation to ordinary folk who couldn’t tell ordinary HTML code from PHP. Both have made a foothold in the ecommerce niche and with the release of Etsy’s new Pattern, we can only conclude that Etsy wants to take home the lion’s share of the market.
So how do the two compare? Is there any difference between Etsy’s conventional builder and the new Pattern or is it simply a marketing strategy? Here’s what we think:
If you already own a store on Etsy, you can easily integrate it with your Pattern-built website. Etsy keeps your inventory synced by automatically importing it. Also, you will be able to scrutinize your analytics for both your Etsy store as well as your Pattern-built site on a single dashboard. To be fair you’d be able to do the same with an e-commerce store on Squarespace. Etsy has a leg up on Squarespace when it comes to integration though.
This is still a pain on Squarespace where sellers are limited to using Stripe as their default payment processor. Pattern inherits payment processing standards from Etsy and thus accepts PayPal as well as credit cards. Adding to the injury, Squarespace is more expensive. Whereas you only get charged 3.5% per transaction on Pattern and an additional $15/month, Squarespace will charge up to $70/mo billed annually or $80/month billed month-to-month in addition to 2.9% + $0.30 charged by Stripe for each transaction. This overage alone is enough to justify moving to Pattern.
Pattern also outperforms Squarespace when it comes to customer support. Even though Squarespace boasts 24/7 support which is responsive and complemented by a bunch of help articles, Pattern has forums where you can pick on the thoughts of Etsy’s expansive community even as you wait to hear back from their support.
Social Media Integration
With all its drawbacks Squarespace is good for something! Social media. Conspicuously missing on Pattern is the option to integrate your e-commerce store with sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Squarespace automatically syncs your social media accounts with items you’ve updated on your store amplifying your marketing campaign for you. A big improvement to Squarespace’s social media integration would be an increase in the featured social platforms such as Pinterest since it’s currently only possible to sync with Twitter and Facebook.
Pattern like Etsy doesn’t seem to be developer friendly. It seems that the only thing you can customize are the templates and nothing more. Sure you’ll be able to emphasize your brand/product more than you could have on Etsy (even though you’ll only be working with five themes). Yet, for a chance at greater flexibility, you’re better off dealing with Squarespace using their developer platform.
Squarespace is a great tool given the amount of flexibility it offers though the cost of doing business is a great concern to most. Needless to say your choice of payments is limited due to their use of Stripe. On the other hand even though Pattern is certainly a much better option, many have claimed that they don’t see the need to move from Etsy.