Shopify vs Square: Price, POS & Online Store Compared

Cody Cromwell
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Shopify vs Square Products at a Glance

Shopify and Square are both online payment systems and mobile point-of-sale solutions that let you accept credit cards and accept payments from customers. If you’re a small business owner, you already know how important it is to accept payments online. Both applications allow users to accept payments securely online, via credit, debit or gift cards and smartphones. Like each other, both Shopify and Square are software-based apps that are easy to install and customizable. They both allow store owners to add their own logo and logo text on the product and business card pages.

Shopify vs Square: Pricing & Cost Comparison

Both applications take a small percentage of each transaction. Shopify and Square offer two pricing plans that process credit cards and mobile payments respectively.

The pricing plans work differently, however. Shopify offers two pricing plans: the Shopify Basic Plan and the Shopify Plus Plan. The Shopify Basic Plan lets you accept credit cards and all mail order payments, while the Shopify Plus Plan allows you to accept all credit cards, including American Express. In addition, the Shopify Plus Plan allows customers to buy products using any major credit card, and accepts chip and PIN or chip and signature for payment types.

Unlike Square, Shopify does not offer a free version of their application, only a two-tier plan.

Shopify and Square: POS App Comparison

When to Use Shopify

Vs Square: Price, POS & Online Store Compared

The online store is something that every eCommerce website owner wants to get right and maximize their profits from. Choosing which platform shall be used for your online store requires you to take several factors into consideration. But one of the most important factor to consider is differences in pricing and costs associated with each one.

This blog will explore differences and similarities in Shopify and Square’s pricing and how to choose between the two according to your needs.

When to Use Square

Square is a mobile point-of-sale empowered by credit card reader and free Square Register software… to accept credit card payments on the go.

Apart from handling credit card payment processing for small business, Square also supports PayPal payment.

Square was made available in November 2009 and it has over 500,000 business merchant that use this product for payment processing. Square’s adoption rate has soared since it created a crowd-sourcing app which allows anyone with an iPhone to become a mobile merchant.

Square’s key selling point is that it’s free.

Shopify is an online store building platform that provides store owners with marketing tools, store administration, ecommerce, analytics, tax reporting and payment gateways. With Shopify, you get an opportunity to setup your own online store for retail or selling your products on market.

Unlike Square’s offering where the merchant is connected to the shopping cart when you’re in front of the merchant’s table, Shopify’s online store management is a bit different. Shopify appears as a blank template and you need to think about your category your store should be.

When to Use an Alternative

Platform such as Square?

When you’re starting a new business, you’re looking at various options for your business, in this case hosting an online store and selling online you’re looking at many online business platforms.

If your site is for an established business with many repeat orders then the cheaper option is Shopify. This is the cheapest of all the online selling platforms as well as offering a lot of services within the Shopify platform such as running a small business. This is my preferred platform if running an online store for a business with more than a handful of repeat orders.

If you’re looking to start a new online store and try out digital marketing and sales then I’m sure Square is enticing. You can use their hardware which looks rather cool and it’s easy to handle.

What you’re getting for your money though is a lot of headaches and the lack of support, this is unless you buy a marketing package which i’m reviewing in a later section, to give you some marketing basics. Also it’s not as visually appealing as Shopify.

Shopify vs Square Pricing at a Glance

Shopify charges 9% + 2.9% per sale

Square charges 2.75% per swipe

Knowing the Costs of Your Startup and Your Business Oversea&Sh{

When you’re just getting started, you need to stay focused on operations, both to complete some initial brokerage functions, and to be able to recover costs during your first weeks.

After you have everything you need in place, you can start looking at the additional options that fit your business. At this stage, you could start looking into these payment gateways.

They will allow you to accept credit cards and create an online store and POS system directly through the platform on your website.

If the lower fees of the payment gateway are enough to offset the higher costs of subscription, you can use the payment platform with Shopify and Square. However, if the price difference between the two is too large, the option of using your own POS system is worth considering.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the services offered by these two payment gateways, and compare their price differences. We’ll also take a look at their features to see which one better fits your business.

Shopify vs Square Payments

Shopify Payments

Vs Square: Price, Payment Methods & Online Store Comparison

Both Shopify and Square (the latter is a unit of Braintree) are considered the top e commerce solutions for the independent online merchant. However, while Shopify’s price and platform orientation make it a good solution for high volume sellers, Square’s more personal integrated software and mobile payment features make it a better fit for high value sellers who are selling their own products.

Square Payments

Shopify vs Square Hardware

Shopify and Square both provide their own point of sale (POS) hardware. However, Square often has better pricing. At checkout you’ll select from an iPhone or iPad and the hardware makes the payment.

Square offers its own hardware as a standalone option for both its mobile card reader and receipt printer. Meanwhile, Shopify provides apps for both iOS and Android that you can use to make transactions using its card reader.

The major difference between the card readers is that Square’s reader only supports contactless payments that work with Apple Pay and Android Pay. However you can still use it with other card-based payment methods, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. As such, you can transition to a card reader that supports contactless payments, such as Square’s, if you want, once Apple Pay and Android Pay become more widely accepted.

Whereas a Square card reader connects to your phone via a cabled lighting port, the card readers that Shopify provides connect through Bluetooth. Just like Square’s card reader, Shopify’s card reader has a magnetic stripe reader and an EMV chip reader built into it.

Shopify Hardware

Shopify hardware (stands and point-of-sale) is a growing market and currently Shopify has a very strong position in this space. That doesn’t mean it’s the only option with Square also having strong traction in the market, but for the majority of people the jump from a hand-held credit card reader to a stand alone or storefront solution is a little too much.

Yet, not having a stand alone solution means without this option you have to sell online only or use another online business like Build Love to complete transactions.

Square’s Direct and Local Sales focus on reducing some of the complexity involved with adding a point-of-sale or eventually expanding to the same front door selling feature as Shopify (Shopify Mobile) which will allay the complexity of adding a hardware feature.

Generally when a retailer juggles both Shopify hardware and Square for additional markets, Square’s Direct sales and Local Sales will be sufficient to drive online sales and decrease fulfillment costs by not having to do the shipping in person (the solution to this problem is a recent addition, but is a feature most brick and mortar retailers use).

Square Hardware

Shopify & Square POS Compared

Both Shopify and Square POS are stand-alone hardware devices that connect to your mobile device over Bluetooth. Both devices serve in the capacity of an electronic receipt and Point-of-sale system.

Both Shopify and Square POS lack the integrated settlement of credit card transactions. Shopify offers its own system, Shopify Payments, whereas Square leaves the method of settlement to the business.

The easy installation of Square POS makes it great for business startups, who do not have the time and expertise to shop for and install POS programs. The Square Register software is convenient to use, but it’s a bit pricey for a low volume business.

The lack of an integrated settlement system on the Shopify platform means that users might need to transport data to a credit card processor, which then transmits the payments to Shopify Payments.

Both Shopify and Square are mobile app-based POS systems. But that’s where the similarities end. Shopify allows merchants to use their platforms to accept orders for retail goods, whereas Square accepts orders for a wide variety of small business products, from concert t-shirts to pet grooming tips.

Compared to Shopify, Square is a platform for e-commerce, so merchants can sell their products onsite. Shopify provides merchants with the tools they need to operate their online storefront, but without the ability to sell their items directly on their platform.

Why Square POS Is Best for Most Businesses

In the world of POS, Square is king. So much so that many people assume that if you are running a business, that means you are using it.

This isn’t true. Many of those that do use it are using it for their primary business. In some instances, they have used it as their primary POS for many years. But you can also buy a Mezzanine from Shopify to offer your customers a way to pay and get paid that is easier than using your phone or swiping a card. For most businesses, the best way to decide which to go with is to take a look at the numbers.

The numbers show that Square’s card readers are much more reliable, high margin for the merchant, and generate more transactions than those from Shopify.

If you know that you need to run your business on Square, it’s a good idea to get some POS hardware. If you don’t, you can wait until you want to start selling things to see where your customers are and move to an online/CPA based solution.

When to Use Shopify POS

If you’re going to rely on using your mobile phone for taking payments, the best option isShopify POS.

Shopify POS has the edge over Square because it’s faster and more convenient to use. With Square, you’ll have to wait hours for the transaction to appear on your Square POS app, then pay a small fee for each transaction. On the other hand, Shopify’s Shopify POS service can take transactions immediately via your web browser.

That said,Square has a couple of advantages over Shopify when it comes to recurring business, such as fees. Because you won’t have to pay anything if your business is below a certain threshold, Square would be a more cost-effective option if you run a recurring business. In addition, because you can set a daily limit on how much you’re able to charge, if you have small amounts of sales, Square could be a better option for you.

Although Shopify’s ability to integrate with other software is very impressive with over 200,000 apps available, for some businesses, Square’s ability to easily plug into specific business software may be a better fit.

Shopify POS Plans & Features

Shopify POS, Shopify PMP (Partner Management Platform) and Headless CMS. Since just starting your online store and getting it running can be a challenge, we’ve developed an all-in-one POS all in the cloud solution to simplify the process and reduce cost. It’s known as Shopify POS.

All you need is a device that connects to the internet (like a smartphone or tablet) and a credit card reader (like those from Square and Kogan). Your customers can browse and purchase products withs ease on your online store.

Getting Started with Shopify POS

Getting Started with Shopify POS is easy and only takes a few minutes. Plus, you can adjust the system to build-in the features you need to support your store. For example, determine how many and which products should be offered for checkout, which currencies and your local tax rates.

You can also open an Etsy store and integrate your existing Google Analytics account.

All this, and much more, is possible with every POS plan. Here’s how to get started with Shopify POS:

{1}. Sign up with Shopify.
{2}. Create a Shopify account and choose a plan.
{3}. Connect your bank account or credit card.

Square POS

Square is a small point of sale (POS) system that launched around nine years ago. At first, the system just allowed you to accept credit card payments. Then, a couple of years later, they introduced a more advanced payment processing option called the Square Register. Since then, the most popular options have been the Stand and Register, but you can also find several options of cash drawers and printers.

If you’re interested in accepting credit and debit card payments, Square is the most cost-effective solution out there. And given that it’s compatible with almost any smartphone or tablet, with a small investment of your time, you can be ready to accept payments within a day or so. But as Square has been gaining traction among business owners of all sizes, the amount you’ll need to invest in the system will grow.

When it comes to adding video or photography, Square sells a camera that connects to their iOS or Android applications. If you’re running a small business and need more comprehensive automation features, a separate systems like Shopify and WooCommerce will offer you more functionality.

Shopify Ecommerce vs Square Online Store

Shopify Ecommerce vs Square Online Store at a Glance

Shopify and square are two of the most competitive and popular choices for creating an online store page. While they are similar in some areas, they have notable differences too.

If you’re considering one for your online store, compare shopify vs square below:

Shopify Ecommerce

Shopify is a robust e-commerce platform that lets you create online stores, market them with in-house or 3rd-parties marketing tools, and collect orders. Set up is quick and simple, without requiring you to customize the software to your business. Rather than use a template like older online stores, you can select your customized theme from a ready-made selection.

Shopify is the preferred option for some online stores that are ready to launch, so they can take advantage of Shopify’s quick order processing and right-sized software. You can use Shopify to sell on sites like Etsy, Amazon, and other marketplaces.

Traditionally, online sellers had to use two separate platforms to manage their stores and online checkout on another. Fourmain’s Shopify’s software helps you control all the aspects of your business from one location, including online checkout through your Stripe payment gateway. You can also integrate seamlessly with SellerCloud’s third party tools for improved office productivity.

Why is Shopify a Better Choice?

Square Online Store

Square is a cloud-based software and hardware company that provides software and hardware in order to accept credit card payments through a mobile device, or a face to face transaction.

Square Register is a credit card reader that plugs into a hardware device you have at your store. Then on your mobile device, you can accept credit card payments through your Square mobile app. If you have an existing set up A Square Register can also plug directly into your printer and will allow you to accept credit card payments through your printer inserted card reader.

Shopify is cloud-based software and hardware which allows you to set up a fully customized website for your store. Once your website is done, you can set up orders and sales. It then takes the orders and sales and syncs them to a payment gateway provided by Shopify. For a fee, you can also add features to your website such as social media integrations, product reviews, wishlists and more.

Shopify, like Square, also has the same level of integration with POS systems like Square and Stripe. It has also taken a service such as delivery service to the cloud, making it easy for store owners to expand their business quickly with little effort.

Both Shopify and Square offer easy services with flexibility. They’re both cloud based and have software to help you accept credit card payments. However, Square has proven to be able to be more user friendly to beginners.

Bottom Line

Shopify is only 1/2 as expensive and easier to use for newbies

This is the most comprehensive look at Shopify vs. Square POS. At the end of this comparison, you’ll be able to determine which one is the best fit for your business.

Shopify vs. Square Comparison: Pricing

Shopify pricing is flexible and customizable for every type of business. Anything from greeting card orders to the busiest coffee shops are priced just like the big guys and charge less than Square. Shopify pricing works within your budget and is transparent with no hidden costs.

On the other hand, Square is flexible but its prices are fixed – every order is a little different and customizations are the same across each business. Square is also more expensive than Shopify for certain small to medium business to manage. In addition, Square doesn’t include data exports and marketing tools in its package.

Shopify vs. Square Comparison: POS

Shopify is very simple to use. Once your order is placed, the merchandise is delivered, and the order is paid for (if it’s a physical store), you’re done!