Choosing the right e-commerce platform can be a daunting task, especially if you’re running an online store for the first time. Fortunately, we have your back. In this article, you’ll discover the differences between WordPress, Shopify, and Squarespace and get a better understanding of which of the website builders are best for your brand.

Building Your Website

WordPress has a considerably larger user base and a larger range of theme templates and applications to pick from. With the correct skills and resources, you can very much design any type of website you want with WordPress. Like Shopify, most templates have premium fees, however, there are free designs as well. Squarespace includes their templates in their annual fee with only a few online store options. Shopify and Squarespace are also known for their excellent 24/7 customer service support. With WordPress, it depends on if you have hired a developer.

What Shopify and Squarespace have over WordPress is easability and beautifully designed site builder layouts. That’s because they are created particularly to make creating an online store simple, and they do an impressive job at it. With WordPress, there may be a bit of a learning curve. Like mentioned before, you may have to hire a developer to take advantage of all the features and get it to work how you want it to.  Squarespace may even look more elegant than Shopify, however, it has significantly fewer features such as payment options or apps that one can incorporate into the site.

Shopify and Squarespace offer web hosting which isn’t a deal-breaker but an additional step in the site-building process. WordPress has to use a third-party web hosting site such as Godaddy or Bluehost.

Content Creation

For content creators, WordPress is able to give you more control over your content with a more versatile blog management system and archiving. It’s also fair to claim that WordPress has an advantage in terms of SEO. You can pick your own hosting platform and generate cleaner URLs for your content which offers a small advantage over Shopify and Squarespace. Squarespace does offer its own email marketing tools which are available with their e-commerce payment plans.

Fees

Squarespace costs $18 a month for a business account and Shopify costs $35 a month for a basic account, both prices on annual contracts. WordPress is definitely the most cost-friendly option, only costing $5 a month on a 3-year contract for a basic hosting package with Bluehost.

It’s recommended to get an annual plan to save money and also assuming that you are in this for the long run. A slight advantage of Shopify and Squarespace is that they offer 14-day free trials to see if their website builders work for your brand.

Which is the Best of the Website Builders for Cannabis Retailers?

Shopify and Squarespace are the most convenient website builders, but you’ll be paying for that ease of use with higher monthly fees. Both of those platforms also limit what you can do when it comes to attracting organic traffic, as they don’t come equipped with the SEO tools available to WordPress users.

WordPress is the best website builder for cannabis retailers who want to have a serious online presence. It is the most complicated of the platforms, so for those who don’t have digital skills, it’s worth it to invest in an agency to make sure your site is beautiful and fully functional. Your customers will appreciate the result and you’ll stand out from the competition.

Lastly, here are some things to keep in mind while creating your online store.

  1. Have engaging web design
  2. Use an age-gate
  3. Invite your customers to learn about you personally with an “about us” page
  4. Provide popular payment options such as Google pay, Paypal and Apple pay
  5. Create SEO driven blogs
  6. Encourage people to write reviews
  7. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
  8. Use an online menu platform
  9. Ensure your site loads in 2 seconds or less
  10. Use High-Res photos

Canadian Cannabis Retail Marketing Guide

Over the past few months, when it comes to creating original content, we’ve been focusing on the fastest-growing segment of the Canadian cannabis industry, retailers.

This series of articles is dedicated to informing and educating Canadian cannabis retail store operators about marketing, promotions, branding, partnerships, and product selection.

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Last Updated on May 27, 2021 by ADCANN

Spencer Tropea

Spencer Tropea

Spencer Tropea is a seasoned creative and certified cannabis sommelier with 15 years of experience in PR, design, and photography. He's worked with several prominent cannabis brands across North America, using his unique skills to craft engaging narratives that breathe life into the industry and the passionate people invloved.