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Squarespace and Square in Canada. The Ecwid route.

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This post is written as a constructive rant, not a criticism.

I am a loyal Squarespace web designer and stand by its capabilities. But now and again I'm dumbfounded by things that really should not be roadblocks in delivering industry-standard websites. I live in Canada and Squarespace and Square do not have the same working relationship as they do in the USA. I live in Ontario where a majority of stores and restaurants in my area all use the Square POS system. During Covid one of my clients wanted to move their store online and that was when I first realized the incompatibility between the two providers. Unfortunately only after designing the online store in Squarespace which looked and worked great, realized it could not take a payment via Square. The only workaround was to have a link to a shop website in Square and add a link on the clients' logo in Square that returned to Squarespace. Not the best but it worked, unfortunately, the client had to pay for two websites. Years on I have a coffee shop with a small online store for coffee beans and merch. I believe by now there should be a solution.  After lots of time Googling and watching videos I found the solution using Ecwid. Promising that this is the solution that will link seamlessly your square POS to to Squarespace website and for free. Great! a large sigh of relief and away I go designing an amazing slick website. I link my client's POS to Ecwid and then with code install a shop window into my Squarespace website. It's not all plain sailing, as a designer I  use code in the Ecwid platform to make it look like it is part of Squarespace. Hours of work. All is going well until my client notices that certain product options have not been imported.  Hours of research later I found that to Sync your inventory, you must have a paid service. Now all this is not obvious in Ecwid and the point of this post is so no one wastes any time going down this route. The cost is USD$490 a year on the Essentials plan, which is hidden, but if you don't find that could pay USD $990 on the Unlimited plan.! This is just crazy it's not spoken about up front and asking a small coffee shop to pay what will be more than the hosting of the Squarespace website just to take payments. So Ecwid is not a solution, don't waste your time thinking it is. I have to now go to my client and explain that my promise that Squarespace would deliver a better experience than the client's current Squareup website, and would be cheaper is not so. 

Unless your client is a purely online store then perhaps paying for the Ecwid service makes sense. But not for the majority of small store owners around Canada. And why should they pay a third party to make the connection, more complication to there already complicated business. I feel we need more support from Squarespace in Canada, for Canadian businesses. Yes, it is the best platform, but it is not good for business if it does not work with the Square POS. As a web designer, I need to be able to deliver websites that work efficiently for my clients. I am now at a stage where in Canada I am questioning whether I need to work with another platform.


 

Edited by TrevH
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