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How to Optimize your Squarespace Ecommerce Website

Bold & Pop : How to Optimize your Squarespace Ecommerce Website

It’s no secret we’re HUGE fans of Squarespace and we’ve shared everything from how to choose a template, why the Brine family is our favorite template, various coding for customization andddd how to set your SEO up properly. The one big piece of Squarespace we haven’t talked too much about is their ecommerce functionality but Squarespace has been upping their game when it comes to this. Along with having a secure and easy checkout with a great shop design, there are a few lesser known features that you’ll want to make the most of if you have an ecommerce site. These are focused on helping you increase conversions in an easy way (literally you just have to enable a few things!).

Bold & Pop : How to Optimize your Squarespace Ecommerce Website

Image Zoom

Pretty standard on most ecommerce platforms but you definitely want to have this enabled! It allows customers to get a closer view of the product they’re interested in which can be the difference in making a sale or them walking away. If you enable this, make sure you have high quality images so they’re crisp and clean on zoom.

If you don’t have this enabled, head to the Design > Site Styles > Products: Image Zoom and make sure you enable it. You can also adjust how much it zooms in to fit your preferences!

Alternate Image

You can also enable an alternate image to show on your main shop page. This is great if you have a product that comes in different colors or has details on different sides you’d like the show off. Basically if a customer comes to your shop and they hover over a product, the main image will switch out with the alternate so they get to see both! This encourages them to click through to the product listing to learn more (and hopefully purchase!).

To enable this, go to your Site Styles. It may simply be clicking to enable the alternate image option or it might be under Item Hover Behavior which you’d then change to Show Alternate Image.

Quick View

Enabling quick view is an awesome way to provide customers with more product info without having to fulling click into the product listing. This also allows them to purchase right from the main shop page!

You can enable this in Site Styles as well!

Free Shipping

A lot of our ecommerce clients provide free shipping (customers do love to have free anything!) but it can get a tad tricky on Squarespace. They do allow an easy to enable automatic free shipping option but only on their advanced commerce plan (this plan also provides abandoned cart notifications too!).

The problem is this plan doesn’t always make sense for everyone so if you want to provide free shipping for customers on the basic commerce plan, you can either provide customers with a coupon code or our recommendation would be to set up a flat rate shipping option in the backend of Squarespace and simply make it $0. #SquarespaceHack FTW

Add a carousel summary block to Additional Info

Related Products

Unfortunately this is one area that is still lacking a bit for Squarespace, BUT we have a hack to help you still add related products!

Choose your shop page in the Content tab to popular with products

Chances are you’ll add products and use categories in your product listing to sort them for customers (and if not, you definitely need to categorize your products for this). What you need to do is, go to the backend of your shop page and click into a product to edit. Click the tab on the product page that says Additional Info. Once you’re in that section, you’ll want to insert a summary block (we recommend a carousel layout). Once inserted, you’ll have to choose the content you want to populate the summary block with. Choose your shop page and then you can change the layout to your liking (we suggest changing the Header from “Featured” to “Products You May Also Like” or something along those lines).

You can save as is here or you can go to the Display tab and sort the products shown by category or even tags. It will really depend on your product but if you sell shirts, you might not want to display all shirts as related products. You might want to help customers complete their outfit so maybe you sort by tags instead. For example, if you have a summer collection, you might want the related products to be sorted by the tag Summer Collection.

Along with these awesome features…

Squarespace also offers some really amazing other ecommerce features you’ll want to know about including:

  • Inventory management with notifications on when you’re running low on an item (you can set what level you want this reminder at!)

  • Subscription option available so you can sell a monthly, yearly, etc. subscription

  • Variants so you can add different colors, sizes, etc. all under one product listing

  • Easy drag and drop merchandising so you can have your product listed in the exact order you want

  • Abandoned cart recovery with automatic emails sent to customers to remind them they left something behind

  • Multiple payment options so you can enable them all and give customers a choice or you can choose which one works best for your store

  • Built-in analytics so you can track your sales and any other important pieces of information to make the most of your shop and marketing efforts

And there you have it, some lesser known features you can use to really amp up your ecommerce site to help boost those conversions!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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Why You Should Use Squarespace for Your Blog

Bold & Pop : Why You Should Use Squarespace for Your Blog

Something we get asked a lot is.. Is Squarespace a good platform for bloggers? And our answer is always HECK YES! How do we know? Well for 1.) We spend quite a bit of time utilizing the blog feature on our business website and 2.) Anna (hey that's me!) has been using the platform for years for my personal blog. That's right, outside of Bold & Pop I also write a NYC lifestyle blog! The truth is, well before we launched our biz (or even thought about launching a biz for that matter) I've been using the platform personally. In fact, it was my experience with the platform that actually inspired me to further my web and graphic design skills -- yes really!

When I first moved to New York from the PNW over 6 years ago I started a blog to keep in touch with family and throughout the years it has evolved quite a bit (trust me you don't want to see my initial design 🙈). During those years I've done my fair share of exploring a number of platforms, Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger and Wix to name a few. Then I started to notice Squarespace popping up so I decided to take a peek at their site. After being impressed by just their basic themes I decided I'd check out their 14-day trial on a whim. I'd tried so many platforms already so I figured what the heck, let's see what this one is all about. Well it only took a few hours to realize, oh hey I likeeee this and I decided to switch to the platform! So today I'm sharing some of the reasons I think Squarespace is a great platform for bloggers.

It's User-Friendly

The first thing that sold me on the platform was the user-friendly back-end. As with any platform, there's a little learning curve, but I really liked the setup because frankly it was organized in a way that just made sense to me. What you saw, was exactly what you got. There weren't any hidden widgets or plug-ins that I had to try and track down. If I inputted a photo gallery block, it was right there on the page and I knew exactly how to make edits. The features are consistent throughout too so once you learn how to use them, they are easy to add to your blog posts or any additional pages you want to create.

Need a little help along the way? I should also note their customer service is on-point! If you find yourself backed into a corner on something or need a little help with a feature their team is available around the clock to help you out. 

Less Time Spent on Coding

One of my favoritteeee things about the platform is I can spend less time coding than I did on some of the other platforms. In my earlier days, I remember spending hours upon hours just trying to get my sidebar to look how I wanted. One of the reasons I love Squarespace is because it's so visual and has drag and drop design features. More design, less coding FTW! I can easily make my website look just the way I want by utilizing the options right inside the platform. This is KEY for me because Bold & Pop keeps me super busy so when I spend time on my blog I want it to be an easy peasy process.

The great thing about their templates is there's so much flexibility no matter what your skill level is. Are your web design skills minimal or non-existent? That's okay! When you decided you wanted to start a blog, chances are you didn't also decide you wanted to become a web designer. That's why Squarespace is great, you can easily make minimal updates to your style editor and use their templates fresh off the site for a professional look. They've introduced some fab new templates that are perfect for blogging too, some of my favs are RallySkye, and Haute. 

Then on the flipside, if you do have more design skills and web design knowledge there is so much flexibility! Instead of being tied to design restrictions you can select a template based on key features and customize away! If you want to see some of the options you can check out a demo of the template I use, Galapagos and how my actual blog looks. I selected my theme based on some key features but if you look at the demo site vs my actual site you can see there aren't really a lot of similarities.

It Has a TON of Great Features for Bloggers

Another reason why I love the platform is there are so many awesome features relevant to bloggers. It's also very visually-driven which is such an important part about blogging!

Here's a look at some of my most-used features throughout my blog:

  • Summary Blocks: I use these ALL over the place. My landing page is essentially a summary block party. I use these features to highlight different categories of my blogs, as well as including similar blogs at the bottom of my posts. This feature is also how I have created by category pages.

  • Gallery Blocks: To switch up my photo layouts, I use a variety of gallery blocks. This feature is really great because you can upload all of your images and then easily flip between 4 different layout options to find your favorite.

  • Affiliate-Friendly: Adding custom code for affiliate programs is really easy with the code block. Just copy and paste and your affiliate program is ready to roll.

  • Syncing to Google Drive: I love that you can automatically have forms, or newsletter data automatically sync to your Google Drive.

  • Forms: We use this more on our Bold & Pop blog than my personal one but I love the option to create customizable forms for people to fill out.

It's More than Just a Blog

If you caught my last post on easy tips to spruce up your biz this Spring, I totally took my own advice! I actually just did a little refresh and created a landing page for my blog and updated my graphics. I have always defaulted my readers right onto my blog for my homepage which has always worked out ok because I have a sidebar to help readers find other sections. For awhile though, I've been really craving switching up my homepage to more of a landing page style to highlight different components of my site better. So instead of just thinking about it, I made it happen! That's something I love about Squarespace. It's more than just a blog and it's easy to integrate the built-in features to accomplish exactly what you want.

Bold & Pop : Why You Should Use Squarespace for Your Blog
Bold & Pop : Why You Should Use Squarespace for Your Blog
Bold & Pop : Why You Should Use Squarespace for Your Blog

A few other things I get a lot of emails about are things to do in the city, tips on moving, and my journey to moving to the city. So I listened to my readers and also created pages dedicated to each. This has been super helpful for my readers and a decent chunk of my referral traffic goes directly to those pages instead of people finding them through my blog.

Bold & Pop : Why You Should Use Squarespace for Your Blog

I also love how easy it is to add in other awesome Squarespace features down the road if I want too. If I decide I want to create an opt-in page I can easily integrate their cover page option. How about if I start a workshop for bloggers and decide I want to sell tickets to an event? All about that event feature. Or if I decide I want to open a shop on my blog, adding an ecommerce feature is also super easy. I love how accessible all these options are and that their set-up is just as user-friendly as the rest of their features.

Always Improving

One hesitation I hear about taking the plunge to Squarespace is.. "well what if Squarespace disappears one day.. what happens to my blog?" I'm going to be really blunt for a minute.. I think this statement is kind of a cop-out. I just don't find much merit to this argument and think it's often just used as a scare tactic to those who don't know much abut website design. While Squarespace may seem like a "new kid on the block" because you've probably been noticing more of their ads, it actually launched in 2004. That being said, the company is constantly looking for ways to improve and offer more options to its customers, which is a good thing! Plus, being a designer I think the trend of making web design more user-friendly is only going to increase. 

I've experienced this first-hand during my time on the platform and because we're a part of their Squarespace Circle community, we get regular updates on all the cool things that are in the works and Beta testing access. The truth is, the developers at the platform are always looking for ways to improve and they take community requests seriously! That being said, the platform isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Being an innovative and growing company is actually a really great thing and a perk for its subscribers. If you want to read more about the biz side here's a great feature too.

Responsive and SEO-Friendly

Then last but definitely not least. I love that Squarespace websites are automatically responsive which means they are designed to look awesome on desktop, tablet and mobile. Even better, you don't have to do anything... it automatically does it. Considering more than 50% of my web traffic comes from mobile, especially referrals from Instagram that's super important to me and it should be to you too!

The platform is also really SEO-friendly which makes the whole process.. wait for it... more user-friendly! User-friendly all the way around! Really though, it's super easy to add image titles, adjust your blog url and input descriptions throughout making the whole process easy to do without having to think about it too much.

I hope you've found my insight helpful! At the end of the day it's all about finding a blogging platform that you are comfortable with that does exactly what you would like and Squarespace has definitely been that platform for me both personally and in biz! 

To help you step up your blogging game we also have a fun content upgrade for you below! Sign up for our newsletter party to download a free blogging checklist of things you should do before and after you click publish.

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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