If that sounds unbelievable, it’s not. My girlfriend is an aesthetician and massage therapist in Fishers, Indiana. I was going to build her a site a few months ago, but couldn’t because of client work that took priority. Fast forward to the shut down and a lot of that work went by the wayside while my clients paused initiatives or changed priorities to deal with revenue losses.
If I were to build a site in WordPress, I probably would have spent a week or two integrating different plugins, payment gateways, and looking for some kind of scheduling solution. Because Steph isn’t enthusiastic about technology, it probably would have been difficult for her to manage as well. So, I decided to take Squarespace for a spin.
I started building the site about 8:00 in the morning… and was having so much fun that I worked through until 4:00 am the following morning when it was completed. What I was able to accomplish was fantastic – feel free to click through and check out the site.
Since Steph’s spa is currently closed through the pandemic, she wanted to get the site up and add the capabilities for folks to buy gift cards… even throwing in a discount if the gift card was for first responders or healthcare workers. I was able to accomplish it all.
Squarespace’s all-in-one platform gives you everything you need to run your business. Whether you’re just getting started or are an established brand, their platform helps your business website grow. Squarespace has a number of updates and options that are currently discounted or free during the COVID-19 crisis as well.
In less than 24 hours, I built out everything without a single line of code:
- A fully responsive, beautiful website
- An edit-in-place website editor
- An announcement bar across the top of the site
- Ecommerce for product sales
- Gift card sales
- Appointment scheduling with email and text message reminders
- Customer accounts
- Calendar integration between the appointment scheduling and Google
- Email newsletter opt-in and creation
- Discount code generation
- Payment gateway integration with Square for POS sales in her spa
- Payment gateway integration online with PayPal for online sales
- A blog for Steph to share news and updates on
Squarespace’s user interface does have a learning curve, but their online help and tutorials provide all the information you need. Getting it all working wasn’t totally seamless, but it was close. For example, the Appointment Scheduling and Ecommerce are two different sections of the site that each require their own payment gateway integration.
And, Squarespace has some pretty good package structures… almost everything I needed to get everything working was an upgrade to a new package. I’m not complaining, but be prepared to hit the upgrade button a few times as you figure out the features that you need to get everything you need. To build out an entire site in a day or two for far less than $1,000 a year with all of these features is pretty amazing!
The Squarespace Scheduling upgrade has everything you need to operate your own business that requires appointments. It’s fully self-service for your clients with a ton of features:
- Calendar Coordination – Automatically update the calendars you already use, like Google, Outlook, iCloud, or Office 365.
- Streamlined Payments – Integrate with a payment processor to easily charge clients before or after appointments.
- Video Conferencing – No matter where your clients are, speak face-to-face with GoToMeeting, Zoom, and JoinMe integrations.
- Customized Communication – Automatically send branded and customized confirmations, reminders, and follow-ups. Style everything to match the existing look and feel of your business.
- Subscriptions, Gift Cards, and Packages – Upsell your clients by adding more ways to book. (Available on select plans.)
- Custom Intake Forms – Learn about new clients or familiarize yourself with returning clients with custom intake forms.
Building an online store to sell digital or physically shipped products is easy with Squarespace. They even have add-ons for restaurant delivery which could come in handy during this lockdown. Ecommerce features include:
- Shop – Merchandise, organize, and manage an unlimited number of products with tags, categories, and our drag-and-drop sorting tool.
- Content integration – Each product you sell is put into a catalog so it’s easy to re-use in blog posts and email campaigns.
- Scheduling – Get ahead of sales, promotions, and new product lines by scheduling products to appear at a specified date.
- Inventory – Manage your inventory with an easy-to-use interface and quick views into your variants and stock levels. You can even set alerts up.
- Gift cards – Gift cards are an easy way for customers to share your products with their family and friends.
- Subscriptions – Generate recurring revenue and build customer loyalty by selling subscriptions to your products on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Gateway Integration – Take payments via industry leading integrations with Stripe and PayPal.
- Checkout Customization – add customer surveys or the option to share a gifting message.
- Shipping – Get real-time shipping estimates for US customers during checkout with powerful shipping tools and integrations
- Reviews – Options range from simple HTML review boxes to directly embedding customers’ reviews from Facebook.
- Social Integration – Easily share your products to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and tag products in your Instagram posts.
Squarespace Email Marketing
Integrated email marketing on Squarespace is so nice… no clunky integrations at all. Features include:
- Automation – Welcome subscribers to your mailing list, send them a new-member discount, and more with automated emails. Stay top-of-mind and build relationships with your audience without ever pressing send.
- Intuitive Contact List Management – Import email lists, intelligently build them from an email field on your site, or create a brand new list for a campaign.
- Personalization – Include your subscriber’s name in the subject line or body of your campaign to add a personal touch to every campaign you send.
Squarespace Mobile Editing Apps
Every web platform has strengths and weaknesses. Of course, a custom-development platform can provide infinite flexibility compared to a platform like Squarespace. However, the benefits of a robust all-in-one platform like this outweighs the limitations by a mile. And the cost is beyond reasonable.
The only issue that I ran into upon building out the site was that my girlfriend sometimes has people arrive and wish to pay in-person rather than online. Unfortunately, Squarespace POS is great for any ecommerce shop item, but the appointment types don’t actually show up on the app to charge them in person.
As well, while Square is integrated as the payment processor, there’s no means to synchronize the appointment types within Square. In fact, there’s not even a means to export the information easily for importing into Square. As a result, I had to hand-enter all of the appointment types and add-ons in my girlfriend’s Square account. I hope that necessary feature is integrated soon!
Side note… I’m not an affiliate of Squarespace… just a fan. They don’t offer affiliates to Indiana residents. I’m just really impressed with the platform and how quickly I was able to get Steph’s site done!