These days, eCommerce continues to grow at a rapid pace. Online presence is even more critical for business owners. It might be beneficial to check out website builders such as Square Online. Throughout my Square eCommerce review, I will talk about how this platform can help you make your business stand out online.
Whether you’re someone starting out or you have a traditional brick-and-mortar business, Square Online can be a great solution to getting a website up and running. Also, you may want something minimal if you don’t want to run a huge eCommerce store. Square Online is designed for those who don’t want too much for an online store but need the right amount of tools for business growth.
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What Is Square?
Square (formerly SquareUp) is an eCommerce website builder designed to help businesses deliver their products and services. Square Online is part of Square in general- a digital payments and financial services company.
Square started in 2009 as a credit card payment processing company. The key people included Jack Dorsey (former CEO of Twitter) and Jim Mckelvey. Over the years, it has helped a lot of businesses by providing efficient financial services.
Square expanded beyond just credit card services in the years to follow. Regarding this review, Square acquired Weebly, another website builder, and incorporated its features onto the platform. Today, it is commonly known as Square Online for building ecommerce websites.
With more than 40 million websites running through Square, businesses can make the most out of delivering their services online. Businesses range from brick and mortar stores, to food trucks, and small business owners looking to run an online store exclusively.
Square offers a wide range of services; however, for the purpose of this review, we will focus on Square’s online website builder. I will do a brief breakdown of setting up a store through Square and cover some key features.
Setting up a store on Square: How it works
Here’s a brief walk-through of setting up a store on Square. These images are from my Square account.
Web Page Design
Setting up a homepage is simple to do. The themes through Square look very professional.
If you look at the layout on the page, it’s similar to other content management systems such as WordPress. If you’ve used WordPress before, you’ll be able to navigate through this page easily.
From your homepage, it shows your company name, basic contact information, and links for people to follow any social media channels you may have.
Add An Item To Sell
You can add a product (or multiple ones) to a single page. Going into specifics, you list out the prices, fill out a short description of the product, selecting options for shipping or delivery.
Some neat features to adding products include adding coupons or discounts for your customers. There’s also an option for customers to use gift cards (i.e. American Express), and you can categorize products as well.
If you have a paid plan for Square Online, you have the option to provide customer reviews. Customer reviews on your website can be beneficial in building a good reputation for your business. When you have products that sell well, customer reviews are the icing on the cake.
Setting up a domain
You can connect to an existing domain that you own, or you can get a free square domain if you sign up for one of their plans. A custom domain is considered a $12 value, so you would get a good deal on that.
Verify your identity
There’s an extra step in verifying that you’re the owner of the Square store. There are some precautions made when it comes to those receiving payment via Square Online.
Set up shipping rates
Provides a convenient step-by-step guide to reviewing shipping rates
Square provides an automatic tax calculator to get your taxes set up. It will vary depending on where you reside and sales taxes are collected.
Publish your website
Once you get the initial things set up (building the web page, setting up shipping), your online store is ready to go live.
Square has a basic setup guide to get your website up and rolling. What I like the most are the tutorials and instructional videos to help you get started.
Square Online has a lot of features to help build your online store. For this review, I will lay out some of the top features people take advantage of on Square.
If you prefer to have products delivered to your customers, Square makes it easy to get stuff out sooner. You can automatically dispatch couriers (USPS, UPS, FedEx) to deliver orders from your online store. Also, it’s commission-free so you don’t have to pay extra.
On-demand delivery typically costs $1.50 per order (plus any additional delivery fees). If you were to search outside of Square, you would be paying more in delivery fees. So Square is fair when it comes to on-demand delivery services.
Customers can order products by using QR scan codes (usually of a digital menu). They can conveniently order and pay through a desktop, laptop, or mobile phone.
There are lots of options for marketing your Square online store. They can range from automated messaging, email campaigns, and using social media platforms.
Square Online has an option for you to make a contact list so that you can reach out to your customers about your services. When potential customers visit your website, they can sign up to join your email list.
Also, Square can easily integrate your store through several social media channels. Some of them include:
- Have your online store present on Facebook and Instagram
- Order with Google- highlights your search with Google Search Results (involves some basic SEO)
*The Google option is only available for food and drinks sites
- TikTok for Business- If your audience happens to be on TikTok, be sure to get your products out in front of them through that platform
Customer Loyalty Program
Square has a customer loyalty program if you have customers making repeated purchases. Through this program, your customers can earn points or start after making purchases. Once earned, they can use them up to earn rewards (i.e. swag) in lieu of being a loyal customer.
Providing a loyalty program can be beneficial for your business. Square reports that stores with a loyalty program see a 40% increase in repeat visits. So it’s well worth it if you want to maintain existing customers for long-term growth.
Square has a little feature where you can get perfect photos set for your store. Having this option costs a lot less than hiring a professional, on-site photographer. So if you like having crystal-clear images for your product, a photo studio is well worth looking into.
Apps & Integration
Square Online has a nice list of apps to help get your store functional. App subjects range from marketing, inventory management, shipping, and business tools.
Can Square Online make your business more efficient?
As more businesses transition to online services, using your time wisely will be key to success. Square is well-known for efficient payment processing (which makes payment easier to handle).
Square offering an online website builder has been a level up for the company. If you run a traditional brick-and-mortar business, offering alternatives can help give your customers flexibility. It is beneficial for your business to offer your customers online ordering and delivery options.
One thing about Square Online that stands out is the simple layout of an online store. It may be a learning curve for some individuals, but it’s self-explanatory and straightforward when you go through the step-by-step guide.
Business owners want something that’s easy to understand and navigate through an online store. With Square Online, it makes it quicker to get an online store running in no time.
Can Square Online help grow your business?
Square has plenty of features to help you earn revenue online. Unlike other platforms, it provides the right amount of tools for your business to succeed.
For instance, I know someone who runs a traditional brick-and-mortar store. When I spoke with him early on, he wanted to expand his business beyond in-person services. However, he didn’t want something where he needed a lot of things in setting up an online shop.
After doing his research, he thought Square Online was a simple solution for his business. After getting set up, he’s been acquiring more customers online than if he were to limit himself to in-store services only.
One of the options he’s taken advantage of is having his products delivered to his customers’ residences. Also, he makes the most of curbside pickup and contactless payment options. So he makes the most of his online store, and his business has grown since he found Square Online.
Square offers a few plans for individuals to look into. The best part is they have a free plan available if you’re not willing to put any money into it yet.
The free plan gives you an option to see if a Square online store is right for your business. To make things better, you only pay fees when you make a sale (currently, it’s 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction for all plans).
Here’s a breakdown of the plans they offer.
|Free||Professional ($12/month- billed annually)||Performance ($26/month- billed annually)||Premium ($73/month- billed annually)|
-Square POS (Point of sale) for mobile devices
-Custom domain for one year
-No Square ads
-Custom font uploads
-Low processing rates
Pros & Cons
- Free plan along with a free custom domain
- Reasonable prices are great for small businesses (whether offline or online)
- All in one payment system
- Great marketing features to promote the store, including email marketing, paid advertisements, and social media channels
- Not a lot of options for customizations
- Shipping is not the best (for example, the rates are not adjustable)
- Customer service is OK- needs improvement
- Transaction fees are high for some plans
Is Square Worth It?
Square Online is another great option for launching an eCommerce store. Its user interface is simple and easy to use, which makes building an online store smoother.
Unlike other platforms, Square offers reasonable prices for its plans. These plans are great for those in small businesses that don’t have a lot of online sales. Perhaps someone who has a traditional business wants an online presence with minimal usage. For a minimalist, having a website built in Square Online may be an excellent option.
As listed, customer service could use some improvements. The individual I mentioned earlier said he had some small issues dealing with the customer service team.
But overall, the customer service has been decent from what I was told about his experience. Also, the shipping options could be better. The rates could be better when it comes to organizing orders online.
Square Online is another great opportunity to grow your business with its website builder services. If you’re someone who sells in-person often but still wants an online presence, Square Online can assist with that.
If you’re ready to get your business rolling with Square, check out their plans today. The best part is you can start with a free plan, along with getting a free customized domain. That’s a great value to have when starting out with building a website.
If you’re impressed with what you see, consider upgrading to make the most of their features. There’s a lot you can do when it comes to marketing and making your store stand out. Whatever plan you choose, Square Online will help get your business off to a great start.
Your Turn: Is Square Online worth a shot?
I would like to know your thoughts about Square. Are you familiar with their payment processing services? Have you or someone you know used Square’s services before?
How easy is it to use their website builder? Are there any features that you think stand out? If not, what do you not like about Square Online?
Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your thoughts, and I’m happy to help answer any questions you have.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.