For just about any business today, having a functional website is essential. Consumers expect to be able to find your business online, and social media profiles alone don’t cut it anymore. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever before to build an online presence, particularly with tools like Square Online.
Square is a popular payments processing platform and point-of-sale system provider. They also offer a variety of other services to help businesses accept payments, grow, and market themselves. Square Online is just one of the many services in the Square lineup. Conveniently, all of the Square services integrate with each other, creating an efficient and advanced ecosystem of business services. So, if you already use another Square product, it’s even easier to use Square Online!
In this Square Online review, we will go over all you need to know about this business. We’ll cover features, costs, customer service, and more, so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not Square Online is right for you.
Square Online overview
Square Online is a service from Square that makes it easy to build a website and web presence for your business. It’s useful for businesses of all shapes and sizes, from eCommerce stores to restaurants to barbershops. It also has useful tools for nonprofits and charities.
Square Online integrates Square Payment processing flawlessly, so you can sell products and/or accept payments directly from your website. You can also use Square’s website builder to build out your website, make edits, and market your products and services.
Square Online also offers the ability to purchase a custom domain name, or you can use a free one provided by Square.
Remarkably, Square Online is free for the most basic plan. The only costs you’ll pay are standard payment processing fees (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction) when a customer makes a payment through your website or purchases a product online. There are other paid tiers to Square Online, which offer more advanced features. We’ll review the different plans in a section further down.
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How Square Online is different
There are many services that can help you make a website. What makes Square different from the competition?
Free to use
Square offers a free-to-use service tier that is surprisingly useful and includes a free online store. With it, you can build a basic website, advertise your business, and accept payments online. You’ll only pay when a purchase or payment is made on your site ($0.30 per transaction, plus 2.9% of the transaction amount). Paid plans are also available, which increases functionality.
Good for all business types
Many services specialize in certain types of businesses; eCommerce stores, for example. But Square has the tools and services necessary for just about any sort of business, from retail shops to eCommerce to service-based businesses – and even nonprofit organizations.
Syncs with other Square services
Square offers an entire ecosystem of compatible services, all of which work together flawlessly. Link Square Appointments to make and manage appointments on your website for your barbershop or use Square Invoices to draft and send invoices to clients through your website. Square Online can also sync with the Square POS system in real-time to keep your in-person inventory synced with inventory on your eCommerce website.
Easy to use
Square is designed to be very easy to use, even for new business owners with limited technology experience. It’s easy to build a basic website or eCommerce store, even with zero coding experience. And it’s even easier to manage ongoing operations, including order fulfillment. While it may not offer dozens of advanced features, Square Online simplifies the process of getting your business online.
Who Square Online is best for
Square Online is a good fit for most businesses, but there are a few types that will benefit most:
Square Online offers several valuable features for restaurants and foodservice businesses, including online ordering for curbside pickup or delivery, self-serve ordering at restaurant tables, and much more. Through a unique relationship with Postmates and DoorDash, Square Online users can also save tons of money on delivery with third-party couriers. Instead of the standard 20-30% commission that these services charge, orders through your restaurant website can be fulfilled by DoorDash couriers for a flat fee of just $6.99 + $1.50.
Retail & eCommerce stores
Any company that’s in the business of selling goods – whether online or in-person, can greatly benefit from Square Online Store. The service makes it simple to sell items online, and also syncs inventory between online and in-person sales. Setup is simple and includes powerful tools like social media selling, custom web design, and much more.
Many Commerce platforms and other alternatives to Square Online have hefty upfront costs and monthly subscription fees. For new companies, avoiding expenses can be quite helpful. This is why Square Online is a good fit for startups and new businesses: There are no startup costs and no monthly fees for the basic package. You simply pay payment processing fees when an order is made.
Square Online features
Square Online offers dozens of features for building, managing, and growing the online presence of your business. Here are some highlighted features:
- Accept payments – With Square Online, you can sell goods and services and accept payments easily. Accept credit card payments, Google Pay, PayPal, Square gift cards, Apple Pay and more, through online checkout on your eCommerce site or business website.
- Accept all payment types – Square allows you to accept almost any kind of payment. Payments for physical goods, orders, and more all included – as are donations for nonprofits, and even membership or subscription fees. All payments have the same standard processing costs of 2.9% + $0.30.
- Secure payments – Square processes millions of transactions every day and uses the latest technology to ensure every payment is secure. You can rest assured of the professional payment technology of Square.
- Manage orders – It’s easy to accept, manage and fulfill orders through Square Online. Whether you’re shipping physical goods or preparing food orders for curbside pickup or delivery, Square’s features simplify the fulfillment process.
- Online marketing features – Square offers powerful marketing, advertising, and selling tools. Sell on integrated channels with Facebook, Instagram, and more. Use SEO tools to drive traffic to your website. Monitor your progress with advanced analytics, and much more.
- Website builder – Square makes it easy to build a website or online store with no coding experience required. A simple web builder allows you to get a website up in hours, and make changes easily.
- Online food ordering – For restaurants, Square makes it easy to post a full menu online, and accept orders directly through your website. Fulfill orders via pickup, in-house delivery, or third-party delivery using food delivery apps.
- Domain names – Square offers a free basic domain name for your store. In more advanced plans, you can attach a custom domain name to your store. Custom domains from Square start at just $12.
These are just a handful of the features available. During the signup process, you’ll be able to see which features are included in each membership tier.
Square Online pricing
Square Online has a few different tiers of membership to choose from. All plans have the same transaction fees, with the exception of the Premium plan which reduces the rate to 2.6%. Here is a detailed breakdown of Square Online costs:
Free version – $0/month – payment processing 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
- Basic online store features
- Up to 500MB bandwidth and storage
- Free store builder tool
- Manage multiple websites
- Default domain only – no custom domain
- Manage orders, deliveries, shipping, etc.
- Basic marketing and SEO tools
- Unlimited products/store items
Professional – $12/mo billed annually – payment processing 2.9% + $0.30
- All features of the free plan
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Free domain for 1 year
- Ability to connect a custom domain
- Ability to remove Square ads from the website
- Inventory management features
- Advanced marketing tools
- Much more
Performance – $26/mo billed annually – payment processing 2.9% + $0.30
- Advanced web-building features
- Shipping label printing
- Shipping rate discounts
- Sell gift cards
- Advanced checkout and shopping cart features
- Lead-capture forms
- Much more
Premium – $72/mo billed annually – payment processing 2.6% + $0.30
- Discounted payment processing (2.6% vs. 2.9% in other plans)
- All features of previous plans
- Advanced marketing features like abandoned cart emails
- Advanced analytics
- Much more
Each plan builds on itself, so all the features of the more basic plans are also included in the higher-end plans. Overall, Square Online Store pricing is very competitive.
Square Online customer service
Square has customer support available via email and phone during normal business hours. However, the company is not known for having great customer service.
A common complaint from customers is that it can be difficult to contact Square. The help section of the website offers troubleshooting tips and articles to solve your own issue, and you must navigate this system before reaching an actual support representative.
The lack of quality customer service has contributed to Square’s mediocre ratings on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, many negative customer reviews relate to Cash App, rather than other Square products, so this is worth noting.
Pros and cons of Square Online
Square is a good fit for many small businesses. But like any business decision, it’s wise to consider the advantages and disadvantages of this option.
- Free plans available
- Upgraded plans offer more advanced features
- Competitive payment processing rates
- Versatile for just about any business
- Easy to sell goods and services online
- Sync inventory and pricing between online and brick and mortar operations
- Cheaper than alternative eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify and Weebly
- Syncs with your Square account and other Square services
- Mediocre customer support
- Some important features are only included in paid plans