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Square Online Store Review

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Posted on: July 22, 2022

Start for free with Square Online Store now with unlimited product listings.

When you want to begin selling products online to complement your physical store, Square Online delivers quite a few advantages. It also is a strong choice when you want to open a physical store to add to your online product offerings, as Square’s point-of-sale (POS) system will cover both types of stores successfully.

Additionally, Square Online is a well-known ecommerce website builder, delivering a trustworthy site that looks great. We consistently rank Square highly versus its competitors for ecommerce website building, general website building, and payment acceptance.

Square logo

Square Online Store Compared

As we researched the various options for ecommerce website builders, ease of use and high-end features consistently appeared at the forefront of the most important criteria. You want an online store that helps you track inventory, looks great, and is easy for customers to navigate. Through our time spent with these services, we came up with our list of the eight best options.

  • Shopify – Best for beginners
  • Wix – Best for launching an online store in minutes
  • Zyro – Best for simple online stores
  • BigCommerce – Best site builder for multichannel selling
  • Squarespace – Highest quality ecommerce templates
  • Square Online – Best for retail and service
  • Weebly – Most affordable for solopreneurs
  • Shift4Shop – Best value

About Square Online Store

Square home page
square’s homepage to get started

Square, Inc., began operation in 2009 and is now one of the strongest ecommerce and online payment brands in the world. It serves countries across the globe, including the United States. Its strength involves ecommerce website building as well as managing payment acceptance services and inventory tracking services for online stores.

In late 2021, Square, Inc., changed its name to Block, Inc. After the name change, it remains a publicly traded company based in San Francisco. The company continues to trade under SQ on the NYSE as well.

Square Online Store Products and Services

Although Square is especially popular among small businesses who want to be able to accept both mobile and in-store payments, it also has several other services available. Square ranks highly in a few different service categories that we researched.

Square Online can help you build an online store and more. You have no limitations on the number of products you can sell, and you can accept credit card payments and other types of payments easily through your Square ecommerce website. Additionally, you receive inventory management tools to easily track your products.

Square Online Store Health and Stability

Even with the name change of the overall company to Block, Inc., the Square Online service remains one of the most trustworthy and well-known brands in this industry. With more than a decade of helping small businesses with online stores and with mobile and in-store payment acceptance, Square should remain near the forefront of the industry for many years to come.

Square Online Store Pricing

Square pricing plans
Square pricing page

Square offers multiple pricing tiers for its ecommerce website building services, and it also has various additional fees based on the sales you perform through the site.

As one of its most impressive features, Square offers a basic free hosting tier that includes an online store. You will have to pay transaction fees even in the free tier, however.

Start for free with Square Online Store now with unlimited product listings.

Square Online Store Pricing Structure

When building your ecommerce website with Square, you can pick the free tier or any of the three pay tiers that charge a monthly fee for your ecommerce website. The base fees range from $12 to $72 per month.

The remainder of the pricing structure for Square Online will depend on the payment acceptance services you choose to use as part of your subscription. To see your exact pricing amount, you will need to select the payment services you want to use on the Square website. The two pricing areas that Square focuses on for accepting payments include:

  • In-person payments: You can receive one Square Reader to use as your POS hardware for free, but additional hardware costs $10 apiece. You then will pay a flat fee for every transaction and a percentage of the total sale.
  • Remote payments: Square charges you a flat fee per transaction and a percentage of the total sale for the remote payments you accept. The amount you will pay will depend on the type of payment your customer is making.

Square Online Store Pricing Comparison

Because Square offers a free ecommerce website building service tier that includes an online store, it differentiates itself from many other ecommerce website building services. Through our research, we found a few others have a free tier, including Weebly and Shift4Shop. 

Within its pay subscription tiers, Square’s monthly costs are close to the industry average.

However, one area where Square’s prices are above average is in terms of transaction fees. Some of Square’s competitors, such as Wix, do not charge transaction fees. However, Square does provide an above-average number of ways to accept payments versus competitors.

Square Online Store Trials and Guarantees

Square Online does not offer any free trial period. Instead, it uses the free tier for its ecommerce website builder and online store to give potential customers a chance to try the service. You can continue using this free tier for as long as you would like, or you can upgrade to one of Square’s pay tiers to receive access to additional features.

Square’s payment acceptance hardware products carry warranties. The Square Reader for Magstripe has a limited six-month warranty, while Square Stand and Square Terminal have one-year limited warranties. The Square Register carries a limited two-year warranty.

Start for free with Square Online Store now with unlimited product listings.

Square Online Store Ecommerce Website Builder Review

The best ecommerce website builders help you create a digital store that makes it easy to begin selling online. The right package will track your inventory, help you set up shipping, manage payments, and build a great-looking website.

Square Online has one of the strongest POS software services on the market for small businesses, non-profits, and sole proprietors. Its website builder also delivers strong features. When you combine Square’s ecommerce website and its POS service, you will be able to fully manage your site, while also accepting a variety of payment methods.

What Makes Square Online Store Ecommerce Website Builder Great

Square getting started page to choose what you're selling online
Square Online quickly guides you through the process of building your ecommerce presence.
  • Ease of development: When building your ecommerce website through Square Online, you will not need to hire a developer or designer. There’s no need to learn HTML coding either. You can build the site completely on your own, and you can make changes in the future to keep your site up to date.
  • Ease of use: The Square Online website builder template will walk you through the process of building your ecommerce site. It asks you questions about what you are trying to sell and about the design you would like to use before building the site for you. 
  • Syncs with POS system: It’s easy to integrate the ecommerce website you build with an existing or new Square POS system. Square allows you to accept all major credit cards and other types of payments. By putting these two Square services together, you will make your ecommerce site as strong as possible.
  • Inventory tracking: When you are selling online, tracking your inventory is a significant challenge. Fortunately, when you build your site with Square, it will track your sales and update your inventory numbers accordingly. This gives you up-to-date information at all times when you need to reorder.
  • Analytics: When you build your ecommerce website with Square Online, you will gain access to multiple analytical tools. You not only can track the actual sales of your products, but you can figure out which pages are performing well on your site. You then can make edits to achieve a higher level of performance.
  • Help with SEO: Creating an ecommerce website that is search engine optimized (SEO) is a challenge for beginners. Square provides guidance in this area, helping you develop keywords and suggesting areas where you can add text to match common search terms for your customers.
  • Free basic tier: You have the ability to make use of Square Online’s free tier if you want a simple website. The majority of businesses probably will need more features than are available in the free tier, but you can at least try Square for free to determine if it is going to work well for you.
  • Time-saving features: Because Square makes the process of building and maintaining your ecommerce website so easy, you can spend the majority of your time focusing on your business. You won’t need to spend multiple hours per day managing the site. 
  • New design options: If you tried Square Online a few years ago and disliked the lack of design features, you may want to give it another look. Square Online added many site layouts and design features in recent months, giving you far more options.
  • It just works: Customers who swear by Square for building their online stores sometimes struggle to describe the benefits of this service. However, the one thing the vast majority of them appreciate is that Square sites simply work like they’re supposed to work. When you rely on your online store to deliver streamlined sales, that’s incredibly important.

Where Square Online Store Ecommerce Website Builder Falls Short

Square mobile service templates
Because Square focuses heavily on POS, its advanced ecommerce website-building services lag a little behind some competitors.
  • Transaction fee: Square Online has very reasonable monthly costs for building your ecommerce website. However, your costs for selling items through your Square Online ecommerce website will go up quickly from there, as you receive a charge per transaction and a percentage charge on your total transaction amount.
  • Hefty fees on small transactions: Because Square typically charges you 30 cents per transaction, you do not want to use Square if your online store primarily has small amounts per transaction. A 30-cent charge on a $100 transaction is minimal, but a 30-cent fee on a $10 transaction eats into your profits quickly (especially when you are also paying a percentage fee on the transaction amount).
  • Limited customization: If you need a highly customized online store in terms of design, Square may leave you feeling a little frustrated. It focuses on helping its subscribers build a site easily and quickly. To accomplish this, Square sacrifices the ability to offer numerous customization features, meaning your online store could look like others built with Square.
  • Limitations on changing templates: Once you select a type of template you want to use to build your online store with Square Online, you cannot switch to a new template easily. You can edit text and images after building the site, but you will need to stick with the same template layout, or you will have to start over.
  • No blogging feature: Ecommerce websites built through Square do not include a feature that allows you to create a traditional blog. You can write articles and basic posts, but no options exist for managing a traditional blog with visitor comments included.
  • Struggles with general websites: If you are looking to create an ecommerce website design that does not focus on selling products, Square’s service may not fit your needs well. Others on our list will have better features for building a general website without an online store.

Square Online Store Ecommerce Website Builder Compared

While Square Online is a strong contender in this category, our research shows that Shopify is the best ecommerce website builder for the majority of people. It works especially well for those with no experience in building ecommerce websites.

  • Shopify – Best for beginners
  • Wix – Best for launching an online store in minutes
  • Zyro – Best for simple online stores
  • BigCommerce – Best site builder for multichannel selling
  • Squarespace – Highest quality ecommerce templates
  • Square Online – Best for retail and service
  • Weebly – Most affordable for solopreneurs
  • Shift4Shop – Best value

Square Online Store Free Website Builders Review

As we mentioned earlier, Square Online has a really good free tier that is easy to use. It also delivers an online store, which is something that other free website builders rarely do for you. However, you will have to pay transaction fees when you sell items using a free Square website.

The important features of ecommerce website builders and these free website builders are relatively similar. After researching numerous free website builders, here is how we rank Square against its competitors in this category.

  • Wix – Best for creating a polished site this evening
  • Square Online – Best for building a free online store
  • GoDaddy – Best for businesses that don’t need an online store
  • Mozello – Best for building a multilingual site
  • WordPress.com – Best for growing an audience with your site 

Square Online Store Payment Methods for Your Ecommerce Site Review

When using one of the ecommerce website builders or free website builders we discussed earlier for your online store, having the ability to accept payments is a must. Compared to other services that help you set up payment methods for your ecommerce website, Square Online ranks well. During our research, we found that Square is an especially strong option for restaurant, retail store, and service provider websites that need to accept payments. 

Here is how Square Online stacks up against other service providers who offer the ability to accept payments through your ecommerce site.

  • Shopify – Best overall value
  • Stax – Best for small business
  • Payment Depot – Best for high-volume sales
  • PayCafe – Best fraud prevention
  • Square Online – Best for restaurants, retail, and services
  • Helcim – Best for lowering fees
  • Payoneer – Best for international fund transfers
  • 2Checkout – Best for international ecommerce
  • PayPal – Best for creating your first online store
  • PaymentCloud – Best for high transaction volume
  • Stripe – Most developer-friendly

Square Online Store Final Verdict

Having an online store is a huge advantage, even for traditional retailers. Without giving your customers an ecommerce option to go with your physical store, you’re going to miss out on sales. Square Online ranks as one of our favorite options for building an ecommerce website and for taking online payments.

Square is one of the most well-known brands for handling ecommerce. With its strong track record of performance and its outstanding set of features, Square is going to continue to be a solid choice for those who want versatility in building ecommerce websites and in taking online payments.

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