Square Online Review 2023: Pros, Cons and Alternatives

Square Online is an easy-to-use e-commerce platform available to Square POS users. A free version is available.
Rosalie Murphy
Kurt Woock
By Kurt Woock and  Rosalie Murphy 
Edited by Ryan Lane

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Square Online is an e-commerce website builder that lets you create a website, manage a variety of sales channels and take payments online, with most features available for free. It’s a good choice for businesses that sell in person as well as online, since it integrates with Square POS and you can manage all your orders in one dashboard.

Beyond that, Square Online is adaptable to a variety of industry-specific needs. For example, service providers can pair Square Online with Square Appointments to keep track of bookings. But it lacks the advanced shipping and inventory management features that high-volume e-commerce sellers might need.

Here’s what you need to know about Square Online.



Shopify Ecommerce

Monthly Fee 


Basic Plan. Shopify & Advanced Plans Available. 

Deciding factors

Monthly fee when billed annually

  • $0 for Square POS, Restaurant, Retail and Appointments Free plans.

  • $29 for Square Appointments Plus plan.

  • $60 for Square Restaurant Plus plan.

  • $69 for Square Appointments Premium plan.

  • $89 for Square Retail Plus plan.

  • $192 and up for Square Restaurant Essentials Bundle.

  • Custom pricing for Square Retail Premium plan.

Payment processing

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.

  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.

  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions.

  • 3.3% plus 30 cents for invoices.

Top free features

  • Unlimited product listings.

  • See orders from all stores and locations, including online sales.

  • Sell on Instagram and Facebook.

  • Offer coupons.

Online marketplace integrations

  • Facebook stores.

  • Google product listing.

  • Instagram shoppable links.

Square Online’s key features

Square Online is a great choice for brick-and-mortar businesses — including retailers and restaurants — that want to set up a lightweight website with lots of inventory management features for free.

Unlimited product listings

Square Online is one of few free e-commerce website builders that lets users list unlimited products. Each listing can include multiple variations, like sizes and colors and modifiers, like a custom monogram. You can use photos, GIFs and 360-degree spinning images to show off your products.

On top of that, you can create coupons and even list hidden items, which are password protected and only available to shoppers with that exclusive code.

Inventory management

As a Square Online user, you can manage inventory for both your in-person and online sales in one shared dashboard. There, you can set up low stock alerts, mark items as sold out and schedule automatic restocks.

In-store pickup and delivery options

With in-store and curbside pickup, your customers can place orders online and then stop by to pick them up later — which could help you eliminate the hassle of packing and shipping orders for delivery, and potentially drive additional sales when customers visit your store.

If you choose to offer in-house delivery, you can limit it by radius or ZIP code. You can also display an estimated delivery time, offer no-contact deliveries and tack on extra fees. Or, you can rely on a third-party delivery service like DoorDash to get orders to customers’ doors — though you’ll have to pay $1.50 per order or pass that fee onto your customers.

Square Online features by plan

There are three different plans for Square Online. In addition to any monthly fee, you’ll pay 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction to cover payment processing. If you opt for the Premium plan, those payment processing fees drop to 2.6% plus 30 cents per transaction.

Square free: Best for a website on a budget

Square’s free plan offers an easy way for brick-and-mortar businesses to get online quickly.

Price: No monthly fee.


  • List unlimited products.

  • Offer pickup, delivery and shipping options.

  • Access tools that can improve your website’s search results.

  • Sell on Facebook and Instagram.

  • Manage orders from multiple business locations.

  • Calculate taxes automatically.

  • Print shipping labels.

  • Accept payments with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Cash App using Square.

Square Plus: Best for starting to drive online sales

If you’re hoping to turn online sales into a meaningful revenue stream, you might benefit from Square Plus’s extra features — like abandoned cart recovery, gift purchases and product reviews.

Price: $29 per month when billed annually.


  • Free domain name for one year.

  • No Square ads on your website.

  • Customers can create accounts.

  • Abandoned cart recovery.

  • Send text alerts to customers with order updates.

  • QR code ordering.

  • Allow customers to make purchases as gifts.

  • Request product reviews from customers.

Square Premium: Best for businesses with more than $16,000 in monthly online sales

Square Premium comes with lower payment processing fees — but you’ll need to be generating close to $17,000 per month in online sales for it to pay off.

Price: $79 per month when billed annually.


  • Reduced processing fee for online payments: 2.6% plus 30 cents per transaction — a better deal than the Plus plan if you process more than $16,667 per month in online sales.

  • Real-time shipping information.

Square Online pros

Easy to take your business online, especially for Square POS users

Square Online’s easy-to-customize templates make it accessible to users without technical or design skills. While you don’t need to use Square POS or make in-person sales to use Square Online, those who do will find it even easier to get up and running: Inventory, customer data, loyalty programs and other Square features you already use automatically feed into Square Online.

Free version with lots of features

While some competitors offer free trials, Square has a fully functional version that’s free indefinitely. Its sophisticated inventory management tools and unlimited, customizable product listings should be sufficient for many small businesses — though you can upgrade for additional functionality like QR code ordering and abandoned cart recovery.

You can build your own software package

In addition to Square Online, the Square product suite includes software for invoicing, appointment scheduling, customer loyalty programs and more. Most of these include their own pricing plans. As a small business, paying for only the software you need can help you keep track of which investments are paying off and help you save money.

Square Online cons

Limited integrations with third-party marketplaces

With Square Online, you can sell through some social media channels, like Instagram and Facebook. However, some major e-commerce marketplaces are notably absent, including Amazon, Walmart and eBay. You can still sell at those outlets; you’ll just need to manage those channels independently or use another e-commerce service, like BigCommerce.

Few features for B2B or high-volume sellers

Although Square Online users can list unlimited products, it’s not really a B2B e-commerce platform. For instance, you can’t offer custom pricing — unless you send each customer their own invoice using Square Invoices — or accept payment methods other than cards and ACH transfers.

No option to choose your own payment processor

With Square Online’s free plan, you’ll have to use Square for payment processing. With the Plus and Premium plans, you have the option to choose PayPal. Both options are among NerdWallet’s picks for the best payment processing companies — but you won’t be able to shop around for lower rates.

Alternatives to Square Online

BigCommerce: Better for omnichannel sales

If your business has a presence on third-party marketplaces not directly supported by Square, like Amazon and eBay, you should look into e-commerce services that let you manage the platforms you need from a single location.

BigCommerce works with a long list of online marketplaces. It also integrates with Square's POS, which is helpful if you're already a Square user. Read NerdWallet’s review of BigCommerce.

Shopify: Better for businesses without brick-and-mortar locations

Shopify is a powerful online store builder designed for e-commerce businesses. Like Square, it offers unlimited product listings and an order dashboard — but Shopify’s shipping features are much more powerful. You can print shipping labels within Shopify instead of turning to a third-party app like Square requires. Sellers also get access to discounted shipping rates and insurance coverage. And when you ship through Shopify, the tracking number will automatically be added to your order dashboard; with Square, you have to add it yourself.

There’s no free version of Shopify, but small sellers may want to experiment with Shopify Starter, which only costs $5 per month. Read NerdWallet’s review of Shopify.

Shift4Shop: Better for wholesale or B2B companies

Shift4Shop is an e-commerce website builder well-suited to wholesalers. Shift4Shop users can take payments by check, money order, purchase orders and other methods, in addition to credit and debit card payments. You can also offer different wholesale pricing tiers and customer-specific price lists. And customers can create their own accounts, which they can use to place reorders or save items for later.

Plus, Shift4Shop is free for businesses that process more than $500 per month in payments using its built-in payment processor, Shift4. Read NerdWallet’s review of Shift4Shop.

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