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Square Online is an e-commerce platform that lets you create a website, manage a variety of sales channels and take payments online — all without needing technical expertise. Its long list of features makes it able to adapt to a variety of industry-specific needs. For example, restaurants can choose from multiple delivery options, retailers can get real-time shipping quotes and discounted rates, and those in service industries can pair Square Online with Square Appointments to keep track of bookings.
Square Online is a good fit for growing small businesses. You can select a plan that meets your current needs knowing you can seamlessly bolt on additional features in the future. It’s also a great fit for new businesses, as its fully functional free version is among the best free platforms currently available.
Top free features
Online marketplace integrations
Square Online: pricing details and core features
There are four different versions of Square Online. The fee for payment processing is 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for all plans except Premium, which costs 2.6% plus 30 cents per transaction.
Table-specific QR codes allow dine-in guests to order and pay from their own devices.
Customers can place an order to be fulfilled at a future time.
Customers can include a tip.
You can manage multiple locations from one website.
If your menu changes throughout the day, you can set time boundaries for what people can order when.
Square’s on-demand delivery service. This service sources deliverers from multiple services and charges a flat fee per order. Customers order directly from your website.
In-house delivery. If you employ your own food couriers, use Square Online to set your delivery boundaries, gather delivery information and text customers with updates. Customers order directly from your website, and Square charges a flat fee of 50 cents per order.
Integrate directly with delivery services. You can connect your account to Caviar, Postmates or DoorDash, and orders made on those apps will push directly to Square for Restaurants POS.
Integrate indirectly with other delivery services. You can use Chowly to connect to delivery services that Square Online does not support directly, like Ubereats and GrubHub.
You can use coupon codes to encourage sales.
You get access to a real-time shipping calculator.
You can manage inventory for in-person and online sales in one location.
Notable add-on features for all versions
Product photography. Mail in any item and get a professional photo you can use on your site, starting at $9.95. Or use Square’s free product photography app.
Appointments. Square Appointments centralizes scheduling, payments and customer communication. Starts at $0 per month.
Email marketing. This service benefits from integrating with Square’s ecosystem: You can gather customer contact information at checkout, segment your audience and create targeted promotions based on shopping history, and track performance when customers act on an email or text message. Starts at $15 per month.
Loyalty program. Create repeat shoppers by giving them digital punch cards that incentivize repeat visits. Starts at $45 per month.
Gift cards. Create and sell gift cards, starting at 80 cents per card, or sell digital gift cards for free.
Easy to take your business online, especially for Square 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 to use the platform, 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.
Competitive, transparent pricing
While some competitors offer free trials, Square has a fully functional version that’s free indefinitely. If you opt for a paid version, what you’ll pay is easy to understand — and you don’t need to commit to a long-term contract.
The combination of Square’s simple pricing and its a la carte options, like its loyalty program, helps you nimbly scale up and down as your business changes. You can start using a specific feature (or cancel) as necessary. Many of these add-on features come with their own tiered pricing system, which means you can test them out without a big upfront commitment.
Limited third-party marketplaces
With Square online, you can sell through a variety of channels, like Instagram. However, there are some notable absences, 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.
BigCommerce or Shopify:
If you have a big omnichannel presence.
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, and it also integrates with Square's POS, which is helpful if you're already a Square user. If you're a digital-first business with some in-person needs and are looking for an all-in-one product, Shopify could be a good option because, like Square, it has its own POS system.
Squarespace or GoDaddy:
If your needs are more about sharing than selling.
If you want a website that is primarily for showcasing your work, consider Squarespace or GoDaddy. With GoDaddy, you can get your own domain name for less, while Squarespace has an impressive template library for needs that aren’t as payment-centric.