Square Online Review 2022
In 2021, ecommerce sales totaled over $870.8 billion, accounting for 13% of total retail sales in the US. More than ever before, businesses need to get online to find customers. And there are few better ways to do so than with Square Online—the ecommerce platform from the same company that runs the popular Square POS system and has inventory management built in.
Full Square integration, multichannel sales opportunities, order management, and easy website design make Square Online a great platform to grow your business. Plus, it has a low upfront cost: $0/mo.
With Square Online, you can build your business’s website presence in minutes. The platform is super flexible and one of the best ecommerce solutions on the market. That’s why we love it.
Square Online 2022 Review Table of Contents
Square Online: Plans and Pricing
Square Online offers the most affordable plans and pricing of any ecommerce platform on the market. While the free plan limits some features—like custom domain names, real-time shipping, and product reviews—it is remarkably comprehensive. The range of plans make Square a great choice both for businesses launching a store and businesses looking to expand.
Compare Square Online plans and pricing
Data as of 03/17/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* With annual billing
It’s also impressive what Square includes in each plan: unlimited items, multiple sites, operations management, SEO tools, delivery and curbside pickup, and payment processing. To find that in the base plan without add-ons is unique.
However, the transaction fees for Square Online are higher than the regular Square POS fees: 2.6% + $0.10 for Square POS vs. 2.9% + $0.30 for Square Online. Presumably, linking up with Square POS would reduce your fees, or you could try a different POS integration with lower fees.
Best for launching a store
We love Square Online for building your own ecommerce store. The platform starts you off with a template, and it’s simple and intuitive to design your website from there. But why do we think it’s best for launching a store? Because it includes everything you could want right off the bat.
Compare Square Online vs. competitors
Starting price for ecommerce plan
Credit card payments
Multiple sales channels
|$0.00/mo.||Unlimited (select plans)|
|2.9% + $0.30|
|2.9% + $0.30|
Data as of 03/16/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* With annual billing
The monthly prices for Square Online are noticeably cheaper than its closest ecommerce competitors. The low cost makes it easy for small business owners to invest in launching an online store with Square.
The only place where Square doesn’t stack up against competitors is transaction fees: 2.9% + $0.30 is high, especially when Wix and BigCommerce don’t charge any transaction fees. If that’s a dealbreaker for your business, we recommend checking out other POS ecommerce integrations.
Square Online: Major features
Square Online is part of the SquareUp family, a suite of products that includes everything from POS and inventory management to banking and payroll. That means you can integrate top business platforms into your online store at no extra cost. We like a lot of the Square products and found that they are all easily accessible through the Square Online store dashboard.
The major features of Square Online focus on ecommerce and web design. Let’s dive in.
Square Online is built for ecommerce. (Heads up: Square acquired Weebly to build out its ecommerce platform. Weebly still operates for personal websites.) When you create an account, Square asks what kind of merchant you are so it can help you “sell anywhere.” The platform works for individual businesses, corporations, partnerships, charities, and religious organizations alike.
The platform lets you choose from 10 different business types as you set up your site. If your business type isn’t listed, you can note a new business type and keep going. You also have the option to offer curbside pickup, delivery, and self-serve ordering through Square Online.
Basically, Square Online takes care of everything during the setup process. You just have to add in products, set shipping rates, design your website, and publish. Yes, it really is as easy as that.
Inventory management and POS
With Square’s inventory management, you simply add items to sell (with photos, descriptions, and prices), and then they appear on your website. Square’s POS system is the best in the business, and it natively integrates to your site so you can collect payments online.
Having Square POS and inventory management part of your site takes out the middleman and creates an easy experience for you. Instead of having to connect separate inventory management and POS systems, Square does it all.
With a built-in order tab, Square Online makes it easy for you to keep track of orders and ensure customers receive orders on time. You can mark orders as “In Progress” and update the order status when it is shipped or picked up.
The best part? You can do this from both the Square Dashboard and the Square app, so you can keep track of your orders from wherever you are.
Square Online was developed from Weebly, a great website builder that was acquired by Square in 2018, and takes a lot of the guesswork out of web design. You don’t need to know how to code—instead, Square Online guides you through design sections and helps you add products with a single click.
And if you don’t feel comfortable designing a site on your own, Square offers the option to work with a designer starting at $199. For the most part, though, Square Online is an intuitive platform that offers you control without requiring website design knowledge.
The Square dashboard gives you access to 16 reports that range from sales trends to payment methods. Reports are key to any business that wants to expand and grow because they offer insights into customer interactions and popular products. We really like that Square Online offers these reports and analytics, and in our opinion, this feature elevates the platform from good to great.
Advanced reporting and analytics are only available with the Performance and Premium plans.
Square Online Pros and Cons
Square Online strengths
With Square’s full suite integration, you can guide your customer’s entire shopping journey, from searching for products to checking out online. The suite integration makes it easy for your business to get the site up and running immediately too. Plus, you don’t need to worry about adding in inventory management and POS: Square has those handled.
And if you’re new to building a website, don’t worry—Square’s design features are easy to follow, and Square will guide you through the entire process of building your website. One thing we loved when starting our online store with Square Online was the Setup Guide (see image at left). The guide offers videos and instructions as you’re building your site. We love that Square Online doesn’t just leave it up to you to figure out how to build a website but offers resources upfront.
Building an online store is only the first step in creating an ecommerce business, and Square doesn’t abandon you once your site is online. In fact, Square’s marketing tools include SEO tools in the free plan, along with the ability to sell your products on social media channels. Square Online’s free plan includes all of the marketing tools available to users, including Facebook and Google ads, coupon creation, and Instagram integration. With these tools, you can help your online store attract customers and make sales.
Square Online weaknesses
If you’re just starting out, you want a platform that’s free and easy to use. And while Square is both of those things, you also don’t want a platform that includes Square branding all over your website. To get rid of Square branding and use your own logo, ads, domain name, and fonts, you need to upgrade from the free plan to the Professional plan.
From tracking the number of visitors to your site to following sales trends and product performance, analytics are a key part of running any business. Unfortunately, the Square free plan does not include analytics, and to access full site and ecommerce analytics, you’ll need to subscribe to the Performance plan.
And generally speaking, we all know transaction fees are the worst—especially when they’re more expensive than Square POS on its own and other POS ecommerce integrations. In fact, Square Online has some of the most expensive transaction fees among its competitors too. We really wish Square would lower transaction fees or simply offer a discount for Square POS users, but that doesn’t seem likely any time soon.
You can’t go wrong with Square Online. The ecommerce platform makes it easy to set up an online store and its integration with the full Square suite enables you to organize products and accept payments in no time.
Ideally, Square would have lower transaction fees and wouldn’t require a paid plan to remove Square branding. Still, it has a free plan and that’s a step above most other website builders. So, if your small business is looking to expand and launch an online store, Square Online could be the platform for you.
If you’re still looking for the right ecommerce platform for your business, check out our ranking of the top ecommerce website builders to help make your decision.
Square Online FAQ
Is Square online completely free?
Yes! It’s really completely free. Like all Square plans, it does have a transaction fee. But it’s completely free to build your own Square Online store, launch your website, accept payments, and sell via multiple sales channels.
What is Square Online?
Square Online is the ecommerce brand from Block Inc. (formerly Square, Inc.) that includes Square’s popular POS system. The online platform allows you to build a website and sell products from your business directly to consumers.
How much is Square Online ordering?
Square Online is completely free to use. That means you can sell products, ship products, and accept payments for free. (There is a transaction fee for payments that are completed through the platform.)
Does Square work on websites?
Yes! Square Online can be used to build your own website, and Square point-of-sale can be integrated with most major ecommerce platforms.
For our review of Square Online, we created an online account and tried out the platform ourselves. We also looked at customer reviews and watched videos of people using the platform. To come up with our star ranking, we graded Square Online on its ecommerce platform, organization and UX, integrations, and pricing. A lot of our research and information came from actually trying out the platform and seeing how it worked in practice.
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