Our rating(4/5)
Square Online Store is free on the basic plan. Simple card rate and integrates with in-store payments.
Square Online Store is powered by Weebly, but managed in one account alongside your other Square sales channels. The service is very user-friendly and transparent, in style of the typical simplicity of other Square services.
  • Highs: Free plan available. No contract. Simple transaction fee. Integrates with in-person payments.
  • Lows: Only weekday customer support. Limitations on free plan encourages upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Best for: Square users who want an easy way to build an online store, possibly integrated with POS sales.

What is Square Online Store?

The latest service by Square (or Squareup, as some like to call them) is an ecommerce platform called Square Online Store. You can either use it on its own or in conjunction with Square Reader, Square Invoices app and/or Square Point of Sale.

Through your Square Dashboard in a web browser, you access the platform, which is actually run by Weebly. You do not need to create a separate Weebly account, because Square Payments (the card processing system) is automatically connected with the website builder so you can start setting up a web store straight away.

Your website will be able to accept payments by Visa, V Pay, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express, with the option to activate Apple Pay and PayPal.

Accepted payments

VisaVisa ElectronV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressApple PayPayPal

Products can be added to your store from the Square POS system, or you can manually add items to sell online. There are plenty of really user-friendly features for customising the website.

The service is ideal for a variety businesses such as retail shops that ship products, professional services with an appointments or booking system, and food stores offering takeaway or pickup options.

Pricing and payouts

Square really wants to make pricing simple and transparent, so there is no contractual commitment on any of their services, and you pay a fixed-rate transaction fee per online payment regardless of what debit or credit card is used.

You can create an account and not pay a penny, and still set up an online store on the Free plan, in which case, you only pay a 2.5% rate per transaction.

Of course, it is limited what features you get on the Free plan, so there’s a choice of three paid plans: Professional, Performance and Premium. They are all slightly cheaper if you pay for 12 months upfront, in which case you cannot claim a refund if you decide to stop using the Online Store during that year. Otherwise, it works out as £3-£6 more per month if you pay monthly.

ItemCharges
Free plan£0/mo
Professional plan£9/mo annual billing
£12/mo monthly billing
Performance plan£19/mo annual billing
£22/mo monthly billing
Premium plan£54/mo annual billing
£60/mo monthly billing
Card fee (Free, Professional, Performance)2.5% (any card)
Card fee (Premium)2.25% (any card)
PayPal feeVaries
Instant Deposit (optional)1% added to card fee
RefundsFree
ChargebacksFree (conditions apply)
ItemCharges
Free plan£0/mo
Professional plan£9/mo annual billing
£12/mo monthly billing
Performance plan£19/mo annual billing
£22/mo monthly billing
Premium plan£54/mo annual billing
£60/mo monthly billing
Card fee (Free, Professional, Performance)2.5% (any card)
Card fee (Premium)2.25% (any card)
PayPal feeVaries
Instant Deposit (optional)1% added to card fee
RefundsFree
ChargebacksFree (conditions apply)

The card fee is the same on the Free, Professional and Performance plans: 2.5%. On the Premium plan, you get a lower transaction fee: 2.25% per online payment. If you enable PayPal transactions, those payments will be charged through PayPal, not Square (note that PayPal fees are more complicated and often higher).

All transactions are settled directly in your bank account within 1-2 working days. If you want to receive payments within 2 hours, you can switch on Instant Deposits for an extra 1% on top of the card fee.

Refunds are free to process, but they take 9-14 working days to reach your customer’s account, and you must have the full amount in the “Square balance” (money currently being processed to your bank account) to avoid further delays.

Chargebacks are also free, and that even covers support to help you deal with customer disputes in the event of a chargeback.

Features

Some features are available on all plans including the free one. This includes:

Products with product options: You can fill your online store with an unlimited number of products, whether imported from your in-store selection in your Square POS system or created specifically for website visitors. Just beware that the free plan only provides storage for up to 500 MB, which will limit how many images you can upload.

Image: Mobile Transaction

This is only a snapshot of editing options for products.

You can add variants of products, organise categories, make items visible or invisible, and use other inventory management functions.

Image library: A cool library of free images provided by Unsplash is integrated in the web editor. Anyone who’s tried creating a professional website will know how hard it can be to find quality photos to align with branding – this makes it so much easier.

Shopping cart function: Any multi-product online store needs a shopping cart so visitors can keep browsing after adding an item – and go to the checkout to pay when ready. Square knows this is important, so it is included on all plans.

In-store pickup option: Enable the pickup option if you want to give customers the chance to reserve an item or food order, then come and collect it from you. This is a quite valuable for takeaways and other services.

Coupon codes: Coupon codes (e.g. a top banner with the message “enter STUDENT10 at checkout for 10% student discount”) are great for encouraging impulse purchases while the customer is browsing the website.

Gift cards: This is not a given in all free payment systems, but Square offers gift cards as standard for all merchants to sell and accept.

Image: Mobile Transaction

Square Online Store image search

Add images directly from the image search accessed from the website editor.

Contact forms: All reputable websites are contactable in some way or another, and Square Store enables this via contact forms. It is also possible to display a form to enable customers to be added to a mailing list.

SEO options: Add keywords to images, meta titles and meta descriptions to products, among other things. Just because it’s a free ecommerce builder doesn’t mean you can’t compete on Google.

Instagram integration: Let’s face it – you can’t avoid social media if you sell online! To integrate with other social media, including adding a Messenger chat on the website, you need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Apart from this, there are some considerable differences between Free, Professional and Performance that can really make it worthwhile upgrading to a paid plan:

FeatureFreeProfessionalPerformance
StorageUp to 500 MBUnlimitedUnlimited
Custom domain
Remove Square ads
Search field
Site statistics
Advanced statistics
Third-party integrations
Add custom code
Accept PayPal
Product badges
Product reviews
Shipping calculator
Abandoned cart emails
Pop-up notifications
Facebook ads
Feat-
ure
FreeProfes-
sional
Perfor-
mance
StorageUp to 500 MBUnlimitedUnlimited
Custom domain
Remove Square ads
Search field
Site statistics
Advanced statistics
Third-party integrations
Add custom code
Accept PayPal
Product badges
Product reviews
Shipping calculator
Abandoned cart emails
Pop-up notifications
Facebook ads

The only difference between the Performance and Premium plans is the 0.25% drop in transaction fee: instead of paying 2.5% on Free, Professional and Performance, Premium users pay just 2.25% per successful payment via the online store. Needless to say, the extra monthly cost of Premium is only valuable if your card turnover justifies it.

Image: Square

Square Online Store website examples

Square Online Store examples.

Website templates

The first time you start a Square Store design, it asks you to choose a website template. Pick carefully, because once you’ve proceeded with one, you can’t really go back and switch to another one. This is not necessarily a problem, as Square Store allows you to change every section of the web page from the editor mode.

Image: Mobile Transaction

Square Store design templates

Square Online Store design templates during the initial setup process.

The editor is very intuitive, with a simple side menu for navigation between parts of the page. In the top lefthand corner, there’s a dropdown for switching between pages.

A lot of things can be customised, such as button style, banner design, text layout and colour schemes. This is all good for someone with limited confidence in creating a website, but more advanced web designers and seasoned ecommerce businesses would probably find the options limited.

Need to connect a complex POS system with online store? Consider Vend with Shopify

Domain and hosting through Square Online Store

With any website, there’s a cost associated with hosting the domain (i.e. securely storing the website on a server) and domain ownership (your URL). Typically, hosting costs a monthly fee and domains are paid for annually.

With Square, you can get away with free hosting and a free domain if you are happy with a URL in a https://business-name.square.site format. All the plans include free SSL security (the padlock you see to the left of a URL in your browser).

If you want to grow online, however, it is best to have a domain that only contains your own brand, i.e. excludes the “square.site” part in the URL.

Image: Mobile Transaction

Square Store domain options

Square hosts the website for free if you’re happy with a URL containing “square”.

Shoppers can be skeptical to online stores that look like they might not be successful, a giveaway being a web address with “square.site” at the end (tech-savvy consumers know that this means a free domain).

You can connect an existing URL you own or purchase a new domain through the Square Store when you set up the website. This is all very user-friendly, so you don’t need to be an expert to make this work.

On the Free plan, Square can host up to a maximum of 500 MB of your website. With more than a few images, you can struggle with this limitation, so it is likely you are forced to upgrade to Professional for the unlimited storage.

Furthermore, on all the paid plans, you can remove Square ads that would be visible in the footer on the Free plan.

Image: Mobile Transaction

The Square logo and “Create a free online store” text is always visible in the footer on the Free plan.

Integrations

If you don’t want to be bound by Square’s ecommerce features, fret not: you can integrate Square Payments with other ecommerce platforms like GoDaddy, Wix and WooCommerce. This may require a technical setup via APIs, so sticking to Square Store is still the easiest option.

Apart from ecommerce platforms, there’s a wide range of partner tools available through the Square account (although you may need to upgrade to a paid plan to allow these integrations). For instance, connect to booking and scheduling systems, point of sale systems (e.g. Vend, TouchBistro, and of course Square POS) and accounting tools like Xero and Zoho Books. Whatever business tool you need will probably be covered.

Image: Square

Square Online Store product analytics

Example of product on website built with Square Online Store, with analytics dashboard in background.

Customer service

Square generally gets a lot of good customer reviews for its UK service, but there are also some reports on account holds for transactions considered suspect (this is a security measure common among payment providers). Overall, the service is rated noticeably higher than several other competitors like Squarespace and Shopify. As of yet, customer reviews of Square Online Store specifically are still few in the UK, since it is still new.

If you need to speak to Square, the phone support is available between 9am and 5pm on weekdays only. Since the system is so user-friendly, and there is a comprehensive online help section to answer queries, it should be unlikely you need to contact Square about using the online store. You can email them any time, but expect to only get a reply during work hours.

Looking for an easy POS-ecommerce integration? iZettle E-commerce is similar to Square Online Store

Our verdict

Overall, Square Online Store is a great choice for merchants new to selling online, and just generally don’t feel confident about setting up a web store by themselves. If you already sell with Square, it’s easy to import in-store products to your online shopfront, so that can save you tons of time.

Feature-wise, you get quite a lot on the free plan, but we recommend upgrading to at least the Professional plan to get enough storage for product images, use a more reputable domain and get site statistics to improve your online sales. If you’re not quite there yet, the free Online Store is an excellent, super-simple way to create a stylish website able to sell your products online in no time.

Name of Reviewed Item: Square Online Store UK Rating Value: 4 Image: https://www.mobiletransaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/square-online-store-website-examples.jpg Review Author:Review Date: