Square for Retail is the natural evolution of the popular card reader platform. It’s designed for retailers to easily accept payments in-store as well as on the go. The evolution of the platform includes a growing feature set so that merchants have a single platform through which to operate and optimize their business.
If you’re a prior Square card reader user, you can expect the same ease of use for Square payment processing and beyond. If you’re choosing Square for Retail as your first point of sale (POS) system, it’s a low-risk way to automate previously manual processes like inventory, checkout, and more. And if you’re a retailer moving to Square from another POS platform, you can expect an easy-to-use and more agile, albeit less scalable, point of sale system.
Regardless of what your POS status quo is now, continue reading to learn more about Square for Retail and see if it’s a fit for your needs.
Who is Square for Retail for?
The Square for Retail app is fit for all types of retailers and merchants. It’s particularly a fit for new and smaller businesses, as the fees and lack of advanced capabilities make it difficult to scale.
In-store and traveling and pop-up retailers can all take advantage of the cloud-based Square point of sale and retail solution to process payments and manage their business while on the go. Integrations with online stores, social selling, and other marketplaces make Square for Retail a fit for merchants that cross-sell products online.
Square for Retail’s features
Square for Retail is designed with a plethora of helpful features that automate key capabilities across your website. Core tools include reporting, inventory, customer, and employee management. Pay processing and checkout tools come built-in and integrate with multiple options for Square’s hardware.
Key features empower you to more efficiently receive, track, and manage inventory across multiple locations. Barcode scanning optimizes inventory intake, counting, and checkout processes. Additional features enable you to better manage and track customer information, preferences, and purchase histories. This includes a customer loyalty program to generate frequent, repeat buyers.
That’s just a glimpse at the capabilities Square for Retail provides. Here’s a more detailed rundown on Square’s features.
Square for Retail’s inventory capabilities provide tons of efficiency. Perhaps the utmost time-saver is the barcode scanning capabilities that enable you to quickly scan items to process incoming inventory as well as checkout orders. Square enables you to not just scan barcodes but also print and manage the barcode labels you’re using to stay organized.
Multi-location stock management is another inventory control that enables you to manage and move your inventory across locations in real-time and as needed to maintain supplies. Square inventory features also include automated emails sent when stock levels fall below preset thresholds.
Square builds on its inventory efficiency by making it simple to categorize your inventory as well as easily create and process purchase orders with your vendors. Reporting tools include monitoring critical inventory metrics, including inventory turnover ratio. And vendor management capabilities help you keep track of all contact information to manage reorders.
At its core, Square for Retail is built to process in-store sales. Item lookup, barcode scanning, payment processing, and more are all essential to Square’s in-store sales capabilities. You can feel confident that your purchase orders and inventory updates will be reflected on your system so that you can maximize sales by always knowing what’s on your shelves and in your warehouse.
Square payment tools manage exchanges and accept returns in an easy-to-use process. You can also automatically get a dashboard of details and notes to reference for any past customers. This makes it easier to build lasting relationships with customers by bringing up previous purchases, preferences, and other key customer details whenever they visit your store.
Square’s payment processing capabilities include credit and debit cards, near field communications (NFC) payments like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, gift cards, and more. And Square’s payment security standards comply with all PCI requirements so that your customers’ valuable information is fully encrypted on Square’s servers. Square also enables you to process and track invoices.
Square for Retail unlocks tons of e-commerce capabilities for merchants. It syncs together multiple storefronts, including in-store, online, and even social media marketplaces such as Instagram. Square provides everything you need to create and manage a professional e-commerce website. The built-in block builder empowers anyone to make a great site without needing designers or developers.
You can provide online shoppers with the option to buy online and pick up in-store. You can also offer and manage shipping so that customers can buy online and get items sent directly to them.
Customer relationship management
Square for Retail offers customer management features to help you create, strengthen, and maintain customer relationships over time.
You can train staff to take advantage of the built-in customer profiles to keep track of and take notes on customer purchase histories and preferences. The buyer profile can be tied to their payment card, phone number, or email address so that their profile is automatically pulled up during each sale.
Reporting and analytics
Square for Retail provides preset, easy-to-read sales reporting that breaks down inventory, sales, revenue, customers, and more. All the reporting is available straight from the POS so that you can monitor sales in between sales.
More advanced reporting includes vendor-specific analysis that dives into vendors and the top-selling items that they supply you. Merchants can use this information to look for additional margin through buying in bulk with these vendors. It’s also great for prioritizing vendor relationships.
While all sales are great, not all sales are created equal. Some items have a much higher margin than others, meaning that they bring in more profit for your business. Square offers profit margin and cost of goods sold reporting so that you can see beyond the sales and monitor the true health of your operation.
Employee management tools are critical for scaling your retail store and growing your team. Square for Retail provides everything you need to bring on additional employees, including individual passcodes for each team member, timecard reporting, and more.
Employees are able to use their unique passcodes to log into the POS, keeping it secure and also allowing you to attribute sales and any discrepancies. The passcodes also make it easy for you to track hours.
You can also set unique roles, permissions, and capabilities for each passcode so that every employee can do exactly what you need them to. And built-in labor reporting provides analysis for schedule optimization.
Square for Retail’s ease of use
Square for Retail is all about ease of use. The ability to quickly and easily jump from one critical feature to another is at the core of all Square products, especially Square for Retail.
Inventory automation capabilities put hours back into the days of you and your staff. And employee management tools make it easy to scale up and monitor new employees as well as provide employees with an easy way to complete the tasks they need to complete.
The reporting dashboards make it easy to monitor sales, track profits, and make more informed decisions to best manage your business.
Square for Retail’s pricing
Square for Retail offers a free option, one set monthly subscription option, and a custom, negotiable pricing option for larger businesses.
While the “free” option doesn’t include a monthly subscription, there is a 2.6% plus $0.10 fee per in-store transactions, and a 2.9% plus $0.30 for online transactions. There is custom pricing for fees and a monthly subscription for businesses making over $250,000 annually.
Square for Retail’s support
Square provides a few different support options for onboarding, extended learning, and troubleshooting problems.
You can take advantage of Square’s online knowledgebase for Square for Retail and other products. There you’ll find helpful articles and a community forum for peer-to-peer help.
Square also provides live support via email and phone support. The live support options are available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST Monday through Friday. While a 12-hour window is great, this means that any retailers open later will have to wait until the next day for a resolution on any open issues during the week, and potentially multiple days on the weekend.
Another knock against Square’s support is the lack of a live chat option for quickly troubleshooting issues. This has become common in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) space.
Benefits of Square for Retail
Square for Retail provides an affordable and easy-to-use platform that’s a great stepping stone for a growing business. It’s a great first POS system for merchants looking to automate some components of their business. And it’s robust enough to sustain growing businesses as they scale locations and sales. The ability to create an e-commerce site that’s integrated into your POS system is highly valuable.
There is a lot to like with Square for Retail, but the transaction fees and capabilities will cap certain businesses looking to take the next leap.
Square for Retail is built for growing businesses
Square for Retail is a great option in a crowded retail point of sale space. There’s a ton to like, especially as a small but growing merchant. Square can sustain success and growth. It’s not built for you to become a regional or national retailer, but it can get you close.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-blueprint/square-retail-review/