Ecwid Launches Square Payments and POS in Australia

Ecwid Launches Square Payments and POS in Australia

Omnichannel retailing — which basically means enabling your customers to shop seamlessly across physical and digital channels — isn’t just a buzzword or trend. It’s the norm. Consumers expect brands and retailers to be there for them no matter where or how they’re shopping.

This is especially true in Australia, which ranks third for omnichannel penetration worldwide. According to the PwC Global Omnichannel Retail Index, Australia “is one of the world’s e-commerce ‘powerhouses’ and is in the top three nations for omnichannel retailing.”

What does this mean for you? You need to have an omnichannel strategy and be able to serve customers both online and in person.

Fortunately, Ecwid and Square are making it really easy for you to achieve that. We’re excited to announce that this integration with Square is now available in Australia! This partnership between Ecwid and Square allows you to sell offline, on your website, as well as on social networks and online marketplaces without going through the hassle of managing different solutions.

Why integrate Ecwid and Square?

Integrating Ecwid and Square will enable you to unlock some great capabilities including:

Going omnichannel

Between Ecwid and Square, all your sales channels are covered. Square’s Payments, POS and mPOS lets you set up shop anywhere, so whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or you’re running a pop-up shop or booth, you can serve shoppers and take payments easily. You can also use Ecwid to sell on social sites such as Facebook, on mobile, as well as on marketplaces such as eBay and Google Shopping.

Ecwid is Square’s only true omnichannel e-commerce solution provider, with seamless onboarding, order and inventory sync, and catalog sync-on-demand!

Sync orders and products in real-time

We make managing multiple storefronts simple with real-time sync. Ecwid and Square automatically update your inventory and order data across online and offline channels, thus streamlining store management and preventing issues like double-entry and inventory discrepancies.

If someone orders an item online, you’ll know immediately, so you can remove it from your physical shelf offline.

And the best part? Setting up the integration is quick and easy. You can connect Square and Ecwid with just a few clicks and we’ll guide you every step of the way.

Bottom line is, the Ecwid and Square integration gives you the tools you need to run a thriving business both online and offline. Together, our solutions can help you serve customers better, improve your operations, and offer valuable insights into your business and customers.

But don’t take our word for it. Just look at what Ryan Johnson, founder of FC Cincinnati has to say about Ecwid and Square:

“I found Ecwid while searching for online store plugins with real-time inventory management and user-friendly back-end organization and reporting,” says Johnson. “The synchronization between Square and Ecwid has been fantastic.”

FC Cincinnati, which has a brick and mortar store and website, doesn’t just use Ecwid and Square to stay on top of the stock control, they also utilize inventory reports to get to know their customers better.

“I can also say that knowing your numbers is key,” he adds. ”From your inventory to the bottom line, [it’s good to] always know where your business stands. Ecwid and Square inventory and reporting are perfect for both customer research and marketing as well reporting.”

Ready to get started? Here’s how

If you have an Ecwid account, click here to connect Ecwid and Square.

If you don’t have an Ecwid account, click here to create an account and join more than 1 million users in 175 countries on Ecwid.

Alternatively, if you’re already using Square, simply log in to your Square account, find “Apps” and look for Ecwid’s listing in the e-commerce section. Click “Get Started” and you’ll be on your way to setting up your store.

Ecwid + Square = omnichannel success

Aussie sellers, we hope you’re as psyched as we are about this integration. Both Ecwid and Square are doing wonders for sellers all over the world — just imagine what you can achieve when you have these two great solutions powering your business.

So whether you’re just starting out or thinking of expanding to other channels, be sure to check out what Ecwid and Square can do for you. You won’t be disappointed!

About the author
Erik is Head of Product Marketing at Ecwid. He has spent over 20 years in e-commerce, SaaS, mobile, messaging, analytics and media. His experience ranges from startup founder to public Fortune 500 executive, including 9 years at Yahoo.

Square launches its Square Stand payments system in the UK

Square, the payments company founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, is aggressively expanding in the UK. Today, it announced the British launch of the Square Stand, which turns an iPad into a full point-of-sale (POS) system.

The Square Stand lets vendors process card payments, track sales, and manage inventory. Square launched the device in the US in 2013, where it has undergone several iterations and improvements.

As is the case stateside, the company expects it to be popular with smaller vendors who otherwise wouldn’t possess the equipment to take card transactions.

In a press release, Jesse Dorogusker, Hardware Lead for Square, said: “Square Stand was built to provide sellers with a unique and beautiful solution that makes taking in-person payments simple, elegant, and fast.”

“Sellers in the UK have been asking for a full countertop solution for their businesses since we first introduced Square,” he added. 

You can’t fault Square’s timing. Last week, arch-rival Paypal acquired Sweden’s iZettle for an astonishing $2.2 billion, giving them a significant leg-up in the European card payment market.

Although Square’s hardware is genuinely gorgeous, it’s hard to compete with a company boasting the first-mover advantage. Especially, I add, if the company is backed by a behemoth like PayPal.

If Square is to make any significant traction, it’ll have to make decisive, aggressive moves.

The Square Stand is available from today from the Square Shop. Right now, the company is offering it for the introductory price of £64 (plus VAT). It’s not clear how much it’ll cost further down the road, however.

Read next: Dear Elon Musk: Stop spreading fake news

Money

Square Stand POS solution launches for UK SME retailers

Square, already well known for their contactless and Chip and PIN payment Square Reader, have today launched their Square Stand in the UK. The Square Stand is an out-of-the-box solution to turn an iPad into a fully integrated POS system, allowing businesses to accept payments and run their business operations right from their countertop.

Aimed at small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, Square Stand is stylishly designed and simple to use. It connects with the Square Reader to allow businesses to accept card payments and run their entire operation from one device.

The Square Stand is a fantastically well designed bit of kit and is especially aesthetically pleasing. It’s very Applesque in design and wouldn’t look out of place in any retail outlet no matter how high end – You can forget boring grey or black that payment terminals often come in, the Apple Stand is brilliant white and is almost a piece of art in itself.

Functionally, the Square Stand is a well thought out piece of kit. Using the Square Point Of Sale app, the retailer can either key in the total to pay or select from products previously programmed in. The entire device can then be swivelled 180 degrees so that the iPad becomes customer facing to confirm the total for contactless payments or for the customer to enter their PIN number. As screen is that of the iPad, the display is brilliantly lit, it’s large enough for customers to use without those with failing eyesight needed to dig for their spectacles and is clearer and larger than just about any conventional point of sale display.

There’s a surprisingly hefty holder for the Square Reader – it’s weighty so it won’t slip off the counter but when looking at it it’s not oversized and again wouldn’t look out of place in any retail environment.

To make options easy to connect, everything is linked through a USB hub so add a cash drawer and any SME could set up their own POS system without needing technical assistance – it’s practically plug and play once you’ve downloaded and set up the Square Point of Sale app.

“Square Stand was built to provide sellers with a unique and beautiful solution that makes taking in-person payments simple, elegant, and fast. Sellers in the UK have been asking for a full countertop solution for their businesses since we first introduced Square.

Investing in the UK is priority for Square, and bringing Stand here is a great way to expand our global support for local businesses.”
– Jesse Dorogusker, Hardware Lead for Square

If you’d like to see the Square Stand in action, head to All Points East this coming weekend – a brand new music festival taking place in London’s Victoria Park. Thousands of music fans will be able to to pay by card or phone at the event, with Square devices appearing on food, drink and merchandise stalls across the festival.

Of course one of Square’s selling points has always been it’s portability and you can unclip the Square Reader and take it with you using the Square Point of Sale app on your smartphone for outside events.

Square Stand is available to purchase online today at the Square shop for a special introductory price of £64 +VAT from .

Square fees are very simply – no monthly fees or commitments. 1.75% for Chip and PIN or contactless payments. 2.5% for manually typed in card transactions. Free Square Point of Sale software.

Urbana woman accused of stealing from her Walmart cash drawer

Photo by: Champaign County Jail

Chasity McGee, 40, of Urbana, charged Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, with theft over $10,000.

URBANA — An Urbana woman who allegedly stole thousands of dollars from her employer over the last couple of months has been charged with theft.

Chasity McGee, 40, who listed an address on Carriage Place in Urbana, was charged Friday with theft over $10,000, a Class 2 felony.

A Champaign police report said that on Thursday, a loss-prevention officer at Walmart, 2610 N. Prospect Ave., C, reported to police that he began investigating McGee in August over shortages in a cash drawer that occurred when she was working.

A review of surveillance videos showed McGee, while in the process of carrying register drawers to the cash office, placing her hand over the section with the large bills, balling it up and allegedly putting bills in her pocket prior to reaching the cash office.

The report said McGee allegedly did this more than 11 times since mid-August.

A specific amount that she is alleged to have stolen between Aug. 17 and Wednesday was not given.

Judge John Kennedy allowed McGee to remain free on her own recognizance. He told her to be back in court Oct. 24 for a probable-cause hearing.

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Square payments gamble with Bitcoin deemed too risky

Square payments gamble with Bitcoin deemed too risky

The Square payments company has taken a hit to its stock price on Monday after an analyst criticised its foray into Bitcoin trading as too risky in a note to investors.

Mark Palmer of BTIG said: “We believe Square’s valuation already reflects emphatic and unimpeded growth while failing to factor in competitive, credit-related and macro risks that did not go away when some investors suddenly viewed its shares as a play on a trendy cryptocurrency. We believe Bitcoin could provide a marginal contribution to Square’s revenues if the trial succeeds, it becomes a permanent feature for all Square Cash users, and the company starts to charge a fee for trades. It is not optimal from a risk standpoint for Square to have its fortunes tied to those of a cryptocurrency that has frequently displayed extreme volatility.” He changed his rating of Square to a Sell.

The news comes on the back of a surge in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in the past week, taking its valuation to close to $10k per unit. But there is concern that it is too volatile and overpriced.

There has been some speculation that PayPal would be making forays into Bitcoin as a payment method but it seems possible that this change may delay such moves.

The Best eCommerce Integrations That Work With Square Payments

The Best eCommerce Integrations That Work With Square Payments

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Square has built an entire brand around making credit card payment processing accessible to anyone. And lately, it’s been focusing on growing that brand to encompass a full suite of merchant services — including a free online store that seems to get better and better.

We previously took an in-depth look at Square’s Online Store and the features it offers. The store is basic in that there are no fancy advanced features, like the ability to suggest related products and host customer reviews on the page. It has everything you need for selling (the ability to generate coupons, support for gift card transactions, inventory tracking), but not much else. However, I do believe there are two larger failings that could trouble some merchants:

1. You have very little control over how the store looks—it’s essentially a plug-and-play design. You don’t even have control over the colors or fonts used. Square lets you upload your product images, your logo, and other basic information, but that’s it.

2. Your options for shipping are free or flat-rate, with an add-on fee for items. That will work for some merchants, but not all. It would be nice to be able to set multiple shipping methods and calculate shipping according to weight or other factors.

But again, the online store is completely free. You pay only the processing fees (which you’ll pay with any eCommerce setup) and the cost of whatever domain name you want (you can also use an existing domain).

If Square’s free online store isn’t for you, but you still want to process your online payments through Square, you still have other choices. Here are five options that Square lists in its app marketplace:

  1. BigCommerce
  2. Ecwid
  3. Weebly
  4. WooCommerce
  5. Square eCommerce API

Each of these options will let you use Square as your gateway and payment processor on a website that isn’t hosted by Square. However, they all work a bit differently, and they come at a higher cost. Let’s take a look at five alternatives to Square Online Store and see how they stack up against one another.

1. BigCommerce

BigCommerce (see our review) is a hugely popular online shopping cart with a full suite of robust features and plenty of integrations available.

BigCommerce’s pricing model works a bit differently than most SaaS options. Rather than paying a premium for a set of features or a number of products you can host in your store, you pay a monthly rate based on your annual sales volume. Here are those monthly rates:

  • Standard: $29.95/month
    • For merchants with $50K or less in annual sales
  • Plus: $79.95/month
    • For merchants with up to $150K in annual sales
  • Pro: Starting at $249.95/month
    • For merchants with up to $400K in annual sales. Price increases $150/month for every additional $200K in sales up to $1M
  • Enterprise
    • Custom tailored solution for high-volume needs. Pricing is negotiable.

If at the end of the year you find you’ve exceeded your plan’s limits, you’ll automatically be upgraded to the new plan. That could upset some merchants who perhaps weren’t expecting to do so well. I recommend keeping an eye on your sales and see how close you’re coming to the upper limit of your plan.

BigCommerce’s integration with Square is seamless. You can use Square simply to process your payments, or you can choose to use Square for more features. For example, you can sync inventory between your BigCommerce store and Square and use the free Square Register POS app to sell in person. Other key features include:

  • Unlimited Products, Storage, & Bandwidth: BigCommerce does not place limits on how much you can store and sell.
  • Sell On Facebook & Pinterest: Use buyable pins on Pinterest and set up a Facebook store.
  • Marketplace Integrations: BigCommerce offers integrations with popular marketplaces. These include eBay, Google, and Amazon. You can use apps to sell on Etsy, Rakuten, and Jet.
  • Support For Coupons, Discounts & Gift Certificates: Boost your marketing with discount codes and coupons for your customers.
  • Product Variants: List products in multiple colors, sizes, and price points.
  • Technical Support: BigCommerce offers email, chat, and phone support on all plans.
  • Multiple Shipping Options: You can set up shipping zones (useful if you do international orders) and set multiple shipping options in each region. You can also set up an integration with your favorite shipping carriers to get real-time quotes.
  • Responsive Store Designs: Choose from over 100 responsive themes.
  • Powerful Customization Options: The theme editor will allow you to make changes to color palette and fonts. You can also make changes using CSS, giving you more advanced control.

If you’re okay with BigCommerce’s pricing model (for smaller merchants this really shouldn’t be an issue), this is a good option. BigCommerce is full-featured, boasting all the tools that Square’s online store offers and much more.

Want to know more? Check out our full review of BigCommerce for an in-depth look.

2. Ecwid

Ecwid’s name may be a bit perplexing, but it is an abbreviation of “eCommerce widgets,” which explains a bit of what Ecwid (see our review) does. Ecwid is not like most shopping cart software in that it was not originally intended to include a website building software. Rather, Ecwid was designed as an extension that added a shopping cart to a pre-built website. And while Ecwid now offers a basic website builder, it is still best used as a shopping cart widget for already existing sites.

There are multiple pricing options available based on the number of products you want to sell. Each step up in pricing includes access to more features. Here’s a brief look at that pricing model:

  • Free: $0/month
    • 10 Products
  • Venture: $15/month
    • 100 Products
  • Business: $35/month
    • 2,500 Products
  • Unlimited: $99/month
    • Unlimited Products

Square is pretty easy to link with Ecwid. You can do it from within the Square Dashboard or from within your Ecwid account. You can use Square to process online payments, and you can choose to use Square Register to sell in person. You’ll get automatic inventory syncing between the two. However, there’s just one small catch.

To use the Square Register POS seamlessly, you need to have the Unlimited plan. That’s $100 a month just so you can use the inventory sync when you sell online and in person. That’s a big step up from the $35/month for 2,500 products (which is certainly enough for most small to mid-size businesses).

But enough about that. Let’s take a look at other features:

  • Free Facebook Store: Available with any paid plan. Ecwid will even let you check out in Facebook so your customers never have to leave the site. Everything still syncs automatically.
  • Marketplace Tools: If you have the Business or Unlimited plan you also get tools to help you sell on marketplaces as well as your own site.
  • Create Discounts & Coupons: Available on all paid plans.
  • Product Variants: Manage product options like sizes, colors, and prices.
  • Shipping Methods: You can set up shipping regions, add flat-rate or free shipping, or price shipping according to item weight, parcel size or purchase amount.Integrate with popular shipping carriers for real-time shipping rates.
  • Tiered Support: It’s not clear what kind of support you’ll get from Ecwid with the free plan. But you can only get chat support with the Venture plan or higher. Phone support is available with Business and Unlimited plans. If you want priority support, you’ll get it with the Unlimited plan.

Check out our full Ecwid review for a detailed breakdown of the features, advantages, and disadvantages.

3. Weebly

Note: Weebly has recently been acquired by Square. Square is currently running a promotion to celebrate the partnership. Get free processing on up to $1,000 in credit card transactions during your first 90 days with the integration. You’ll also receive 20% off your order when you sign up for Weebly.

Weebly (see our review) isn’t just shopping cart software—it’s more of a full-fledged website builder that also happens to have eCommerce support. Weebly lets you do a lot with its product.

There are four plans available:

  • Starter: $8/month
    • 10 Products
    • 3% Transaction Fee
  • Pro: $12/month
    • 25 Products
    • 3% Transaction Fee
  • Business: $25/month
    • Unlimited Products
    • 0% Transaction Fee
  • Performance: $38/month
    • Unlimited Products
    • 0% Transaction Fee

Weebly website builder also offers a free plan. That free plan doesn’t support eCommerce at all, so we won’t be discussing that option.

There are other catches to be aware of—namely, if you choose the Starter or Pro plans, you’ll be paying a 3% transaction fee on each purchase, and your checkout page won’t be hosted on your own domain. It’ll redirect to checkout.weebly.com instead.

That 3% transaction fee is definitely annoying. While it isn’t unheard of for an eCommerce platform to charge transaction fees, it is uncommon. Keep in mind that if you spring for the $25/month or $38/month plans, you won’t have to pay these fees.

I was curious as to what the break-even point was for the $8 and $12 monthly plans (the point at which sales justify the higher-priced plan), so here are the calculations:

  • If you have more than $567 in monthly sales, the Business plan will cost less than the Starter plan.
  • If you have more than $433 in monthly sales, the Business plan will cost less than the Pro plan.

With an average transaction size of $20, you’d need about 28 purchases monthly for the Starter Plan and just 22 for the Pro plan. For all but the smallest merchants, the Business or Performance plans will be the best options.

There’s something else we haven’t discussed, either: added value. Weebly’s Business plan gives you many more features—such as a tax and shipping calculator on your site—that are absolute necessities for serious online sellers.

An integration with Square lets you process your online payments and sell in person with Square Register. Fortunately, you can also now sync your inventory between the two programs.

But enough about that. Here are the main features of Weebly’s eCommerce store:

  • $100 Google Advertising Credit: Included with all plans.
  • Free Domain: One year of a free domain included with all plans.
  • Responsive Web Design: Weebly’s templates adapt to all screen sizes. Weebly provides an easy to use theme editor, however, this editing tool is limited in its customization features.
  • Shipping & Tax Calculation: Available only for Business plans and up.
  • Inventory Management: Available only for Business plans and up.
  • Coupon Support: Available only for Business plans and up.
  • Tiered Support: Chat and email support is available for all plans. Phone support is also available for Pro plans and above.
  • Shipping Options: You can use real-time shipping rates with connections to major shipping carriers. You can also set shipping options by weight, location, and purchase amount, which gives you a lot of control. In addition, you can offer flat-rate or free shipping.
  • Customizable Design: Control how your site looks with CSS and HTML.

Overall, I find the lower-tiered plans to be pretty basic. They only allow a limited number of products, and you’ll have to pay a 3% transaction fee. You’re better off springing for the Business or Performance plans or just sticking with the Square online store.

For more information, check out our full Weebly review.

4. WooCommerce

WooCommerce (see our review) is an open-source eCommerce solution that works as a WordPress plugin. With WooCommerce, you can add a shopping cart to any WordPress.org site.

Installing WooCommerce is completely free. However, the core WooCommerce offering is very basic. If you want more complex features, you’ll need to purchase add-ons. Some are free, but quite a few aren’t. You’ll pay either a one-time fee or a yearly subscription. In addition, you’ll need to pay for your WordPress hosting and security. Beware: Add-ons and hosting expenses can quickly add up.

WooCommerce’s extension for Square is available for free and lets you accept payments online and in person. An inventory sync between the two platforms ensures that when you add new products to WooCommerce, they will be updated in Square.

Here are a few of the features you can find with WooCommerce:

  • Sell Digital & Physical Products: Let customers download products directly from your site.
  • Organize Products: Group products by category, add variations, and sell affiliate products.
  • Inventory Management: Track your stock level, hold stock, and hide out-of-stock items.
  • Shipping Options: Provide a shipping calculator to minimize abandoned carts.
  • Create Coupons & Discounts: Make your discounts apply to specific items or order totals.

WooCommerce is a great solution for many merchants. In fact, they host over 40% of all online stores according to stats from BuiltWith. Keep in mind, however, that because WooCommerce follows a Core+Extensions model, you’ll likely have to spend to add advanced features to your platform.

Check out the full WooCommerce review for more information.

5. Square eCommerce API

The last option on the list here is Square’s own API (application programming interface).

Square’s API allows Square to serve as both your gateway and your payments processor. Use the Square API to create a custom connection between Square and your online store (if your platform is not already supported).

You’re going to need programming and coding skills to make this work for you. Or, more likely, you’ll have to find a developer to do the work for you. (Good news, you can find them on freelance platforms like Upwork. Bad news, it could cost you a pretty penny depending on your needs.)

Square’s API is a great option if you have a solid grounding in web technology and how programming works (even if you’re not a developer yourself). But if you don’t know your way around the eCommerce space already, I suggest sticking to a pre-built solution until you get some knowledge.

What Is The Best Alternative to Square’s Online Store?

Now that we’ve explored each of the alternatives to Square’s Online Store, it’s time to make a judgment call: Which is the best option?

I think it’s important to look at the differences between these online shopping carts and the features they offer first. Check out the table below for a quick comparison:

bigcommerce reviewecwid-logoweeblywoocommerce-logo
Cost$30 – $250
(Monthly)
$0 – $99
(Monthly)
$8 – $38
(Monthly)
$0 + Add-OnsVaries
Inventory SyncYesYesYesYesYes
Customizable DesignYesYesYesYesLimited
Customer Support Email, chat, phone for all plans Tiered
support
Tiered supportHelpdesk tickets, Limited support for WooThemesPhone, knowledge base, email

Any of the supported shopping cart integrations — BigCommerce, Ecwid, Weebly, WooCommerce — would be far more advanced than Square’s Online Store. In fact, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what they’re capable of. However, they’re not without their own limitations.

Different merchants have different needs. So, what’s right for one online store will not necessarily be right for the next.

Square’s API will give you the most freedom, but you’ll have to have some technical knowledge, and you might need to hire a developer. If you really need something special and unique, the API is a good option. But it could be time-consuming or costly to implement.

We recommend WooCommerce to merchants who feel comfortable with code, but don’t want to build a site completely from scratch. Ecwid is a great option for merchants who want ease of use at a low cost, and BigCommerce works well for merchants who want an all-inclusive option so they can better focus on their businesses. Weebly, on the other hand, may be a good option for merchants who plan on listing just a few products on their site.

As always, you know your business best, and so you know what solution will fit. But compare the options, be aware of shortcomings, and know that there are always multiple options out there.

Good luck!

Do you have experience using Square with any of these eCommerce options? Leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you! 

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson is an independent writer and editor who loves e-commerce, digital marketing, technology, and social media. Once upon a time, she earned a journalism degree, but she went on to discover that she could work from home, researching, editing, and writing about the things she found most interesting. When she’s not tied to her laptop, Melissa can usually be found in the kitchen, reading a book, or doing something of the nerdy persuasion.