Can you create a store with Square?

What is Square?

Square is a payment processing and business solutions company that offers a range of services to help businesses start, run, and grow. Founded in 2009, Square enables businesses to accept credit card payments using a mobile device or tablet. Some of the key services offered by Square include:

  • Payment processing – Square offers credit card readers that can be connected to mobile devices to accept payments in-person or online.
  • Point of sale software – Square provides POS software and hardware like Square Register and Square Terminal to enable businesses to run their operations.
  • Invoicing – Square Invoices enables businesses to create, manage and send invoices and accept online payments.
  • Payroll – Square Payroll helps businesses pay employees and contractors, while handling payroll taxes.
  • Customer engagement – Features like Square Loyalty and Square Marketing help businesses engage with customers.
  • Capital access – Square provides loans and financing to businesses through Square Capital.

In addition to these services, Square also provides tools for inventory management, booking services, food/drink delivery management, and more. The company aims to provide an integrated suite of services so businesses can manage their operations through one system.

Can you create a store with Square?

Yes, Square offers a complete set of tools and services to help businesses create and manage a retail store. Here are some of the key ways Square can help set up and run a retail store:

Accepting in-person payments

The core functionality of Square is enabling in-person card payments. Square provides different hardware options like Square Reader for magstripe cards, Square Reader for contactless and chip cards, Square Stand for contactless, chip and magstripe cards, Square Terminal for counter service, and Square Register for full POS setup.

Based on your business needs, you can choose the appropriate reader or POS hardware to accept payments. Square charges a per-transaction fee of 2.6% + 10 cents for in-person payments.

Managing in-store operations

Using Square’s POS software and hardware, retailers can manage key in-store operations including:

  • Inventory management – Keep track of product inventory and get notified when stock is low.
  • Employee management – Create employee profiles, set access permissions, and track timecards.
  • Customer relationship management – Look up customer profiles and purchase history to offer loyalty rewards or personalized service.
  • Reporting and analytics – Get insights into sales performance, foot traffic, labor costs and other metrics.

Square POS enables retailers to simplify their operations in a single dashboard. The software also allows creating and managing an online store.

Building an online store

For retailers that want to sell online, Square provides the tools to create a professional online store:

  • Website and hosting – Choose a template and customize the online store’s design, products, images etc.
  • Payment processing – Securely accept payments online through the integrated payments system.
  • Order management and shipping – Manage online orders, fulfillment and shipping.
  • Marketing tools – Run email marketing campaigns and online ads to promote the store.

By combining the online store with in-person sales, retailers can build a seamless omnichannel experience.

Loyalty and marketing features

Square provides features to help retailers engage customers and drive sales:

  • Loyalty program – Offer rewards, points and incentives to encourage repeat visits.
  • Gift cards – Sell digital and physical gift cards to customers.
  • Customer engagement – Send emails and offers to retain customers.
  • Referral marketing – Reward customers for referring friends and family.

These features help create a unique brand experience and promote customer loyalty.

Access to financing

Square Capital offers loans to businesses based on real-time payment processing data. Retailers that use Square POS and payments can get fast access to financing for inventory, supplies, refurbishments and other business needs. The loan repayment is automatically deducted from a percentage of daily card sales.

What are the steps to build a retail store with Square?

Here is an overview of the key steps involved in creating a retail store with Square:

  1. Sign up for a Square account – Create a Square seller account online or through the Square Point of Sale app. Add business information and link a bank account.
  2. Choose hardware – Select Square Reader, Terminal or Register hardware based on your business needs.
  3. Set up POS – Use Square’s dashboard to set up inventory, employee access, customize menus/items and configure taxes.
  4. Accept payments – Accept in-person payments through the Point of Sale app and connected hardware.
  5. Set up online store – Use Square eCommerce to pick a template, add products/information and process online orders.
  6. Manage operations – Use Square dashboard and POS tools to manage inventory, employees, orders, shipping, analytics and more.
  7. Market your business – Take advantage of Square’s tools for gift cards, loyalty programs, email marketing and advertisements.
  8. Get financing – If needed, apply for financing through Square Capital based on payment processing history.

With these steps, retailers can leverage Square’s integrated system to manage in-store and online sales, streamline operations, engage customers and grow their business.

What are the pros and cons of using Square for a retail store?

Here are some key advantages and potential drawbacks of using Square for a retail business:


  • All-in-one system for in-store and online sales.
  • Easy setup with no complex hardware or software.
  • Flat rate processing fees without monthly charges or contracts.
  • Real-time reporting and analytics for sales, inventory etc.
  • Tools for marketing, customer loyalty and gift cards.
  • Access to capital through Square Capital’s financing.
  • Seamless management of in-store and online operations.


  • Higher transaction fees compared to interchange-plus pricing models.
  • Additional fees for advanced software features.
  • Limited customization options for website and branding.
  • Third-party integrations can be limited compared to other POS systems.
  • May not have as many advanced features as specialized POS softwares.

What features does Square offer for managing a retail business?

Square provides a suite of features to help manage retail operations:

POS and Payments

– Accept payments in-store and online through Square Reader, Terminal, Register, online store.
– Omnichannel payments integration.
– Flat rate transaction fees (2.6% + 10 cents for in-person payments).
– Process payments with cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, EMV chips, magstripes, and contactless.
– Point-of-Sale app and dashboard.

Inventory Management

– Digital inventory tracking and management.
– Inventory history and reporting.
– Low stock alerts and notifications.
– Product, category and collection management.
– Batch update inventory counts.

Reporting and Analytics

– Customizable real-time sales, inventory and employee reporting.
– Daily/weekly/monthly sales reports.
– Sales performance trends and metrics.
– Labor cost analysis.
– Customer insights.

Customer Engagement

– Customer profiles, purchase history and communications.
– Email and loyalty marketing.
– Gift cards management.
– Customer order history and tracking.
– Coupons, discounts and promotions.

Staff Management

– Employee profiles and access permissions.
– Shift scheduling and timecards management.
– Sales performance tracking by staff.
– Customized roles and permissions.

How much does it cost to set up a store with Square?

Here are the typical costs involved in setting up a retail store with Square:

Hardware Costs

– Square Reader for magstripe cards – $29
– Square Reader for contactless and chip – $49
– Square Stand for contactless, chip and magstripe cards – $169
– Square Register POS – $799
– Receipt printer – $169
– Cash drawer – $169
– Barcode scanner – $39

Software and Processing Costs

– Square POS software – Free
– Square eCommerce website – Free online store, 2.9% + 30 cent transaction fees
– In-person payment processing – 2.6% + 10 cent transaction fees

Additional Costs

– Receipt paper rolls – $13 for 3-pack
– iPad stand – $99
– Additional hardware stands, cables, printers
– E-commerce plugin integrations (shipping, tax, accounting etc.) – Starts at $15/month
– Advanced employee management features – $5/month per employee

Overall, the total cost to set up a retail store with Square can range from $200-$1000+ depending on hardware, software features, and specific business needs. The flexibility allows scaling hardware and features as your business grows.

How does Square compare to other POS systems for retail?

Here’s how Square compares to some other top POS systems for retail stores:

Feature Square Shopify POS Clover Lightspeed
In-store payments Accepts all payment types Accepts all payment types Accepts all payment types Accepts all payment types
Online store Square eCommerce Shopify online store No built-in online store Additional Lightspeed eCom module
Hardware Proprietary Square hardware iPad + card reader Proprietary Clover devices Universal app + hardware
Pricing Flat rate transaction fees Shopify monthly fees + transaction fees Flat rate transaction fees Monthly software fees + transaction fees
Scalability Easy to add locations and users Scales with Shopify plans Easy scalability Scales with plan tiers
Key strengths All-in-one simplicity, transparent pricing, fast setup Deep ecommerce integration, third-party app ecosystem Sophisticated POS hardware and software Enterprise-grade management and customization

As seen above, Square offers an easy all-in-one system suitable for small and mid-sized retail businesses. Lightspeed and Clover offer greater customization for larger scale retailers. Shopify is ideal for retailers focused on ecommerce also selling in-store.


In summary, Square provides a powerful integrated suite of services that make it very convenient for retailers to set up and manage their business operations. Key advantages include its seamless omnichannel sales capabilities, transparent flat-rate transaction fee pricing, robust POS software features, and accessible financing through Square Capital.

Square may not be the cheapest POS option for high volume retailers. It also does not offer the same level of advanced customization seen with enterprise POS systems. However, for most small-medium retail businesses, Square offers an ideal all-in-one management system to run in-store and online operations smoothly. With minimal setup requirements, transparent pricing, and reliability backed by Square’s reputation, most retailers can create and grow their dream store with Square.

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