Square Market could change online retail
Square just announced its latest venture, “Square Market,” a digital marketplace where local businesses can offer their wares to a worldwide audience. Creating a storefront is free and sellers can do everything strictly online. The company is focused primarily on local businesses allowing them to sell online for a fee of 2.75% per sale, without having to create a separate website.
Rick Oglesby, an analyst at Aite Group, says, “While millions of businesses already Square Reader and the Register app on their mobile devices to process payments, Square Market offers a free online presence for the store – and a potential threat to Amazon.com, Ebay, and Etsy.”
Customers will be able to search for individual merchants, or a specific item. Business can promote their items via various social networks, including sending out an automatic tweet each time a new product is listed in their particular store.
From neighborhood to national
“People are already using Square on their smartphones and tablets to sell things offline,” says Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Square and Twitter. “With Square Market, they have an online marketplace that enables… local businesses to go from neighborhood to national in an affordable way.”
For local businesses that are already using Square’s card reader, this could be a seamless transition into an expansive audience not bound by geographic distance. Currently, 70 percent of consumer purchases take place within a 5-mile radius of their homes. Using Square Market, a customer will make a purchase, and the local business will ship the item using the method of their choice.
With only six percent of overall retail revenue being from e-commerce, there is definitely room for Square Market to take hold and become a huge player in this arena. US online retail sales are expected to reach $278.9 billion in 2015, which is up from the $176.2 billion in 2010, according to Forrester Research.
This new e-commerce store front could pay off, if played well. The company has to do just what it enables its customers to do… stay in contact, be available, and offer outstanding service.