In the land of eCommerce, there’s one website that ranks supreme: Amazon. They sell virtually everything, offer a membership that provides free shipping, and email reminders with the items they think their customers will love most. And 9 times out of 10, they’re right – the suggestions are spot on. In the wake of their success, however, comes a new online sales competitor, Square.
Despite sharing a name with a shape and a nickname for a less than hip person, the company is making serious headway in the eCommerce market. Most know Square for their mobile payment devices, a small plugin that allows smartphones and tablets to accept credit card payments.
Earlier this week, however, the company launched its online market place, which allows small businesses to create company “stores” to sell vintage or handmade items – much like Etsy. Merchants simply create a profile, list their items, and wait for business to come in. Square takes care of the website, the advertising, and the transactions.
The biggest difference between Square’s marketplace and its competitions’ is the way items are charged. All items are free to list on Square; the site takes a 2.75 percent fee of every item sold. For shop owners, that means for every $50 sold, they pay in only $1.38 – a small price to pay when all other online fees are taken care of.
In contrast, Etsy chargers shop owners a $.20 listing fee per item – which is good for four months. (Though listings with multiple quantities get an extra fee.) Sales are also slapped with a 3.5 percent transaction fee. Meanwhile Amazon charges $.99 per listed item, or an annual subscription payment.
Online merchants will be happy to hear about Square’s low-fee policies. And considering Square has more than 250,000 active users, they’re bound to have a few crossover clients into their next big venture.
While Amazon and Etsy may have a head start, it looks like Square is making heavy strides to attempt to take a cut from the eCommerce market, but is a far way off yet.