Square Market launched as a means for Square’s small business sellers to quickly establish and online storefront and easily promote their goods with social media tools, but Market is showing signs of evolving into an independent online marketplace, competing with the likes of Etsy and Fab.
According to Ajit Varma, who heads up Market for Square, 20 percent of Square’s 500,000 listed merchants have never used its payments hardware, Reader and Stand – they’re solely selling and marketing online. The distinction between selling and marketing is important because only about 50,000 Market merchants are actually selling their goods online.
Instead, most Square merchants Market to establish an online and mobile presence – a place to display their goods, services and pricing. For instance, neighborhood grocery stores are using Market to list their beer inventories and current prices with the aim of attracting locals to its store. Most of those retailers use Square payments technology at the physical point of sale, but as Varma pointed out, an increasing number are not. They’re only using Square online, some for e-commerce (Square is charging the same 2.75 percent transaction fee as it...