Square Launches Nearly 100 New Features for Small Businesses

Square has unveiled nearly 100 new features in its spring product release, introducing a bevy of new features across the entire product ecosystem aimed at small businesses.

“Square has more than 35 integrated tools, and they’re all designed to help sellers work smarter by automating their operations and creating new revenue streams,” said Alyssa Henry, CEO of Square. “For the first time, we’re announcing new features across products all at once, because our strength lies in the integrated ecosystem of software, hardware, and embedded financial services. We have purpose-built vertical software products to serve industry-specific needs, and horizontal services products that serve multiple industries. 64% of our sellers use multiple products and are increasingly multihyphenate businesses themselves. No matter the combination of products a seller uses, the new features we’re announcing today can all drive meaningful gains for SMBs as they navigate the year ahead.”

New product highlights include:

  • Square has launched Waitlists – first available on Square Appointments, sellers can now offer waitlists for appointment slots and services, automating the process of maximizing bookings to ensure sellers never miss an opportunity to keep their schedules full. Waitlists enables a smooth, seamless client experience, while also helping sellers increase revenue.
  • Square Subscriptions, a top requested Square Online feature now in beta, enables online buyers to subscribe to items or services on a recurring basis, generating repeatable, reliable new revenue streams for omnichannel sellers.
  • The OpenTable and Square for Restaurants integration enables restaurants around the globe to speed up operations, easily and efficiently manage their dining rooms, and have better visibility into table turnaround times and diner reservation details. This lets restaurants leverage reservations to maximize revenue while delivering more personalized hospitality.

“We’re a tea room in St. Louis that offers afternoon tea service alongside a retail store, and we use Square as our point-of-sale for both our restaurant and retail experience,” said Peter James, Business Operations Manager at London Tea Room in St. Louis, Missouri. “We initially started with Square POS but as our retail offerings grew, we needed a better way to track inventory and that’s when we started on using Square for Retail. Now, Square’s integration with OpenTable has further upleveled our reporting by making it easy to see our per-cover spend by guests, and allowing us to view the sales from our restaurant revenue stream without needing to filter out the sales from our retail counter.”

A full list of new features is below.

Tools for Adding New Revenue Streams Beyond In-Store Sales

A key focus for Square is continuing to deliver tools and features that enable sellers to seamlessly add and grow new revenue streams and leverage a multitude of channels, from an online presence to invoice-based projects and services, to shore up their income and operations.

  • For online and omnichannel sellers, Busy Mode, Pre-orders, and Pause Online Orders now provide more options and control over when and how they sell, eliminating friction between revenue streams while maintaining an optimal customer experience. Omnichannel Discounts enables sellers to apply automatic discounts created on any POS, such as a recurring happy hour, to orders placed on- or off-premise via Square Online.
  • Sellers new to Square or new to selling online can use the new Square Online Add-On in Square Point of Sale lets sellers quickly configure and launch their online ordering site, without ever leaving the Square POS app. Free Shipping Progress Bar now gives ecommerce buyers a clear view of how to earn free shipping or delivery on their order, and their progress towards reaching that benchmark, which helps sellers increase their order volumes. New Square Online design features let sellers style and dial-in every element of their web presence with more Order Online and Shop All layouts, pre-curated Site Styles, and fine-grained Advanced Design Controls. We’ve even matched Updated Page Loading States to sellers’ brands, improving buyers’ trust in their sellers online sites.
  • For online buyers, new Personalized Order Screens highlight order histories, item recommendations, exclusive offers, and loyalty and reward status, making reordering easy and driving more repeat purchases.
  • Sellers using Square Online Checkout to create payment links, buy buttons, or QR codes to quickly collect payment can now accept Coupons, extending discounting to a new surface.
  • On Square Invoices, Afterpay’s Buy Now, Pay Later payment option is now integrated, helping sellers meet buyers’ shopping preferences.
  • Refreshed Estimates and Buyer Payment pages help sellers close more buyers, and sellers can now instantly turn an accepted estimate into a pre-filled invoice to speed their sales cycle, and Square Projects lets sellers organize and track the status of their invoices, estimates, and contracts, and share the progress of projects with their customers.
  • New Batch Invoices let sellers send the same invoice template to multiple customers at once, and create groups of customers that they charge regularly for the same service (such as membership fees). Committed Inventory for Invoices allows sellers to commit stock to a buyer upon sending an invoice, providing greater inventory control. New design features offer sellers more customization to bring in new revenue, including Invoice templates & layouts, Custom fields and field names, and a new HEX color selector tool all give more creative control to sellers, letting sellers infuse more brand and personalization into their invoices, estimates, and contracts.
  • The all-new checkout experience on Virtual Terminal uplevels remote payments, adding Image Tiles, Service Charges, In-Cart Customer Profile, enhanced Exempt Tax Rules Support, improved Keyboard Navigation, Barcode Scanner support, and Receipt Printing via Connected Square Terminal.
  • For in-person commerce, New Square Reader for contactless and chip has begun rolling out globally, offering sellers everywhere better Bluetooth connectivity, enhanced security, and longer battery life anywhere they need to make a sale.

Tools Providing Greater Depth Across Verticals

Whether sellers are focused on one industry, or expanding their businesses into new revenue streams – such as a retailer adding an in-store cafe, or a restaurant offering take-home food items – Square’s purpose-built vertical products stand on their own, and integrate within our ecosystem, to improve operations and automate key business tasks.

On Square for Retail:

  • Inventory full counts and Sellable / Non-Sellable items help retailers maintain accurate inventory count under increased complexity.
  • Currently in beta and launching soon, Retail Bundles enable sellers to create bundle packages, and even offer bundle discounts, while keeping inventory components accurately counted and tracked.
  • To power mobile business, integrations with Square Terminal include Connected Terminal to let retailers use their Square Terminal as a buyer-facing display, and the Retail Inventory Applet to manage stock and POs.
  • Tap to Pay on iPhone is also now integrated with Square for Retail.

On Square Appointments:

  • Card on File helps sellers maximize every appointment slot and protect their time and revenue.
  • Advance Staff Reporting provides performance analytics for sole proprietors and their staff.
  • Tap to Pay on iPhone is now available to sellers using Square Appointments, enabling stylists to collect contactless payments right from the salon chair without any additional hardware.
  • New Marketing capabilities enable sellers to automate nurture and retention efforts, such as Bring Back Lapsed Booker to prompt messages to clients who are due for their next visit.

Square for Restaurants sellers now have:

  • New Online Ordering Site Templates to optimize menu layouts for their unique needs, and new Modifier Images to bring photos into menu modifiers (ie. extra chicken) to show customers their options and drive higher average order values.
  • Photo Studio support for food photography to elevate restaurants’ online menus.
  • Facebook Food Ordering to let restaurants drive sales through their Facebook and Instagram Business Pages.
  • Improvements to Shift Reports to let managers declare cash tips without clocking out, enabling accountability and accurate accounting at any time of day.
  • Expanded ability to easily add manual and variable service charges, allowing restaurants to account for bag, delivery, or other service fees.

Integrated Tools to Automate Operations, Driving Retention & Revenue

Sellers rely on Square’s entire integrated ecosystem to power their business operations, from Marketing and Loyalty to keep customers engaged, to Staff-focused tools to manage, pay, and retain employees, to Dashboard to see all their earnings and analytics across channels come together in one place.

  • New Suggested Actions in Square Messages leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the next actions that sellers may want to take based on the ongoing conversation, saving sellers time and making their conversations more productive.
  • Square Marketing’s new automated campaigns help sellers drive repeat purchases from past customers who are due to return for another purchase with built-in Order Online CTAs, Google Reviews campaigns, and new Vanity Coupon Codes that give sellers the freedom to offer easy-to-share discounts outside of a campaign. For Text Message Marketers, Attached Images allow sellers to engage with their buyers through visual elements, showcase products, and offer branded, personalized messages.
  • For employees and managers using Square Staff:
  • Square Payroll integration with Cash App Taxes: Square Payroll employees can now file taxes for free with automated W2 import into Cash App Taxes. Square Payroll notifies employees that their W2s are ready for digital download; then, employees can login to Cash App Taxes and securely import their W2, and complete and submit their tax forms.
    • The upcoming release of Team Member Badges will let sellers provide their teams with physical NFC badges to authenticate on Square POS hardware, while the new Square Shifts offering gives sellers more options to manage their teams with POS-integrated time tracking, tip-management solutions, scheduling, and payroll prep.
  • Square Loyalty is now seamlessly integrated with Apple Pay and Wallet, allowing sellers to offer personalized digital loyalty cards that their buyers can add to Apple Wallet. Loyalty passes in Wallet are automatically presented at checkout when paying with Apple Pay, so buyers can easily earn and redeem points with their in-store purchases.
  • Gift Cards are now trackable in Square Profile, giving buyers better visibility into their available gift card balances while giving sellers increased redemptions and sales, and Gift Card Marketplaces API allows partners such as Thnks, Giftogram, and Trucentive to instantly list eGift Cards from Square sellers in public directories, giving Square sellers the same reach as bigger brands.
  • Customer Directory now integrates House Accounts, which lets sellers give trusted customers the convenience to defer payment and invoice them at a later date.
  • Updates to Square Dashboard include Product Store, Subscription Management, Square Banking integration, updated Transactions Reporting, and new Metrics and Performance Charts – all of which help sellers better manage their operations, analyze and source insights to make informed business decisions, and find the Square or third-party partner solutions that they need to continue growing or add new revenue streams. For larger, multi-location sellers, the redesigned Launchpad gives them a better view and management tools across business locations.

New and expanded partnerships also add value to our sellers through third-party integrations. Our new App Marketplace Learning Hub, improved Search and Filtering, and In-App Recommendations help sellers find the partners who best match their needs.

  • Meta for Business enables retail sellers to leverage Square’s marketing channel integrations to drive traffic to their Square Online store through quick and easy setup, item catalog syndication, and up-to-date inventory.
  • Intuit Mailchimp integration allows merchants to sync real-time data from their Square point of sale, ecommerce store, or subscriptions to organize contacts, personalize messaging, and deliver successful marketing campaigns.
  • ClassPass now integrates with Square’s Bookings API in the US and Canada, allowing sellers to seamlessly push their availability and services to ClassPass members while viewing ClassPass appointments directly in their Square dashboard.
  • Zapier’s no-code automation platform lets sellers automate both simple and complex workflows across 5,000+ apps. Currently Square has 21 Triggers and Actions available on Zapier, which sellers can use to create custom workflows.