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Square’s September 26, 2023 announcement highlighted more than a dozen new features designed to bolster sellers’ competitive edge. The centerpiece is Square Online’s ‘Themes,’ offering 19 design templates. These templates, combined with customizable fonts, colors, and layouts, allow businesses, regardless of their domain – from retailers to restaurants – to craft a unique online identity. This becomes an indispensable tool since nearly 25% of consumers avoid shopping from businesses without an online presence.

Kyra Bussanich, Founder of Kyra’s Bake Shop, shared her firsthand experience: “With Square Online’s latest features, I have been able to customize my site with my brand’s fonts, colors, and high-res photos of our pastries. When customers come into the store and they experience this magical wonderland with purple walls, all of this is also echoed on our website.”

The integration of generative AI promises to revolutionize product listings. The AI will generate compelling titles and descriptions for businesses with expansive catalogs, thereby improving operational efficiency. Randy Fulk, Co-Founder of Korie’s Kloset, emphasized the transformative power of this feature, noting the time saved and the increasing tailoring of descriptions for his business.

Beyond these core offerings, Square also aids businesses in refining their inventory management. Features such as archiving old items and embedding barcode label printing functionalities promise to streamline inventory tasks. This is especially useful during the holiday season rush when time-saving becomes paramount.

On the fulfillment front, the company has also rolled out enhanced tools like the new Shipments Page and an integration with Shippo. These tools simplify the daunting task of order fulfillment, ensuring efficient and timely deliveries—a significant selling point for customers during the holidays.

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Engaging and retaining customers, especially amidst the holiday buzz, can be challenging. To that end, Square’s new offerings include features like ‘House Accounts’ for deferred payments, image and GIF inclusive Text Message Marketing, and ‘Retail Bundles’ for themed gift baskets. These features enhance the shopping experience for consumers and offer businesses innovative ways to engage and drive sales.

Roshan Jhunja, Head of Retail at Square, summed it up, “Retailers choose Square because our technology helps automate critical operations within their businesses and scales with them as they grow. As their needs become more sophisticated, they can tap further into Square’s fully integrated ecosystem of tools. We remain focused on providing sellers with the technology they need to unlock new growth channels and maximize their sales during the holidays and beyond.”

For small business owners, Square’s latest suite of features is more than just an upgrade; it’s an avenue to transform their operations and significantly boost their holiday season sales. As the market becomes increasingly competitive, integrating such state-of-the-art tools becomes not just an option but a necessity. It remains to be seen how these tools will play out in real-world scenarios. Still, their introduction alone marks a significant shift in how businesses can operate and engage with consumers.

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