Square has maintained a fairly narrow focus in terms of clients: small-scale retail outlets. With Square Market they don't seem to be targeting Joe's Mail-Order Bait Shop.... they're giving their existing storefronts a way to sell their stuff online.
I think both Square and Stripe are examples of what great things can come when you take on a fairly narrow slice of the payments market. And PayPal is becoming the cautionary tale of what happens when you try to be everything to all people.
I suspect Stripe will be fine.
I'm sure Stripe, Braintree, Venmo, PayPal and the others are paying very close attention to Square.
Apple and Amazon are other potential suitors for Square, but the company is kicking so much ass I doubt they'll sell. For all HN likes to spin acquisitions as victories, 95% of the time they are the final denouement of a defeated startup. When a startup is doing well, ambition takes over and selling is usually out of the question.
NFC payments? Google Wallet?
This isn't exactly that, but in a lot of respects, it's better. Way better.
Yikes. I need to rethink how I am selling online.
I'm very happy that more and more of these payment companies are embracing marketplaces!
I, for one, want to see more marketplaces.
This is a slightly different route, the main competitors seem to be etsy.
While in reality they're trying to landgrab as much payment related market as possible, and the two approaches are slightly related, in my mind I'm interested to see what they become known for.
Square-powered online payments is the endgame here. Today, on the Square marketplace. Tomorrow, on your own site, and in other marketplaces.
The competition is not other marketplaces and e-commerce software tools, but Stripe, PayPal, and even Visa/Mastercard.
So, it's as low as 1.3% if you do exactly $21000/mo in sales. At $10k, it's break-even. Below $10k, it's worse than 2.75%. Between $10k and $21k it gets better, and gets worse past $21k. (Since they include Amex, this would be great for someone doing $21k/mo in Amex charges, though...I think only Costco pays less for their Amex charges.)
Compared to running your own account (which is probably about 1.5% all-in for big ticket sales), which clearly makes more sense at some volume ($50k-100k/mo vs. Stripe, probably)
Nearly all the marketplaces I've tried out (except for ebay) have terrible shipping options. It's 2013, everyone from USPS to FedEx to UPS have shipping apis that do down-to-the-penny shipping rate calculations, yet none (edit: not many of them) of the marketplaces and e-commerce stores take advantage of them. Apparently they think we business owners are just shipping 5 oz t-shirts.
Edit: MUST have weight + destination + box dimensions shipping calculations. (wordpress e-commerce plugin is the only one I could find that does)
Online shoppers love free shipping, and shipping charges are a huge cause of cart abandonment.
I wrote a guest post about this on Hypebot:
As a consumer I'm interested in predictability, I don't care if shipping charges get averaged out a little unless it's absurdly high. As someone who ships stuff fairly frequently I'm conversant with the variety of shipping options available; I want shipping charges to be in a reasonable ballpark (eg I hate competitive-seeming prices that are then brought back up with jacked-up S&H 'fees'), but I don't really care about having it calculated down to the cent. In fact, it slows down my shopping decision having to put in my zipcode - I'd far rather see a flat shipping rate. As a matter of fact if the price differential is small enough I avoid sellers that want my to put in information for them to calculate shipping - on small sums, it's not worth my time to enter that information.
I agree it'd be a good thing for Square to add that information, but in the meantime you might be better off selecting a flat rate and making your pricing as simple as possible. I honestly don't give two hoots whether a package ships from the next zipcode over or across the country, and perfectly OK with a vendor building that variance into the handling charge. Indeed, on some items I don't care at all - I buy used books from 10 cents on Amazon and pay a flat $3.99 S&H charge which I know includes the actual profit for the seller, whereas the 10 cents 'rpice' of the book reflects the amount of labor to stick it inside a jiffy bag and stick on a label. Quite OK.
Please someone from the internet prove me wrong, I'd love so much to be wrong on this!
I had one like a year ago and now they have a flat $275 per month fee that applies to swiped and online. Definitely awesome!
Furthermore, if you click around, it seems to be a higher end market. Is this intentional or do you think these were the only businesses interested in selling online?