Square rolls out new business tool for small merchants

Square, still lurching from speculation about its tenuous future, is going after small businesses with its latest digital payments tool.

On Thursday, Square launched a suite of analytics tools — Square Analytics — to help sellers track how their business is performing in real-time. The service is free and integrates with Square’s point-of-sale system, Square Register.

“Expensive annual fees, tedious set-up processes, and irrelevant, generalized reports have traditionally excluded small business owners from useful information available to larger merchants,” the company said in a statement.

The analytics tools show merchants their top-selling items and categories, what time of day is the most profitable — including hour by hour trends — and how their business is performing compared to industry averages in real-time, according to the company. It also helps them plan future purchases and guide marketing efforts by tracking where the best business is coming from, new and returning customers, as well as customer frequency and average customer spending.

Square Analytics is part of a push to introduce more merchant-friendly products and ramp up business from small sellers. The San Francisco-based company, run by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, also introduced a digital receipts product in May and an online appointments booking system this month.

Square is targeting more of its products at sellers than consumers, after watching some of its products sputter or fail, and burning through cash in an attempt to retain some of its high-flying startup edge. The company in May pulled Square Wallet from the Apple and Google app stores after failing for three years to attract enough users.

The company last week published a blog the “Top 10 Myths About Square,” an attempt to assuage investors and customers just a few days after Amazon launched a new credit card processor that competes directly with Square.

Image courtesy Square

Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (221 Posts)

Heather Somerville is a business reporter covering venture capital and startups for the Bay Area News Group.