Twitter creator launches online marketplace to challenge eBay & Etsy
Square Market will be targeted at small and local businesses in the US
Wednesday 26 June 2013
Launched in 2010 by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, Square is best known for its mobile payment platform. Plugging the company’s thumb-sized reader into any iPad or smartphone audio jack turns the device into a credit-card reader, allowing for cheaper point-of-sale card payments with Square keeping 2.75% from any transaction.
Now Dorsey has launched Square Market, an online marketplace aimed at getting businesses of all stripes selling online.
Speaking to Wired magazine at Square’s San Francisco headquarters Dorsey said: “Our mission is to make commerce easy. That doesn’t mean ‘make offline commerce easy’ or ‘make online commerce easy.’ It’s commerce in general.”
"There's a blurring of the lines between offline and online commerce," said Dorsey. "This is the next obvious step for us."
Square’s target audience has always been small and local businesses, and the new Market is a clear continuation of this. Without online support small retailers can only ever be successful in a limited area, Square Market aims to fix this.
As with Square’s payment platform Square market will take a 2.75% cut on each item sold, but it’s difficult to give an immediate comparison with other online markets. In the US Amazon charges 99 cents per item, but also include a referral fee described as an “applicable percentage of the item price”.
Where Square Market will hope to win customers will not be by undercutting rates, but by offering better services. Businesses will be able to open a storefront for free, and provide in-built sharing options for customers via social networks.
Analytical tools to help merchants diagnose where their business succeeds fails will also be on offer, though Market will not do everything - with shipping left to the responsibility of the seller.
Whether Square Market will catch on is very much an open question, as Square’s mobile payments have had only measured success in the US. The company handles payments for only a single national chain (Starbucks), but did post more than $15bn annual payments in May this year.
And as to the question of whether Square will ever come to the UK it seems a long way off. The majority of US cards use magnetic strips (making them swipeable) whilst in England (and much of the rest of Europe) the Chip & Pin system is the norm.
Converting Square to accept the new standard would take a massive influx of capital – something that no-one would accept to happen whilst the US market is still being fought for.
Life & Style blogs
The Last of Us: Ashley Johnson says she would play Ellie in a sequel
Schematics from Israel's Iron Dome missile shield 'hacked' by Chinese, says report
Meow Chat: New messaging app combines Tinder and WhatsApp - but is it safe?
Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£45000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .NET/ C# .Pr...
£25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Central...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: JAVA DEVELO...