Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Website builder and hosting platform Squarespace has launched a new integrated commerce solution today that will allow users to manage, sell and accept payments for products online.
Squarespace Commerce, which the company has described today as its most requested feature “of all time”, is designed to work seamlessly with all of its hosted websites. That means it’s compatible with every Squarespace template to date, and can be accessed at any time by clicking on the dollar icon in the Website Manager. From here, users can create a new product collection and organize it in an attractive grid layout tailored to the firm’s various website templates.
Squarespace has partnered with Stripe to accept payments using the new feature. It does mean that users need to connect their Stripe account – or set one up if they’re a new merchant – through the new Commerce area, however once it’s done the two are integrated from the ground up. So whenever someone makes a payment on a Squarespace website, the money goes directly into the user’s bank account. No codes, and no manual deposits required.
Any type of product can also be sold on the new commerce platform. In a blog post published today, Anthony Casalena, founder and CEO of Squarespace explained that “digital goods are delivered via customized email links that expire in 24 hours from delivery. You can control link sharing and re-send delivery links from the Commerce panel in your Website Manager.”
While the new commerce features have been built to help its users make some cash, the same can also be said of Squarespace. Although there is no added cost for taking advantage of the service – the company has emphasized that there are no “Squarespace-imposed” transaction fees – it all feeds into the value of its existing hosting plans.
So suddenly, the Business Plan priced at $24 per month (that’s if you pay for a year upfront, otherwise it’s $30 on a monthly basis) has an extra incentive. The goal here is no doubt to tempt would-be merchants away from free options such as Etsy, BigCartel and eBay, creating revenue from additional monthly subscribers.
It is worth noting, however, that as the payment processor Stripe charges $0.30 and an additional 2.9 percent of every successful transaction.
Squarespace says the Commerce interface is suited to users with small stores, although at the moment there are no restrictions on the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) you can have in reserve. The company has revealed though that it will be improving the interface of the feature so that it can better accommodate larger stores in the future.
A full list of features is available on the Squarespace blog, although the ones to really take note are the ability to create coupons, track outstanding orders, MailChimp integration for mass-emailing and import options from both Shopify and BigCartel.
“This release represents a huge step in achieving Squarespace’s mission to power any sort of website within our integrated platform,” Casalena added. “We’ve been working on this project for a long time, and we’re thrilled to finally share the results.”
Image Credit: Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images
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