Note: Square has recently changed it’s flat-rate fee of 2.75% to 2.6% + 10 cents per transaction. We will update the pricing and our ranking of providers in the next update of this article.
The WooCommerce Square point-of-sale (POS) system integration connects in-store and online transactions, products and inventory and tracks it all within the Square POS dashboard. Using the free Square for WooCommerce plug-in, you can expand your in-store business to online sales easily. If you sell online using WooCommerce, you can add Square and start selling in-person.
Square’s free POS is loaded with retail tools including inventory, customer, employee and marketing management as well as a complete in-store, online and mobile payments solution. The minute you sign up for a free Square account, you can connect to WooCommerce and start managing online and offline sales in one streamlined system, plus accept payments anywhere you sell.
Like Square, WooCommerce is a free platform that offers an array of online sales features. You do need a WordPress site to run the free WooCommerce plug-in, but even that costs just $6.95 per month with our preferred hosting solution, Bluehost. Bluehost’s WordPress for WooCommerce plan comes with everything you need preinstalled for fast setup and includes a web address and business email at no added cost.
Once you have your Square account and WordPress and WooCommerce store in place, you’re ready to connect the two using the free Square for WooCommerce plug-in. Below, we explore how the WooCommerce Square integration works, how to get it up and running, the business benefits and costs and what’s missing from the combined solution.
How the WooCommerce Square Integration Works
You connect WooCommerce and Square using a free plug-in called Square for WooCommerce. This plug-in is created by the makers of WooCommerce, and its tech team works with Square POS to improve this integration continually as both platforms expand their features.
Here’s a quick overview of the four main benefits of the WooCommerce Square integration using the Square for WooCommerce plug-in:
- You can use Square to process all in-person and online credit card payments: Square lets you accept credit card payments securely anywhere you sell — in-store, online, via mobile payment credit card readers and even online invoicing.
- You can track both in-store and online transactions in your Square dashboard: Using Square as your payment solution, you can track both online and in-store sales conveniently in within your Square dashboard.
- You can sync product information between the two systems: Two-way product syncing between Square and WooCommerce lets you connect some or all of your Square and WooCommerce product descriptions, categories and images. You can auto-populate product listings from one platform to the other. Plus, if you update products or images in WooCommerce, you can auto-update this data in your Square product listings and vice versa.
- You can sync inventory counts between the two systems: Both In-store and online sales automatically reduce inventory counts within your Square POS dashboard in real-time. For many sellers, this is one of the most useful features of this integration. Inventory sync works independently of the other product data updates, so you can choose to sync just your inventory counts if you wish.
There are some limitations to the WooCommerce Square integration, which we detail in the last section of this guide. However, if the limitations don’t affect your operation, the WooCommerce Square integration can help you expand into online or in-person sales and manage it all seamlessly.
How to Get Started with Square for WooCommerce
Before you can use WooCommerce and Square POS together, you need to sign up for your free Square account and set up your WooCommerce website on WordPress. Once these are in place, you need to head to the Square for WooCommerce plug-in page and download the plug-in into your WordPress website.
From there, you’ll activate the plug-in and follow the Square for WooCommerce startup guide that walks you through every step. So, we won’t duplicate that here. However, to streamline the setup process, here are a few things you need to do ahead of time to ensure that your WooCommerce Square setup is quick and your initial sync is error-free.
- Check your SKUs: If you already have products listed in both Square POS and WooCommerce, make sure your stockkeeping units (SKUs) are an exact match — no extra spaces, zeros and so on. If they aren’t an exact match, you’ll encounter problems on your initial sync.
- Decide which direction to sync: You can do your initial product sync from Square to WooCommerce or from WooCommerce to Square. Of course, if you already use one and are adding the other, this choice is simple. You’ll sync from the one you use to the new platform. But, if you’ve been using the two platforms independently and have product data in each, you need to decide if you want to have all or some of your product data in one platform overwrite the other.
- Decide which elements to sync: You can select which product data elements you want to sync and which you want to leave independent between the two systems. This is done in the Synchronization screen that you’ll see once your plug-in is installed. You can change your sync elements at any time too.
- Decide if you want to use Square for your online payments: If you want to use Square to process your online payments, you’ll set up Square as your payment processor after installing the Square for WooCommerce plug-in. You do this from the Payments screen in your WordPress site settings. You select Square, then the setup walks you through a few steps to connect Square’s payment processing to your WooCommerce site.
How Businesses Use the WooCommerce Square Integration
There are four types of businesses that can greatly benefit from the WooCommerce Square integration. They are:
1. Square POS Users Who Want to Expand Online
Do you use Square to handle your in-store or in-person mobile sales and want to expand into online sales? You need to set up a low-cost WooCommerce store on WordPress and connect your Square account using the Square for WooCommerce plug-in.
If you’ve already entered product data in your Square POS, such as item SKUs, images, descriptions, prices and inventory counts, you can populate your new online store with this information quickly using the plug-in.
The Square for WooCommerce plug-in uses your existing Square POS item data, above, to auto-populate your new WooCommerce online store, shown below. This aspect of the WooCommerce Square integration helps you build out and launch your new WooCommerce online store quickly using the information you’ve already entered in Square.
Once your new WooCommerce store is launched, you can use your Square account to process all of your online credit card payments for your WooCommerce orders. Your online sales transactions appear in your Square POS dashboard so you can track all in-person and online sales totals within Square conveniently. You can also set some or all of your item counts to sync with WooCommerce, so your inventory numbers are always accurate.
You can even accept PayPal payments online alongside your Square credit card payments. However, these transactions won’t be shown in your Square account. Only orders with payments processed by Square appear in your Square dashboard.
2. WooCommerce Users Who Want to Sell In Person
However, you choose to complete your in-person sales — mobile card readers or in-store registers — you can connect your WooCommerce store to Square POS easily using the Square for WooCommerce plug-in. Once connected, you populate your Square POS item list using the data in your WooCommerce product list. This way, you can start selling products in-person while accurately tracking inventory across both offline and online sales for all or just selected items.
Your Square POS system tracks all of your in-person sales, this includes credit card, check, and cash sales. If you use Square as your online payment processor in your WooCommerce store, you can also track your online sales transactions in your Square dashboard. If you stick with the credit card processor you currently use, your online transactions won’t appear in your Square dashboard. However, your inventory and product settings will sync whether you use Square as your online payments processor or not, which is a nice perk.
3. Service Providers Wanting to Market Services Online & Accept Payments Anywhere
If you run a service business, you can pair WooCommerce and Square to market and sell all types of services, from bookkeeping and salon services to weekly lessons and more. Best of all, you can accept payments for services online and in-person, email invoices to clients, accept online invoice payments and even set up automatic recurring payments for repeat services.
If you need to manage appointments, you can also use Square’s built-in online booking feature called Square Appointments. Square Appointments is free for one user and lets you block available and unavailable times on your calendar. Your clients can then book appointments — and even prepay for scheduled services — online at their convenience.
Pairing WooCommerce and Square gives service providers a complete set of tools to manage all aspects of a service business. Plus, you can use WordPress’ stellar blogging features to create attention-grabbing content to promote your services online and via social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
4. Startups Looking for a Powerful, Low-cost Omnichannel Solution
If you’re just starting out and want to launch your new business with as many online and offline sales tools as possible, the WooCommerce Square pairing is ideal. It’s impossible to equal the many powerful online and in-person selling tools this solution provides at such a low cost. Remember that Square POS is free and launching WooCommerce on WordPress is just $6.95 per month with our preferred hosting solution, Bluehost.
Even as a bare-bones startup, pairing WooCommerce and Square POS gives you a complete omnichannel sales solution that lets you:
- Sell online, in-store and/or via mobile payments
- Service clients using online appointment booking, invoices or recurring payments
- Connect products, transactions and inventory numbers across online and in-store sales
Whatever your business needs as you grow — expansion into new sales channels, service marketing or a new launch — you can extend your capabilities easily. Square offers many budget-friendly add-ons, such as email marketing, gift cards, customer loyalty programs and even payroll management. Your online sales and marketing opportunities using WooCommerce on WordPress are practically unlimited. Best of all, both WooCommerce and Square POS can expand wherever your business takes you, so you won’t have the headache and expense of switching to new systems as you grow.
Cost of Using Square with WooCommerce
At the base level, the WooCommerce and Square POS combination is very low-cost, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely free to use. Here’s a closer look at the cost of using Square and WooCommerce together as your omnichannel sales solution.
Square POS Costs: Free + Credit Card Processing Fees
As we state above, Square POS is a free retail POS system with a healthy set of built-in business management tools. However, you do have to pay credit card processing fees for every credit card payment you accept using Square. These fees are:
|Transaction Type||Square Processing Fee|
In-store and mobile sales
|2.75% per transaction|
WooCommerce sales and online invoice payments
|2.9% + 30 cents per transaction|
|Recurring payments||3.5% + 15 cents per transaction|
|Recording cash & check payments||Free|
For most small sellers, Square’s simple, flat-rate credit card processing fees are very competitive, especially considering its array of payment options and free POS system. To compare Square’s fees and services to other payment processors, see our small business credit card processing guide.
WooCommerce Costs: From $6.95 per Month
WooCommerce is a free e-commerce shopping cart plug-in that turns any WordPress site into an e-commerce store. While the WooCommerce plug-in is free, you do have to pay for your WordPress hosting, which starts at $6.95 per month with our preferred provider, Bluehost.
You can run WooCommerce and WordPress on a shoestring for just your hosting fee, but most sellers generally incur added startup or ongoing costs. We cover the array of potential WooCommerce startup and operating costs in our WooCommerce pricing guide.
Square for WooCommerce Plug-in Cost: Free
The takeaway here is that it’s quite possible to launch and run your WooCommerce store for just your $6.95 per month hosting fee with Bluehost. Add to that your free Square POS and free Square for WooCommerce plug-in, and it’s a low-cost combination. Beyond the hosting fee, your only unavoidable cost is credit card processing. However, Square’s fees are very competitive, transparent, and have no surprises. So, altogether, WooCommerce and Square POS deliver an extremely budget-friendly omnichannel sales solution that works for a variety of business.
What’s Missing from the WooCommerce Square Integration
There are some limitations to the WooCommerce Square integration. This is largely due to the two systems handling product and customer data differently, so certain elements don’t connect perfectly. However, both platforms are evolving daily, so the integration is always improving.
Here are specific details about the integration that might affect how you use the WooCommerce and Square combination for your business:
1. You can use Square to process all in-person and online credit card payments.
- Missing: You can’t use another credit card processor to process your in-person sales through your Square POS. So, you can’t rate shop different merchant account providers. If you want to use Square’s POS system for your in-person sales, you have to use Square to process your credit cards.
2. You can use another credit card processor like PayPal for your WooCommerce online sales.
- Missing: You’ll have two payment accounts to manage, and your online transactions won’t be recorded in your Square dashboard, which defeats the goal of streamlining your process.
3. You can track both in-store and online transactions in your Square dashboard.
- Missing: Only if you use Square to process online payments. Also, WooCommerce sales just show the transaction number and the total charge in Square. The integration doesn’t yet import the customer and product sales details from WooCommerce into Square.
4. You can sync product information like item name, image, description, variables and price between the two systems.
- Missing: Product variables sync is limited. If you sell items on WooCommerce that have multiple variables like size and color, these won’t align with items in your Square POS. Currently, Square only supports products with a single variable like size or color, not both. You’ll have to create a workaround in these situations like create an item: Black T-Shirt with one variable — Size (S, M, L). You can’t create an item: T-Shirt with two variables — Color (Red, Black, Green) and Size (S, M, L).
- Missing: Price sync is limited. Square POS doesn’t have a field for sale prices, so you’ll have to manage sale prices on WooCommerce. Square also doesn’t support special WooCommerce pricing features like dynamic and table-based pricing. Like sale prices, you’ll need to manage and make changes in WooCommerce.
- Missing: Images and descriptions sync is limited. This is part of the data differences between the two platforms. Square isn’t a web platform, but WooCommerce is. If you send descriptions from Square to WooCommerce, you’ll strip any HTML code you used in your WooCommerce description. Also, Square allows just one product image per item, WooCommerce lets you add multiple images.
- Missing: Category sync is limited. Square lets you assign just one category to a product. If you have items listed in multiple categories in WooCommerce, this can’t be duplicated in Square.
This does seem like a lot of product data hiccups, but the good news is you have control over which product elements connect. If you use multiple variables, categories and images or specialty pricing and customized HTML descriptions on your WooCommerce site, you can set the integration to ignore these elements when you sync to Square.
5. You can sync inventory counts between the two systems.
Nothing is missing here. As long as your Square POS and WooCommerce product SKUs match exactly, your inventory counts will sync in real time each time an online or in-store transaction takes place. Each time an item is sold, inventory for that item will reduce in both systems automatically.
The Bottom Line
The WooCommerce Square pairing gives small sellers a powerful omnichannel sales tool at a very low cost. The best parts of the Square for WooCommerce integration are accepting payments anywhere you sell, tying online and offline sales within your Square dashboard and syncing your inventory between the two in real-time. There are some transaction and product data limitations that arise from the differences between the platforms. However, if these don’t hinder your business, WooCommerce and Square POS deliver a budget-friendly sales and business management system that’s ready to grow with you.
You’ll need a free Square POS account and WooCommerce website on WordPress, which you can set up for $6.95 per month on Bluehost. After you have these elements in place, you can download the free Square for WooCommerce plug-in, and then follow the setup tutorial to link the two platforms.
Do you use the Square or WooCommerce in your business? Have you connected the two using Square for WooCommerce? We’d love to hear your insights and experiences in the comments below.