Square Register Review
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- Date Established
- San Francisco, CA
- Set up in minutes
- Access to App Marketplace
- Fund holds are still an issue
- Occasional software bugs
While Square is already doing quite well in the market, its recent addition, Square Register, looks to turn the company into the Amazon.com of point of sale systems — at least as far as convenience is concerned. Square has been one of the most popular credit card processors and point of sale systems for small and mid-sized retailers almost from the moment it came on the scene in 2009. The company’s namesake card readers are ubiquitous at farmer’s markets, cafes, trendy clothing stores, and even gas stations. Square’s appeal is pretty simple. It’s affordable with an easy-to-understand pricing structure, and its point of sale is intuitive and loaded with features that are difficult to find at that price point.
Square Register POS is a fully integrated point of sale system that you can pull out of the box and have up and running in a matter of minutes. Square Register comes with a slick, large touchscreen that is easy for employees to navigate. It also features a customer-facing screen that gives said customers the ability to see what they’re purchasing, to view the total cost, and scan or insert their cards.
It’s evident that Square is pushing to make Register its go-to POS product now — it will soon be capable of running all of Square’s current POS systems (Square for Retail, Square for Restaurants, and Square POS). Square Register is frankly impressive and will appeal to vendors that want a simple, all-in-one solution. With the ability to easily plug in additional compatible hardware, an improved interface, and one of the best processing systems on the market, Square Register is positioned to make an immediate impact.
Table of Contents
Square Register, despite obviously being larger and bulkier than Square’s other hardware offerings, still very much fits in with the overall brand. It’s sleek and professional looking with dual-facing screens. Anyone familiar with Square will recognize the interface. The built-in card reader is intuitive, and the touch screen is responsive on both ends. As is the case with many products similar to Register, it can come across as being a bit top-heavy, but the stand is durable, and it would take something pretty significant to knock it off a counter. Square Register is intended to be a stationary device, but the customer-facing tablet is portable. The Register device must also be connected to a power source at all times to function.
- Register connects either via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, and it has a USB hub with five ports. From there, you can easily attach a wide variety of printers, scanners, cash drawers, etc. Square has a list of compatible hardware on its website and items you can purchase as well.
- Register Display: 13.25 inches diagonally
- Customer Display: 7 inches diagonally
- Width: 6.9 inches
- Depth: 5 inches
- Total Height: 10 inches
- Register Weight: 3.9 pounds
- Customer Display Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Payment Types:
- Magnetic stripe cards
- EMV chip cards
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Samsung Pay
- NFC cards
- Supported Software:
- Square POS included
- Square for Retail
- Square for Restaurants free plan
- Mounting Options:
- Drill mount
- Adhesive mount
Using Square Register: Getting Started
If you have experience with any of Square’s other products, it will come as no surprise that getting Square Register up and running is a snap. That’s always been one of its major selling points. Even a product as hefty as Register can be taken out of the box and ready to make sales in a matter of minutes. This is especially true if you already have a Square account. If you don’t, no problem — that process is also simple. Once you’ve plugged Register in and turned it on (and it should take less than a minute to load), you can simply enter your account information, and it will sync all of your information in seconds. If you have inventory that you need to import, it can be done quickly via a CSV file.
There is a brief tutorial that can run you through the basics of processing payments through the built-in reader. If you need to attach additional hardware, the ports can be found easily and, assuming they are compatible with Register, should sync quickly and be up and ready to use almost immediately.
Using Square Register: Software Design & Features
With Square Register, you get access to a full range of point of sale features. Square has also made Register compatible with Square for Retail, and it will soon be able to run Square for Restaurants as well. I’ll highlight a few of the basics along with some of its standout offerings:
- Inventory Management
- Bulk importing allows you to download thousands of products quickly via a CSV file.
- Daily stock alerts let you know when products run low.
- Export stock levels instantly to a spreadsheet.
- Transfer inventory across multiple stores.
- Integrations with Shopventory and Stitch Labs provide additional tools.
- Employee Management
- Employees can be given different permissions and access to certain functions.
- Employees can clock in and out at the register, and hours can be easily edited if necessary.
- Analytics makes it easy to see which employees are your top sellers.
- Labor vs. Sales reports make it easy to evaluate labor costs.
- This option is free for 0-10 loyalty visits a month, $25 a month for 11-50 loyalty visits per month, and $35 a month for 51-100 loyalty visits. Square can also set up a custom rate for over 100 loyalty visits per month.
- Import large customer lists via a CSV file.
- Customers can earn loyalty rewards and discounts automatically, and that information gets stored in their profile within the system.
- Customers can also sign up to receive text messages informing them of when they’ve earned a reward.
- Easily customize spending and visit levels for rewards.
- Search customers and see what products are most likely to bring them back into your store.
- You can also quickly edit customer information manually and add personalized notes.
- Purchase histories, along with a simple analysis of customers’ spending habits, are easy to look up.
- Gift Cards
- Gift cards are included with the Square app. Create digital gift cards for free or order physical cards with unique designs for an additional cost.
- Balances can easily be viewed in Square Dashboard
- Customer balances and other information is simple to store and search.
- Square pairs with numerous companies so that you can pick and choose how you want to set up your online business. If you don’t have much web building experience, you can go through a company such as Wix or Weebly; if you’re far savvier, Square’s open API can let you customize and develop your online store from scratch.
- View reports on any device in real-time.
- Reports analyze which customers are new to your business and which are repeat visitors along with what they are purchasing.
- Customize sales breakdowns by days, weeks, and months to spot trends.
- For businesses such as spas and salons, Square lets customers book online 24/7.
- Scheduling syncs with your calendar to ensure accuracy.
- Customer history can be easily viewed, and automatic scheduling reminders can be set up.
- Restaurant Features
- Square sets up automatic tipping reminders, which can help out servers.
- Customers can order takeout online.
- Tickets can be set up to print to the kitchen automatically, saving valuable time.
Ease Of Use
Convenience has always been the name of the game for Square, yet, somehow, Square Register has been able to simplify things even further. If you begrudge the energy it takes to change light bulbs and find cooking plain pasta to be just above your skillset, this is the product for you. Once you log in with your Square account, you are walked through a quick and simple tutorial. Then you’re in.
You can import your inventory via a CSV file, and, thanks to a recent update, you can now add pictures of your items, making it easier for employees or customers to search through your products. Square Register’s layout is easy to navigate, and the larger screen is helpful when you’re navigating through various pages.
Usually, when I’m testing out a product, I spend the bulk of my time acting in the role of an employee, navigating the front and back end of a system. But with Square Register, I found myself approaching the trial as a customer. It makes sense as the product’s primary goal is to give control to customers. The customer-facing screen, which can be anchored to the device or tethered for added mobility, allows customers to see the exact totals of their purchases and do their own card swiping/scanning/inserting. This cuts down on potential errors and can move lines along with more efficiency.
Square’s simple pricing structure has always been one of its more appealing selling points. Square Register costs $39/month for 24 months, or you can purchase the system outright for $799. Processing is also easy to calculate: 2.6% plus $0.10 per tap, dip, or swipe.
Square says it can work with vendors to create a custom rate for high-volume businesses that do more than $250K in annual credit card sales and have an average ticket size of over $15.
Customer Service & Support
Square has claimed to offer 24/7 customer service for a while now, but it’s pretty clear that the company is hoping you exhaust all of your other resources first to answer your question. If you still greatly prefer to talk directly with a human being, you need to go to the Square website and get a customer code before dialing the customer support number. There, you can enter the code and get set up with a representative. I may be nitpicking a bit, but I’d still prefer a simplified round-the-clock support number. Fortunately, email support is available, and Square does have an impressive customer support page where you can troubleshoot some basic questions; there are dozens of articles on various topics if you have time to do some research. Square also has one of the best community forums I’ve seen where you can look up various topics.
Once you do get in touch with a live person, Square’s support is friendly and very knowledgeable. They are happy to walk you through any issue that you’re having and are committed to making sure that your problems are completely resolved. Square keeps up a current blog and is fairly active on its social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Its YouTube channel also has some valuable information, plus walkthroughs and tutorials.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
As you might expect, with a product as new as Square Register, there aren’t a ton of reviews or complaints to sift through yet.
- Bugs: A few people who received early versions of the product talked about bugs in the software but were also quick to point out that some of Square’s automatic updates had already solved the issues.
- Fund Holds: A large number of complaints to the Better Business Bureau revolve around Square placing immediate holds on funds when it deems a suspicious transaction has occurred. These holds can come without notice and can take a while to resolve, causing understandable frustration for vendors.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
- Modern Design: The fortunate few who have been able to get their hands on Square Register have been very impressed with its interface. Reviewers comment on its sleek look and its easy-to-read display for both employees and customers.
- Feature-Rich: Square has never been lacking in its breadth of features. Retailers enjoy the inventory and reporting functions along with the simple employee management offerings.
- Low Cost & Simple Pricing: Business owners appreciate how much you get from an affordable package and a few commented on how easy it is to predict your costs.
- Integrations: Customers like having access to the impressive App Marketplace and appreciated that add-ons were at a minimum.
Square Register has been highly anticipated for a while now, and I’m happy to say that it lives up to some pretty lofty expectations. It’s tough to not be impressed by a system with so many features that can be set up in its entirety practically on a coffee break. The interface is ridiculously easy to maneuver, and the ability for customers to interact easily with the POS is a huge and unique benefit.
While Square’s appeal has always been aimed at people like me, who value simplicity and ease of use, the company’s open API and ever-expanding App Marketplace make it worth a look to more adventurous business owners who might want to customize their own apps. Square is continuously updating and appears to have resolved some of the complaints that customers had in the past. There are no early termination fees, and the costs for add-on features are pretty clearly laid out.
Square continues to be on the cutting edge of the point of sale and payment processing game. The addition of Register to its arsenal makes it an even more formidable player and earns 5 out of 5 stars.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.