Square for WooCommerce is a big deal for retail operations

Most Saturdays in my small hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, there's a farmers market at Pepper Place (obligatory photos link). Almost every single one of these little shops started taking credit cards in the last few years, after many years of only accepting cash in person. They have Square to thank for that.

Though many additional card swipers have popped up since, Square is still the best known, by far, and most used, in my experience. Square powers these small independents at my farmers market, and also my coffee shop. They also power a number of boutique retail stores in my town. You probably have very similar stories.

One of the big problems with small, independent commerce businesses is that it can be really tough to sync your online and offline inventory. I have long hoped that Stripe and Square would, “have a baby,” and make for the perfect company to rely on for all my transactions. While Square didn't get with Stripe, they do want to make this possible.

And with Square for WooCommerce, it's finally available for WordPress. The new extension syncs both your product line and inventory between WooCommerce and Square. So if you add a product in WooCommerce, it'll be available to your Square reader, and vice versa.

While Square for WooCommerce is a traditional merchant gateway, the inventory sync feature will be utilized whether the buyer uses the Square gateway or not. So, for instance, if you also have PayPal enabled on your website, the inventory will still sync to Square — meaning that the APIs are between merchant and store, not just via Square-powered transactions.

One downside — as noted in the announcement — is that this extension is only available in the US and Canada right now.

The connection of point of sale commerce and online commerce has been long desired by store owners. It was the second most requested item on Woo's ideas board. I liked the Square blog post description of the integration as enhancing “omnichannel” businesses. It's good to see it come to fruition.

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