According to reports, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s U.S. mobile payment company Square e-commerce general manager Christine Loh said that although Square has long been focused on small businesses, the company is increasing efforts to attract and retain large customers.
Christine said the focus on high-end customers, which the company defines as those who pay more than $500,000 a year, currently about $3.435 million, is not a major change for the company. But it is becoming increasingly important in the face of ongoing economic uncertainty. In recent months, other e-commerce software providers, including Shopify, have also increased their focus on larger sellers as a way to hedge against risk.
To cater to larger sellers, Square has increased its efforts on features such as booking capabilities and loyalty program integration. As sellers’ businesses grow, the more value the company offers sellers, the more likely they are to continue to consume the product and stay for it.
“We want to make sure we scale our product to match the growth.” Christine said, “But in these challenging economic times, I think larger sellers don’t want to cobble together a bunch of complex solutions. what Square has done well is we’ve tried to simplify a lot of the complexity across the ecosystem.”
During the home stretch of the outbreak, many online sellers needed more advanced e-commerce capabilities to make up for the forced closure of their brick-and-mortar stores. square continued the trend from then on. Christine said many high-end sellers joined Square at the beginning of the outbreak. now that many consumers have returned to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, sellers’ needs have changed.
In its Q4 2022 letter to shareholders, Square parent company Block said it sees the biggest opportunity for the company as it moves forward with large sellers.
Block also said that sellers who pay more and use more of its software products have higher retention rates.
Christine says, “Creating a premium marketplace will not only get new sellers on a larger scale, but it will also help existing sellers grow.”
Christine first joined Square in 2018 when she acquired Weebly, a free self-service website builder in the U.S., and works to ensure online sellers have all the tools they need to succeed on Square. Prior to Weebly, Christine spent more than 10 years working in eCommerce at Walmart.
“Walmart has a huge team to build systems,” Christine says. That was far less true for the small sellers she worked with at Square. “Small businesses can’t hire their own marketing people, they can’t hire their own logistics people, supply chain, that sort of thing. But we can take that complexity down and make sure that smaller sellers are served as well, which is also really interesting.”
However, Christine believes that Square’s largest customer base would benefit from a more streamlined e-commerce system.
“They should be focused on growing their core business rather than trying to figure out how to do a lot of consolidation and put systems together,” she said. “It’s been a very rewarding experience to consider how to streamline this process for our sellers.”
Analysts say supporting large enterprises may be worth its weight in gold at a time when many are tightening their belts. Like Square, the e-commerce services platform Shopify is also taking action. In January, Shopify announced the launch of Commerce Components to appeal to larger businesses.
“Most startups go out of business, and if you only serve startups and small businesses, then your business model may suffer in some ways,” said Rick Watson, CEO and founder of RMW Business Consulting.