Over the past few years, Square has evolved from being “that payment company with the recognizable dongle,” to an indispensable part of the technology stack for quite a few businesses. It’s not just about accepting the payments anymore, it’s about managing your business with software.
Today, Square is releasing its second non-consumer app, a dashboard app for iOS that lets business owners track sales in real-time and allows them to dig into the health of their business with analytics. This app isn’t for the barista at the coffee shop, but it was built for the owner who might be watching over things while they’re not at the shop.
The company tells me that it noticed a lot of its customers were checking analytics via mobile and they wanted to make that process even easier. During the beta period, customers who were trying out the app checked their analytics 2.5 times more than before (more than 12 times a day), thanks to the native experience.
While Square has become synonymous with small businesses, or even food trucks here in San Francisco, the company tells me that it builds software for companies of all sizes.
I chatted with Sidecar Coffee owner Andy Fuchtman about his experiences with the app:
It helps me keep tabs on the shop during the day and also helps me understand the bigger picture of what’s happening on a week to week basis – all at a glance on my phone which is great for me since I’m rarely sitting in front of a computer.
I use the data to help me build the schedule, to see if my ideas for the shop are working, and to help me understand the identity of my business. For example, it turns out that vanilla lattes were among our top five selling items almost every day this spring so I had my staff make and taste a vanilla latte every time they started their shift. I tried a cappuccino happy hour to promote our favorite drink to make, then I watched to see if it worked.
With this app, business owners can track how many items are left in stock in multiple locations, for example, which can help them make important decisions on the fly without having to sit down at a computer.