Innovation

Squarespace and PayPal team up to super-serve smaller online merchants

Executives from each company explain how deep API integration helps merchants attract repeat customers, reduce bounce rates, and create a seamless shopping experience.

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Image: Squarespace

Digital publishing platform Squarespace has integrated with payment processing behemoth PayPal. The partnership is geared at making payment processing fast and simple for small business retail clients during the busy holiday season.

The mobile-focused partnership is device agnostic and more than a surface level integration, the company said. "[Deep integration with] PayPal APIs ... allows for the integration to feel native within our merchants' checkout processes," said Squarespace Director of Product Natalie Gibralter.

Amit Mathradas, PayPal's General Manager of North American Small Business, explained to TechRepublic that the partnership leverages backend data and minimizes frontend consumer-facing friction. "PayPal Express Checkout... includes One Touch and In-Context Checkout... on any device. We've built an integrated sign-up experience that reduces redirects and keeps the merchant within their Squarespace environment. This will help speed up the signup process so that you can start accepting your first payment [in] minutes."

SEE: Hiring kit: Microsoft Power BI developer (Tech Pro Research)

Small business was Squarespace's focus in 2016. A "significant number" of Squarespace users, according to a company spokesperson, are small business owners. In an attempt to court and super-serve small business clients, last summer the company added deep analytics geared towards retail clients that help customers gain insight on user behavior. In an interview with TechRepublic, Gibralter explained, "There's often so much information to wade through that it can become overwhelming and time consuming for small businesses, especially if they don't have the resources to parse through [the data] and find the most crucial points."

The integration plays a large role Squarespace's global expansion. Though Squarespace is available in Spanish and will add more markets through the year, PayPal is available in 200 global markets. "Our partnership with PayPal opens up more ways for our merchants sell products across the world," Gibralter said.

German-based schneid.org explained that the relationship between PayPal and Squarespace had a positive impact on its business. "The shop integration is very important for our [returning] business," the site owner said. "As we are based in a small town in Germany, where the customer base is rather small, it is essential to us to have an online shop where we can reach our national and international customers... this will have a high impact on our online shop sales."

The integration made sense for both companies, Gibralter said. "We measure our success by how successful our customers are in achieving their goals, and as such, we're always listening for valuable feedback to try to improve their experience. PayPal has long been one of the most frequently requested features from our customers, especially among merchants serving shoppers in countries where credit card penetration is lower. As we look towards expanding our international reach, the integration made a lot of sense.

Unlike CMS competitors WordPress and Medium, Squarespace offers no free product. The PayPal integration, in concert with deep analytics, allows the company to super-serve SMB clients. "Our merchant are able to access visual reporting and a suite of tools that help them identify areas where they can grow their business," Gibralter explained. "Examples of useful features [for SMBs] include Traffic Sources, which shows our merchants which marketing channels drive interest and sales and where to invest, and Purchase Funnel, which helps our merchants identify opportunities to improve the conversion of interest into purchase."

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Note: In a previous role for ABC News the author had a business relationship with Squarespace.

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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