GoDaddy And Square Recast SMB Payments

As the web hosting provider of choice for literally millions of small- and medium-sized businesses, GoDaddy faces the same challenge that all players face when serving the SMB market: tailoring their services in a way that can reach an incredibly diverse batch of businesses.

According to Greg Goldfarb, GoDaddy’s VP of commerce and email, the desire to go online is one of the few common threads among the handcrafted jam maker who slings boysenberry preserves online and at farmers markets, the 500-person software startup that does $30 million a year in sales, the brand-new fashion eTailer with six employees and the family-owned landscaping business.

It’s a diversity that Goldfarb said GoDaddy has embraced under the rubric of “unlocking SMB value” by offering an array of interchangeable and customizable options that fit a diverse set of customer needs. GoCentral, Goldfarb said, is GoDaddy’s latest addition to that lineup.

“GoCental is a new website builder that aims to solve a few key problems for small businesses as they go online,” Goldfarb said. “It offers a number of website modules and designs tailored to a variety of business verticals that can be easily customized for a specific SMB.”

Goldfarb said that when an SMB signs up for GoCentral, the very first thing they see is a screen that asks them two questions: the name of the business and what it does. Based on those two data points, GoCentral presents a menu of options, modules, images and capabilities that they are most likely to need, including email marketing tools, direct SMS tie-in and plug-ins to generate supportive social media pages.

“We don’t just want to be about building better sites, because there’s no point to building out a perfectly functional, beautiful site if the small business doesn’t know how to attract, retain and engage an audience.” Not to mention how to allow those consumers to easily pay for their services.

This week, GoDaddy has further extended the functionality of GoCentral with a new partnership with Square.

The Power Of Partnering With Square, Part One

GoDaddy’s integration with Square makes it easier for SMBs operating in both the online and offline worlds to integrate payments powered by Square directly into their GoDaddy sites.

“One of the biggest trends we’ve seen in commerce today is the pressing need for merchants of all sizes to be able to offer multichannel solutions,” Goldfarb said. “We have heard from loads of product sellers and service providers who want to sell easily in both the real world and online, and have those systems really sync up.”

The integration with Square is about allowing those SMBs to do just that.

Goldfarb said that GoCentral is tailored for the tech and design novice, making it easy for emerging startups to move into the world of eCommerce and digital marketing – without having to know how to code or to understand a lick about the technical integrations needed to enable a variety of cross-channel payment options. The Square integration, he said, is to open the world of omnicommerce to these SMBs while keeping it “push button simple” for the SMB.

The Power of Partnering With Square, Part Two

While most people think of products and online shops when they think SMBs, 80 percent of SMBs are actually service providers – think beauty parlors, contractors, dog walkers, accountants, lawyers and landscapers. Getting paid involves a lot more than simply processing a payment. What these businesses need, Goldfarb explained, are the functions that wrap around the payment, things like booking and managing reservations or bookings, billing and accounting for no shows and generating appointment reminders and follow ups – all of which are the point solutions that SMBs have to go elsewhere to get, and then spend the time to integrate with each other and with payments.


GoCentral’s new scheduling feature – which Square is now tied into – is designed with the goal of taking all that friction out by creating a process where it is easy to sync calendars and make payments happen at the time of the appointment.

“What we have done with Square is provide the ability for the merchant to take the full payment required at the time of appointment, or collect a deposit – even cash on delivery,” Goldfarb said, adding that the GoCentral scheduling feature is meant to be completely customizable, so that maintaining the schedule isn’t a massive problem for the customer or the merchant.

GoCentral’s end game, Goldfarb noted, is to keep SMBs from having to stitch together a lot of payments solutions or business solutions but to have them available in a single “toolbox” where those functions can not only be managed, but also tailored to the unique needs of the businesses as they grow.

“We’re hitting on a number of cylinders that are very important to small business,” Goldfarb offered, “and we’re really excited about working with Square to expand the types of value we can create for small business(es).”

And while he had no new specifics to offer, he did note there is “more to come” in 2018.