— Business performance and sales growth among key drivers for year-end confidence —
NEW YORK (December 3, 2014) – ShopKeep, the cloud-based technology provider trusted by more than 10,000 small business owners to manage retail shops and restaurants with iPads, today announced the findings of its first quarterly Small Business Index. The findings offer a valuable glimpse into the health of small businesses in North America with insights gathered from a survey of 657 ShopKeep customers as well as annual and quarterly same-store sales.
The third quarter 2014 Small Business Index includes data from a survey of ShopKeep users and provides their feedback on the economy and their outlook for the holiday season. Sixty-eight percent of respondents expressed their optimism for the upcoming holiday season. This confidence among respondents is in line with optimism across US retail operations as consumer confidence reaches a seven-year high and retail sales are poised to increase nationwide.
Other notable findings include:
- 78% of respondents expect seasonal sales to be better than or the same as last year, supporting the National Retail Federation’s forecasting that holiday sales will increase by 4.1% this year.
- Hiring seasonal employees is another indicator of a positive outlook for the holidays. Of the respondents who are planning on hiring seasonal employees:
- 81% are planning on hiring 1-3 people
- 9% are planning on hiring 4-6 people
- 6% are planning on hiring 7-10 people
- 4% are planning on hiring 10+
- 84% of respondents found this quarter’s sales volume to be higher or about the same compared to last quarter, indicating solid business performance across ShopKeep users.
- Supporting their optimism in the holiday period, 31% of respondents plan to extend holiday hours to accommodate for additional traffic.
ShopKeep also looked at same-store sales for its customer base and noticed specific trends in the data that indicate economic growth and growing consumer confidence, underscoring the optimism expressed by its customers. Looking closely at the year-over-year same-store sales from September 2013 to September 2014, there was steady growth that supports retailers’ confidence approaching this holiday season. Overall:
- A 12% increase in sales
- A 6.5% increase in number of transactions
- A 5.4% increase in transaction size
Despite these increases in revenue and confidence for the holiday season, the survey results also revealed that security remains a major concern for business owners. Sixty-three percent of respondents were concerned about the security of their customers’ credit or debit card information, but they were also confident in the security solutions that ShopKeep provides. This feedback demonstrates that merchants are being inundated with information about new payment technology, but they trust ShopKeep and are eager for additional security products.
“Main Street is coming back and continued education on upcoming regulations and new payment technology will be key for continued success and mitigating fraud and security breaches,” said ShopKeep president and co-CEO Norm Merritt. “Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy, and the optimism expressed in the Small Business Index is a positive indicator of the health of independent business.”
Everything ShopKeep does is about supporting small and independent businesses. Founded by a successful small business owner who had a point of sale system that was not meeting his needs, ShopKeep provides an intuitive, secure, iPad-based point-of-sale system. ShopKeep empowers small business owners to run smarter businesses by optimizing staffing, regulating inventory and accessing sales reports and customer information on one seamless, cloud-based platform. ShopKeep has already helped more than 10,000 business owners in the United States and Canada set-up their registers in minutes, accept cash and credit cards with their choice of processor, view real-time sales on their smartphone and easily track inventory and staff. Most importantly, ShopKeep’s award-winning customer care team is available to help 24/7 and provide a robust support network for small business owners. ShopKeep was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in New York. Follow @ShopKeep on Twitter, join the discussion on the ShopKeep blog or visit www.shopkeep.com to learn more.