Findings show independent business owners rely on local communities and personal networks to ensure sustainable growth
Survey discovers which public policies matter most to growing businesses
NEW YORK (April 8, 2015) – ShopKeep, the cloud-based technology provider with more than 16,000 registers in use by retail shops, restaurants, and other organizations, today announced the release of the Q1 2015 ShopKeep Small Business Index (SSBI). The SSBI, which draws upon insights gathered from a survey of 1,480 ShopKeep merchants as well as first quarter same-store sales data, reveals that small businesses are growing, and by all accounts, are the strongest they’ve been in recent years. Following a strong holiday season, survey respondents reported their highest revenue and optimism to date. Ninety-six percent of business owners are confident about the current state of their businesses, versus the current US average of 65%, and 97% of respondents expressed optimism about the success of their businesses one year from now. Notably, revenue increased for 75% of ShopKeep merchants over the last six months and 90% of respondents anticipate revenue to continue growing over the next six months. Other noteworthy economic findings include:
- Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents reported an increase in net profits over the last six months
- Same-store sales data revealed a 11% increase in the revenue during Q1 2015 as compared to Q1 2014
- ShopKeep merchants also saw a 17% increase in the number of transactions during Q1 2015 as compared to Q1 2014
- Q1 2015 sales figures reflect a 25% increase in revenue for restaurants and bars as compared to Q1 2014
This quarter, ShopKeep also surveyed merchants on the resources they rely on to run their businesses. ShopKeep found that 60% of respondents are first-time business owners and look to trusted accountants, bookkeepers or financial advisors for advice and support, followed by family and friends (54%), online resources (55%) and other small businesses owners (43%). ShopKeep also asked its business owners about the challenges and government policies they foresee impacting the future health and survival of their businesses. Despite this quarter’s strong profits, 61% of merchants identified tax and regulatory policy as a potential concern, followed by concerns about economic uncertainty (44%), retaining a quality workforce (42%) and the cost and availability of health insurance for employees (27%).
“Each quarter, we conduct this survey to offer some insight into the health of small businesses and identify emerging trends and topics that are currently top of mind for independent business owners,” said ShopKeep president and CEO Norm Merritt. “It is encouraging to see the overwhelming optimism in the small business sector as we head into the second quarter of the year, but even with this positive outlook, we’re finding that independent merchants are relying heavily on each other and local resources to run their businesses — especially where EMV is concerned. With new payments regulations being introduced later this year, ongoing industry-wide education about developing technologies and government policies will be key in maintaining their growth and success.”
This third installment of the SSBI builds upon ShopKeep’s findings from the first two indices and reveals that technology and data security remain a priority for growing businesses. With the launch of Apple Pay late last year, the introduction of EMV regulations later this year, and a plethora of other options coming to the forefront, merchants are in favor of gaining knowledge about these new payment technologies now, more than ever. Seventy-eight percent of merchants acknowledged that contactless payment technologies will ultimately lead to increased customer convenience because they can accept more forms of payment and reduce transaction time, but 44% of respondents are unsure of how contactless payments will impact the security of their customers’ credit card data. To read the full Q1 2015 ShopKeep Small Business Index, visit shopkeep.com/press.
Everything ShopKeep does is about supporting growing and independent businesses. Founded by a successful 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 growing 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 already has more than 16,000 registers in use at businesses in the United States and Canada. Business owners can 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 growing 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.