Mom and pop retailers' top concerns headed into the 2015 holiday shopping season are competing with other small merchants, changing EMV requirements as well as the overall state of the economy and how it will impact business during Q4 and into 2016, according to the Q3 2015 ShopKeep Small Business Index (SSBI).
which draws upon insights gathered from 836 small business owners,
reveals that contrary to popular belief, competing with national retail
and restaurant chains is not the biggest worry this holiday season. The SSBI reveals that small business owners also have broader concerns ranging from the state of the economy to inclement weather – factors that have a pronounced impact on the day-to-day bottom line. To compensate for these concerns, independent merchants are preparing for the holiday season by streamlining their operations to mitigate revenue loss. Key findings include:
- 73 percent of survey respondents stated that they will not be hiring seasonal employees
- 30 percent of small business owners will close on major holidays, including Black Friday.
- Only 27 percent of respondents plan on extending their hours of operation during the holiday season to capitalize on the potential of additional sales. Forty-eight percent of respondents would not consider seasonal hours and 25% were still undecided.
- 50 percent of merchants surveyed expressed concern about inclement weather impacting sales – especially with last year’s record-breaking low temperatures still fresh in the mind of retailers.
- The EMV deadline has been looming over the heads of independent merchants for months now, but despite the EMV liability shift date having already passed, the SSBI indicated that 40 percent of merchants are still not prepared to accept chip cards. Over 25 percent of merchants surveyed noted that they either will not be EMV-compliant or unsure if they will be by the end of the year, suggesting that they are either taking a wait-and-see approach prior to investing in new technology or that further education is needed on fraud liability.
“Running a small business is not easy, making it almost impossible to count the number of concerns that keep merchants up at night,” explains ShopKeep president and CEO Norm Merritt. “Despite the myriad of issues, it’s reassuring to see merchants continue to be very optimistic. At ShopKeep our goal is to help merchants run smarter businesses and ultimately make the optimism about the holiday season a reality.”
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 20,000 registers in use at businesses in the United States and Canada.