In this week’s report, we look back at another week of falling sales, and the third straight week of falling transaction counts.
The CardFlight Small Business Report analyzes sales performance and emerging trends among small businesses in the United States.
The report has been featured in and/or cited by The Atlantic, Bloomberg TV, Business Insider, Digital Transactions, PaymentsJournal, PaymentsSource, and others. Sign up below to receive future report notifications right in your inbox.
Learn more about the report and our methodology.
First, we examine change in week-over-week small business performance by analyzing change in overall sales, number of transactions per business, and more.
Week-over-week sales at the small businesses in our sample fell by 1.4 % compared to the week of October 12 to 18, 2020.
The transaction count metric represents the total number of transactions processed by the small businesses in our sample. Last week, transaction counts decreased by 2.1%.
This metric measures all businesses who processed at least one transaction in the preceding week.
The number of active merchants was relatively flat last week, down 1%. This is the third consecutive week with week-over-week decreases.
The average number of transactions per active merchant decreased by 1.1% last week. Transactions per active merchant have been relatively flat for the past six weeks.
The payments industry has two broad categories for transactions based on where they occur.
The three ways US consumers typically use credit and debit cards for in-person transactions are:
We continue to see that overall growth in sales made via contactless payment methods are outpacing those made via EMV chip.
Transactions made via contactless payment methods are now 207% higher than their pre-COVID baseline levels. The share of transactions made via EMV chip are 19% above the baseline.
In this section of the CardFlight Small Business Report, we take a closer look at small business performance by business category.
Sales at Food and Drink businesses decreased by 9.1% last week. Transaction counts decreased by 1.3% week-over-week.
Sales at the Retail businesses in our sample continue to be volatile; down 4.9% week-over-week. Transaction counts decreased by 3.9%.
Sales at businesses in the Services category were unchanged last week. Meanwhile, transaction counts decreased by 5.4%.
Next, we take a look at the month-over-month changes to sales, transaction counts, and number of active merchants at US small businesses. This analysis is based on "whole month" comparisons, using March 2020 as the baseline month.
Sales at the small businesses in our sample ended the month of September 5.4% below August.
Transaction counts ended the month of August 0.1% below July.
The number of active small businesses in our sample ended the month of September 1.5% below August.
Sign up for report notifications below to stay in the loop as we continue to explore changes in the realms of small business payment technology.
The CardFlight Small Business Report is intended to provide insights into ongoing sales performance, trends, predictions, and unique analysis of US small businesses. The report has been featured in The Atlantic, Bloomberg TV, Business Insider, Digital Transactions, PaymentsJournal, PaymentsSource, and others.
The report is based on analysis of a representative sample of more than two million transactions processed by more than 65,000 small businesses who use SwipeSimple software (the signature product of CardFlight) to accept credit and debit card payments.
To create this report, we analyzed a representative sample of millions of transactions processed by:
The typical SwipeSimple merchant has one to ten employees and less than five locations or mobile service points. The average active merchant represented in this data set processes approximately $130,000 in credit/debit card payments annually. The merchants are a mix of professional and personal service providers, specialty retail establishments, and food and drink purveyors.