In this week’s report, we look at the change in sales at the small businesses in our sample over the holiday week of November 23 to 29, which included Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
We saw a decrease in sales over the holiday weekend, largely attributable to the types of small businesses in our sample, which tend to close their doors for the holidays. Indeed, the number of active merchants was down nearly 10% last week.
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.
This metric compares change in sales at US small businesses from the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020 over the preceding eight weeks.
The transaction count metric represents the total number of transactions processed by the small businesses in our sample.
This metric measures all businesses who processed at least one transaction in the preceding week.
This metric shows the average number of transactions made at all of the active merchants in our sample.
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 196% higher than their pre-COVID baseline levels. The share of transactions made via EMV chip are 11% above the baseline.
In this section of the CardFlight Small Business Report, we take a closer look at small business performance by business category.
The two charts below show change in sales and transaction counts at US small businesses in the Food and Drink category from the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020 over the preceding eight weeks.
The two charts below show change in sales and transaction counts at US small businesses in the Retail category from the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020 over the preceding eight weeks.
The two charts below show change in sales and transaction counts at US small businesses in the Services category from the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020 over the preceding eight weeks.
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 October 5.2% above September.
Transaction counts ended the month of October 9.4% above September.
The number of active small businesses in our sample ended the month of October 2.7% above August.
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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 70,000 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.