Payment flexibility may lead to more reliable year-end sales forecasts
December 12, 2013

With the right credit card processing tools in place, small and medium-sized businesses can eliminate the guessing game often associated with the holiday shopping season. It's usually a given that the majority of American consumers will be out in throngs during the roughly four weeks of December. However, external factors such as the current state of the economy and household spending habits present an element of unpredictability for many stores.

The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch publication said the current data surrounding year-end retail activity paints a mixed picture. In regard to 2013's Black Friday sales, the overall numbers were relatively disappointing compared to previous years. For example, the entire four day stretch immediately following Thanksgiving only boosted total sales numbers in the retail industry 1 percent to $22.2 billion for the year so far. However, the U.S. Department of Commerce suggested Americans are gradually spending more money than they have in the past several months. The agency found U.S. consumers spent 0.7 percent more in November than they did in October.

Such trends may present good news for many small and medium-sized retailers throughout December and beyond. However, a recent article from The Associated Press said there aren't many reliable figures that can set store managers at ease during the holidays. As a result, many companies spend the season on their toes looking for ways to maximize revenue without compromising the efficiency of their operations.

Increasing transaction flexibility may be the most effective way to ensure quality sales figures at the end of the year. Investing in tools that make it easier to accept credit card payments from multiple channels will not only open new revenue streams, but it may also lead to greater customer retention in the long run.

Nexus: G-WEBCD4