Small business owners experience blood, sweat, and tears in running their companies and they look to solutions providers to help with the heavy lifting. Payments transaction systems are among the most critical to outsource. As pointed out in the following article, ShopKeep is one of a growing number of solutions providers for small merchant payments services.
Over the past year, New York City point-of-sale company ShopKeep has been a whirlwind, with two acquisitions and a newly installed C-suite minding the shop, including retail technology veteran Michael DeSimone, who shifted from company COO to CEO as of January.
ShopKeep, which was co-founded by retailer Jason Richelson in 2008, now has 22,000 merchants who rely on it to do business and 265 employees worldwide. Most of the staffers are in New York, but there’s an office in Portland, Oregon, which handles customer care, a handful of staffers in Chicago, and half of the tech development team in Belfast, North Ireland.
“When Shopkeep started, it was pretty early days, and we were one of the first in the market to what’s now called mobile point of sale or M-POS,” DeSimone said. “It was an exciting, fast-growing time. In the ensuing three or four years, there were a lot of new entrants. So we wanted to make sure we were taking a step ahead in thinking about how do we take the products and the company to the next level and making sure we have the best team to do it, so that’s how I came into the business.”
ShopKeep aims to do more by adding value through its cloud-based technology platform, which allows merchants to use the platform for other functions, such as analytics. Other ShopKeep rivals are Montreal-based LightSpeed, and Revel Systems, which is based in San Francisco. But both companies, particularly Revel, serve businesses that operate larger chains, while ShopKeep finds itself in what DeSimone says is a sweet spot in the middle, competing against legacy cash register systems
Small merchants gravitate to vendors who can provide a bundle of services. The basic, but necessary transactional support becomes secondary to the much needed business management and operations solutions that drives faster growth. ShopKeep has succeeded so far by combing payments systems expertise and focused, vertical market know-how, usually a winning combination. Competitors, including Square, will not be standing still, and there will be a leap-frog game of enhanced features and services in the growing mPOS sector. Small businesses and their customers will reap the rewards.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group
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