It was a year unlike any other, and it showed with the ups and downs of Canadian spending during 2020. From contactless payments to emerging categories, businesses and consumers alike were able to adapt to our new normal in some surprising ways.
On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Consumer spending trends were relatively uneventful at the beginning of 2020, but by the end of March every Canadian province and territory had entered a state of emergency. Grocery saw a volume increase of 14% in Q1 over last year.
From cocktails to contactless payments.
As Canadians settled into the new normal of pandemic life, contactless payment limits increased to $250 in April 2020. Beyond helping to promote physical distancing, this increase also corresponds with an 11.7% average transaction size increase compared to the previous year. Alcohol saw a volume increase of 25% in Q2 over last year.
From rising temperatures to rising basket sizes.
Warmer months brought looser restrictions and larger basket sizes as Canadians looked to reduce the number of times, they went out to go shopping. September saw consumer spending recover to near pre-pandemic levels as restrictions eased across the country. Mass merchandisers like discount or variety stores saw a volume increase of 27% in Q3 over last year.
From home goods to hot deals.
The busiest shopping day of the year was Black Friday once again in 2020, which could be due to looser restrictions in November than in December. The last quarter of the year also saw contactless payments make up almost 60% of in-person transactions across Canada. Household was the biggest category in terms of domestic volume growth year-over-year in 2020.
That’s a wrap on our year of pandemic consumer spending! From larger transaction sizes to embracing contactless payments, Canadians were able to adapt in a year that was anything but ordinary.
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Moneris spending reports measure spending in Canada across a range of categories by analyzing credit and debit card transaction data. The figures and percentages cited are derived from aggregated transaction volumes being processed by Moneris in the applicable categories, as compared to transaction volume from the prior year unless otherwise stated
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