The holiday season is always a busy shopping period, but this Dec. 22, the last Friday before Christmas Eve, could shape up to be the busiest day of the year for retailers.
That’s according to Interac Association and Acxsys Corp., a partnership which released its data on the holiday shopping season Monday (Dec. 11).
In a press release, Interac said that based on point-of-sale data, Canadians made more than 24 million transactions and spent more than $1.2 billion on the last Friday before Christmas Eve last year, making it the busiest shopping day of 2016. The company believes this year should see more than 25 million debit transactions, making it the busiest shopping day of 2017.
That projection comes in spite of consumer complaints about the hubbub surrounding the holiday shopping season. In fact, 68 percent of surveyed Canadians reported disliking crowded stores and malls the most during the holidays, with 61 percent citing long lines at the checkout as a common pain point. Newer payment products and digital solutions seem to help take some of the sting out of the chaos, though.
“We’ve seen tremendous adoption of our contactless debit product, Interac Flash, as Canadians used Flash more than 1.5 billion times this year, up 80 percent from last year,” said Martin Ho, head of core products at Interact. “It’s clear consumers and businesses are taking advantage of the convenience and speed of Interac Flash to get through checkout lines faster. With the holidays here, Interac Flash and Interac Debit keep Canadians on track with holiday spending because you are using your own money.”
Other tidbits to come from the survey include that 34 percent of millennials reported they expect to have more debt after holiday shopping, 43 percent said they budget for holiday spending by making and sticking to a shopping list and 61 percent polled said they were keeping the spending at $500 or lower this holiday season. Of all survey respondents, 43 percent said they will spend the most on children, 31 percent said they would spend the most on their partner or spouse and 12 percent on their parents.