What We Learned From Holiday Shopping Season 2018

September 26, 2019

With the cold weather creeping in, it’s just about time for Canadians to start making their lists of who will be getting gifts during the holidays. As we know, history tends to repeat itself, so in order to best forecast what this year’s shopping season will look like, it’s helpful to review what happened last year.

Let’s take a look back at some interesting trends we learned from analyzing the data from the holiday season in 2018 in both Canada and the United States.

The Big Three Days Continue to Reign Supreme

We discovered in our MonerisMetrics Q4 Spend Report that “[t]he traditional shopping days of Black Friday, Boxing Day, and the final Friday before Christmas all saw year-over-year increases”. This has been a trend for many years, and these days continue to surge in shopping popularity compared to the rest of the season.

Black Friday was the most popular of the three days in terms of spend volume, which means that the most money was spent this day. This could be due to a number of factors, including sales on high-ticket items like electronics. The Friday before Christmas, which was December 21st last year, was the most popular by number of transactions however. This could allude to customers buying last minute small ticket items like wrapping paper and stocking stuffers that tend to be low on the shopping list and easily forgotten.

As a business owner, it’s safe to assume that these big three days will continue in popularity. As such, these busy times should be well staffed and well stocked to prepare for the shopping rushes that happen.

Games Make Good Gifts 

Another interesting insight we noted in the Q4 Spend Report was that hobby and game stores were up 10% YOY. This could be caused by a number of factors, but it likely connects to a trend we’ve noticed throughout our spend reports this year - Canadian shoppers are spending more money on things we consider experiences.

Shoppers seem to be looking to purchase items that bring with them the option of shared experiences with friends or family; say buying a new board game for games night, or crafting tools for an afternoon of scrapbooking.

What We Can Learn from the US

It can sometimes be difficult to get quick statistics about Canadian shoppers as a whole, but that is not the same for American shoppers, whose spending habits and trends tend to  mirror our own.

According to Holiday Shopping by the Numbers: 26 Stats from 2018, an article by movableink.com, some of the most interesting shopping stats that came from the 2018 American holiday shopping season include:

If you’re interested in learning more about how to prepare for the busy holiday shopping season, don’t miss our articles Why Businesses Should Offer a Gift Card Solution During the Holidays and Holiday Survival Tips for Merchants ft. Angela Brown, Moneris' President and Chief Executive Officer.


The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 

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