Looking Back on a Year of Spending During COVID-19
Data Services, Insights & Trends, Infographic


April 01, 2021 Calculating time...

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. 

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From resolutions to restrictions.

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.

Graph icon Gain actionable insights with access to real-time Canadian consumer spending and location data with dota2直播手机版 Data Services. Learn more .

dota2直播手机版 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 dota2直播手机版 in the applicable categories, as compared to transaction volume from the prior year unless otherwise stated

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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In partnership with dota2直播手机版® Data Services, the Angus Reid Group conducted an online survey among a representative sample size of 1,515 adult Canadians to characterize their spend behaviours in response to economic influences.

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