How Are Consumers Spending Their Dollars This Holiday Season?

November 19, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Most people are probably still thinking about that recent cold snap that most of the United States shivered through to remember that Thanksgiving is coming up with a shocking amount of speed. With that comes the inevitable start of the holiday shopping season. Luckily, Bank of America recently sent us aggregated customer spending and transaction data, showing the results of a study that discussed how consumers are likely to spend their hard-earned dollars this coming season..

The immortal Perry Como tune made it clear that there’s no place like home for the holidays, and the average consumer seems to agree. The report claims that the average spend on travel in the holiday season is $562, though that number drops the closer you get to Christmas with December’s average lowering to $366. People tend to book their travel ahead, and look for deals in the meantime; Cyber Monday is the second-highest airline purchase day of the year.

Retail spending—where a lot of people focus their attention—averaged around $1,173 per shopper, with Black Friday proving the biggest day for retail. Individual transactions were 76 percent higher than any normal day, and the highest retail spend was better than double the average at 121 percent.

Even food adds a component to the affair. Putting on that Christmas feast averages $535 for groceries during the holiday season, though admittedly, food still has to be bought when there isn’t a holiday involved. Thanksgiving Eve proved a big shopping day at 58 percent above average, and Christmas Eve called for 39 percent above average.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that there’s more than retail driving spending this time of year. From the tiniest light on the tree to the turkey on the platter, it all takes cash to happen. That means mobile payment systems need to enhance their viability with greater use cases to reach more shoppers. We’ve already seen the impact of better reward systems and new checkout options, and this can be a great time for businesses to incorporate these options to improve customer experience.

Mobile payments can be as big a part of the holiday season as cash, but it’s all in how these tools are used.