Credit and debit cardholders appear to be spending more on their holiday shopping this year as compared to last, according to CO-OP Financial Services’ analysis of card transaction data from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. Among the key takeaways, CO-OP’s data indicates credit union cardholders shop more – and spend more – when they do so in a digital environment.
The average amount of money spent per cardholder was up this year, and in some cases, significantly. Credit cardholders spent an average of $323 over the five-day period, up more than 10 percent (+10.6%) over last year’s average of $292. For their part, debit cardholders spent an average of $264 from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. That’s an increase of nearly 17 percent (+16.8%) over the same period in 2018. CO-OP’s data shows analyst predictions for 2019 holiday shopping increases as high as 19.7 percent were fairly on target.
Data-driven payment strategy is particularly important for credit unions looking to capture and retain the business of online shoppers. CO-OP’s data shows cardholders tend to spend more per transaction when shopping online. In 2019, the average electronic transaction made with a credit card was $101.19. In-person credit transactions, on the other hand, averaged $83.46. Debit displayed similar differences with electronic transaction averages at $64.79 and in-person averages at $43.37.
Credit union cardholders continued to rely on digital channels to check off their holiday shopping lists. This year, 27.9 percent of credit card transactions processed by CO-OP came from electronic environments, compared to 27.5 percent in 2018. Debit transactions that came from electronic environments decreased, but only slightly, from 16.6 percent in 2018 to 15.7 percent this year. By day, the percentage of transactions processed in electronic environments was much larger on Cyber Monday. ShopperTrak reported that the number of consumers who actually entered a brick-and-mortar store was down 6.2 percent on Black Friday this year.
“Running frequent analytics on CO-OP’s transaction data gives our team rich insights that allow us to advise credit unions on highly effective and member-centric payment strategies,” said Todd Clark, President/CEO of CO-OP. “Because credit unions are driven by what’s best for their members, this level of intelligence is incredibly valuable.”
CO-OP’s 2019 holiday shopping data insights match a Business Insider report revealing nearly 60 percent of consumers prefer to shop during online retail events, like Cyber Monday. That may be due in part to the growing BOPIS trend (buy online, pickup in store), which grew a whopping 40.9 percent over 2018, according to Adobe Analytics.
Black Friday was the biggest shopping day across both card types in terms of total spend. Small Business Saturday was the runner-up.
As for the winners and losers among merchant categories, there were several notable differences among retailers. Credit union credit cardholders spent quite a bit less on clothing and appliances this year as compared to last. Clothing store transactions were down nearly 5 (-4.60%) percent; appliances down more than 20 percent (-22.06%). Car rental and travel were down considerably, as well, at more than 20 (-20.67%) and 15 percent (-15.76%), respectively. Interior furnishings and recreation (i.e., movie theaters, bowling alleys), on the other hand, increased sales significantly at nearly 10 percent (+9.9%) and 17 percent (+16.72%).
About CO-OP Financial Services
CO-OP Financial Services is a payments and financial technology company whose mission is ensuring the success of the credit union movement. CO-OP payments solutions, engagement services and strategic counsel help credit unions optimize member experiences to consistently provide seamless, personalized multi-channel offerings, while delivering secure, sophisticated fraud mitigation service. For more information, visit www.co-opfs.org.