December 22 Will Be the Busiest Shopping Day of the Year

Shoppers may want to think again about braving the mall this Friday.

December 22 is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year, according to predictions by both Interac and Moneris.

More specifically, Canada’s largest debit and credit payment processor declared 3:00 p.m. will be the highest traffic time for sales on the last weekday before Christmas.

Moneris analyzed shopping trends to determine that Canadians made 11 per cent more transactions on the busiest shopping day last year—December 23—than the year prior. That day topped both Black Friday and Boxing Day for total transactions. Last year, Manitobans proved to be the biggest last-minute shoppers, followed by Ontarians and Quebec.

Data from Interac Association and Acxsys Corp found Canadians made more than 24 million transactions and spent over $1.2 billion on the last Friday before Christmas Eve last year. When it came to the total amount spent, Interac’s point-of-sale data showed the busiest shopping day of 2016 beat out the busiest day of the year prior by a staggering 19 per cent.

Interac expects this year’s last-minute shoppers to break that record, making 25 million debit transactions across Canada on December 22.

Despite the growing number of people making late purchases, Interac found nearly three-quarters of Canadians (68 per cent) surveyed said they disliked crowded stores and malls the most when it comes to holiday shopping. While the long lines at checkout was the second most cited pain point, fintech innovations like contactless payments are easing the experience.

Interac reported the use of its contactless debit solution was up 80 per cent this year, used 1.5 billion times.

“We’ve seen tremendous adoption of our contactless debit product, Interac Flash… It’s clear consumers and businesses are taking advantage of the convenience and speed of Interac Flash to get through checkout lines faster,” said Martin Ho, Interac’s head of core products.

While many Canadians are scrambling to finish checking off their lists, the rise of e-commerce has led to record-breaking online sales too. Last month, Adobe predicted that Americans will break the $100-billion mark for online holiday shopping, spending $107 billion in the last two months of the year.