SOME SPENDING DATA FROM BANK OF AMERICA'S 50 MILLION CREDITCARD HOLDERS:
March 8, 2018 By: Steven Anderson
If March seems late in the year for a “look back at last year” article, you’re not alone. When Bank of America sent out a copy of its 2017 Consumer Spending Snapshot report detailing consumer spending from the over 50 million credit and debit cards in its purview, the lateness could be forgiven. It takes time to compile that kind of data, and the revelations are well worth the wait.
Clothing retailers will want to ramp up, in the future, in the winter and spring months. Shoppers spend heavily during the winter holiday season, and during late spring as well. The average retail spend in November is $503, which jumps to $576 in December. The next highest spend is in May, at $469.
Most shopping is still done in brick-and-mortar outlets, as 73 percent of spending took place at the point of sale, while 21 percent was done online. Six percent came from “other” sources like mail and telephone order as well as subscriptions. Online, however, increased two percent from 2016, while physical dropped three percent.
Travel is also up; trips are commonly booked in March, though December—not surprisingly given holiday travel—isn’t far behind. Ridesharing services are also seeing more spending, with the spend per customer up 17 percent and transactions up 18 percent per customer.
Food, meanwhile, saw its biggest gains in December, but May and July—notorious for Memorial Day and Fourth of July barbecues—saw gains as well. Restaurants were big with the millennial crowd, but millennials also proved bargain-conscious, spending less but eating more.
While the obvious platitudes about stepping up marketing ahead of clear spending phases apply, we also see that online spending is on the rise, albeit slowly, and that spending at the point-of-sale is still a major part of shopping in general. Yet based on the numbers we’ve seen here, it’s evident that the debit and credit card—one of the earliest forms of mobile payment system—are still doing quite well and likely will for some time.
The world is changing, yet even as it changes, some things yet remain the same. Whether that card is connected to Apple Pay or dipped at the point-of-sale, it’s still a big part of the market, and people are doing plenty of spending.
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