Australia’s shop tills expected to ring around 250 times a second on Christmas Eve
eftpos data reveals Australia is on the cusp of the busiest shopping period of the year, with many of us traditionally leaving our festive shopping to the last minute.
While 2020 has unquestionably modified the way consumers shop, history tells us that Christmas Eve will almost certainly claim the title of Australia’s busiest shopping day of the year.
For those considering dashing to the shops around lunchtime Christmas Eve, be prepared to encounter the busiest part of the busiest day, when the number of transactions processed through the eftpos Hub in 2019 hit close to 250 a second.
This was a 13% increase on the number of transactions compared to the equivalent busiest day in 2018, and similar volumes are expected this year.
eftpos CEO Stephen Benton said while online shopping has increased in popularity in 2020, in the final days leading up to Christmas Day local high street shops and businesses should still expect customer traffic to peak.
“With only a handful of days left to shop, Australians will turn to their local shops to finalise their Christmas shopping,” Mr Benton said.
“We encourage all Australians to support their local businesses this year. Buying Christmas gifts and food items from local stores has a big impact on your local community, as many small and medium businesses across Australia continue to face tough times.”
Only a few weeks ago, eftpos data revealed many Australian SME business categories were enduring lower sales volumes compared to the same time last year, including hobby and recreational goods which includes toy stores (-12%), clothing and soft goods (-8%), jewellery & gifts (-18%) and electrical and computing (-10%).
“Many of the small and medium business categories that we analysed recently were still down on yearly sales,” Mr Benton said. “With local community support this Christmas, small businesses will thrive once again.”
In 2019 the top five busiest days were the five days immediately prior to Christmas Day, excluding Sunday 22December.
2018 followed a similar pattern, when beginning on Friday 21 December eftpos recorded four out of the five busiest days that year, once again excluding Sunday 23 December. Only Thursday 29 March, prior to the Easter long weekend that year, managed to squeeze into the top five in 2018.
eftpos is Australia’s debit card system, accounting more than 2 billion CHQ and SAV transactions in 2019 worth around $130 billion.