MasterCard SpendingPulse data shows disproportionate growth for online

To Tweet this news, copy and paste: NEWS: Canadians Happier than Ever to Shop Online this #HolidaySeason #SpendingPulse

Toronto – January 16, 2013 – Canadians were enthusiastic online shoppers during the 2012 holiday season, clicking through on $2.8-billion in purchases, according to the MasterCard SpendingPulse report, a product of MasterCard Advisors, for December 2012. December online sales rose 26 per cent this year over last – much faster than in the U.S. — reaching a total of 6.6 per cent of all December retail sales.

Other indicators of the increased popularity of online shopping in the December numbers:

  • 15 consecutive months of growth over 20 per cent.
  • 43 consecutive months of year-over-year growth.
  • The October 2012 year-over-year growth rate was 27.5%.
  • The November 2012 year-over-year growth rate was 26.4%.
  • eCommerce in the U.S. grew by 12.6% versus last year indicating that Canadian online shopping is growing at a much faster pace than the U.S.

“More and More Canadians are moving from researching online and then buying in stores. Instead, they are taking advantage of the convenience, safety and security of online shopping. You can browse, price compare, find the best deals and check out with your credit card, all in the comfort of your home. During the busy holiday season, that’s an attractive proposition for shoppers,” said Richard McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, Global Products and Solutions for MasterCard Canada. “You can’t shop online with cash and that’s one of the benefits of electronic payments. It makes things easy for consumers and opens new doors for merchants.”

Other holiday shopping data from the SpendingPulse includes:

  • Total Canadian retail sales were up 1.6 per cent in December.
  • Total dollar value of December retail sales were $42 billion.
  • U.S. retail sales were up just 2.4 per cent year-over-year growth rate in December versus previous year, the slowest growth rate since 2009.

Categories like grocery, department store and gasoline experienced stunted growth in December 2012 versus previous year.

  • Grocery sales were up 1.3 per cent in December year-over-year.
  • Grocery sales for December 2012 were higher than the average sales for December in the previous 5 years in absolute dollar terms.
  • Gasoline sales fell 6.7 per cent in December.
  • Department store sales were up 3.1 per cent year-over-year in December versus previous year.
  • Department store sales for December 2012 were higher than any other December even pre-recession in absolute dollar terms. 


“eCommerce is the new frontier for many Canadian companies looking to grow their base and put their products in the hands of consumers,” said Michael McNamara, VP of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “While online shopping shares typically peak during the holiday season, the size of the share in Canada this year is definitely a pleasant surprise for online merchants.”

“This is the year of the digital wallets and MasterCard is investing in new innovations that will transition online shopping experience to seamless with the introduction of PayPass Wallet Services in the coming months,” said Richard McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, Global Products and Solutions.

Tweet: “Canadians set new online shopping record” says @MasterCardCA SpendingPulse report #cashlessconvo

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

About MasterCard SpendingPulse

A macro‐economic indicator, MasterCard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, including cash and cheque. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCardAdvisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard SpendingPulse reports and content, including estimated forecasts of spending trends, do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual MasterCard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data.

About MasterCard Advisors

As the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard Advisors is uniquely qualified to provide clients with insights and solutions that drive tangible impact and financial gain. MasterCard Advisors provides payments consulting, information, analytics, and customized services that deliver value to its customers. In doing so, the company uses information to create products and services in which privacy and security are fundamental to their design. A technology company that is an electronic payments leader, MasterCard is committed to the responsible use of information and pledges strong privacy protection for the transaction data the company processes. Its information management practices support the company’s mission to make payments safe, simple and smart. For more information, go to

For more information, please contact:

Serda Evren

Corporate Communications, MasterCard Canada