Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest credit and debit card processor, announced today that 2013 pre-holiday online consumer spending increased by 14.54 per cent compared to last year, while in-store shopping decreased slightly – by -2.06 per cent – during the same period. This indicates a shift in the shopping behaviours of Canadians away from traditional in-store purchasing towards more mobile buying patterns.

The Moneris Spending Report analyzed credit and debit card transactions in Canada between December 3, 2013 andDecember 16, 2013. During this period, the apparel category saw the largest increase in online spending, at 31.11 per cent, compared to the same period in 2012. Apparel was followed by entertainment (29.85 per cent), household (22.56 per cent), hotels (17.54 per cent) and specialty retail (11.00 per cent). Within the apparel category, women's ready-to-wear retailers experienced the highest year-over-year increase in spending, at 67.50 per cent. In the specialty retail category, shoes (56.57 per cent) and sporting goods (36.29 per cent) were the most popular items purchased online by Canadian shoppers.

Within the specialty retail category, jewellery stores and cosmetic stores saw their in-store sales drop by -11.64 per cent and -8.27 per cent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Interestingly, while in-store consumer electronic purchases were down by -13.08 per cent, online purchases of these items jumped by 23.13 per cent during the same period. This may suggest that Canadian shoppers preferred to buy these items using their mobile devices rather than braving the crowds and line-ups in store – a trend also experienced on Cyber Monday 2013 (which saw its year-over-year sales of these big-ticket items increase by 45.82 per cent).

Regionally, all provinces experienced a modest overall decrease in in-store spending during the pre-holiday period, as compared to last year. Prince Edward Island saw its spending fall by -5.87 per cent, followed by New Brunswick and Manitoba, at -5.18 per cent and -5.07 per cent, respectively. Alberta experienced the smallest year-over-year drop in in-store spending, at -1.27 per cent, followed by Saskatchewan (-1.34 per cent) and Ontario (-1.55 per cent).

"In today's increasingly mobile world, the Moneris Spending Report shows that Canadians are turning to cyber space to make many of the purchases they used to make in traditional brick-and-mortar retail environments in the past," said Jeff Guthrie, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Moneris. "Despite a slight drop in in-store pre-holiday spending, this year's dramatic increase in online sales also suggests that consumer confidence in Canada remains strong as we are heading into the busiest shopping season of the year, closer to Christmas and Boxing Day."