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“Experience” Buying Drives Consumer Spend in Q3

6 minute read

Consumer Spend Shifting to Dining and Travel

LONDON – 5 October 2017 – The new Cardlytics Spending Index, based on the purchase insights of nearly four million bank customers, shows that spending growth slowed in Q3 2017, growing at just 3% year-on-year compared to the 6% year-on-year increase seen in Q2 2017. Despite the overall slowdown, spending in ‘experience’ sectors such as dining and travel remained strong.

According to the data, while grocery spend has fallen nearly 1% since 2015, spend on quick-service restaurants grew 5% from Q2 to Q3 this year, and saw a 21% year-on-year increase. Spending on eating out has taken a firmer foothold in people’s wallets than ever before, with the share of spend for restaurants overall increasing the most (0.9%) since Q3 2015.

Spending in the travel sector including airlines, hotels and travel remains strong, up 7% in Q4 2017 compared to Q3 2016.

The findings come as part of the Cardlytics Spending Index compiled by Cardlytics, a purchase intelligence platform.

Pete Gleason, ‎President of International Operations at Cardlytics, said: “While actual consumer spend grew from Q2 to Q3, the rate of growth slowed. However, we still see that consumers are willing to spend in categories that can create shareable, memorable experiences. This is an important trend for brands to note, especially as they gear up for their holiday marketing.”

“Britain is clearly becoming a nation of food lovers. When it comes to restaurants and cafes, grocers should be thinking about how to offer products that can compete with people’s love for eating out and trend towards artisanal products.

“In addition, while people still like to receive traditional product gifts, Cardlytics’ purchase data suggests that travel gifts, which can be shared with those you love, may be more prevalent this year.”

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Notes to editors

The figures are based on the spending data of more than 3.8 million active accounts of UK bank consumers. Spend was tracked on a weekly basis.

The QSR sector comprises quick-service, or fast-food, restaurants, while the restaurant category includes non-fast-food dining establishments, ranging from casual dining to high-end.

About Cardlytics

Cardlytics uses purchase-based intelligence to make marketing more relevant and measurable. We partner with major financial institutions, including Santander, to run their banking rewards programs that promote customer loyalty and deepen banking relationships. In turn, we have a secure view into where and when consumers are spending their money. We use these insights to help marketers identify, reach and influence likely buyers at scale, as well as measure the true sales impact of marketing campaigns. Headquartered in Atlanta, Cardlytics has offices in London, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Learn more at

Media Contacts
Headland Consultancy
Tom James
+44 207 367 5240

Ingrid Valk
+44 203 435 7461

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