Sensibill Publishes The Barcode Report on Consumer Travel Spending Trends

SKU-level insights help financial institutions rethink customer engagement and loyalty strategies


TORONTO, June 10, 2021 – Sensibill, the leading provider of everyday financial tools and SKU-level insights, shares this month’s Barcode Report on travel-related spending trends during the pandemic, leveraging item-level receipt data to uncover the deepest and most relevant insights into consumer spending. Such details are instrumental in helping banks and credit unions personalize interactions, strengthen top-of-wallet strategies, boost engagement, and drive loyalty among their customers and members. The Barcode Report transforms SKU-level data derived from receipts into consumable and actionable insights that financial institutions can leverage to better understand their customers’ spending habits and behaviors. In this report, Sensibill analyzed millions of receipts from U.S. and Canadian consumers to evaluate travel-related spending behaviors in January 2020 compared to April 2021. The company defines these expenses as accommodations, flights, train tickets, receipts in consumers’ marked travel folders and those from known travel merchants like Expedia. U.S. Key Takeaways: Despite a higher rate of infection per capita in the U.S., the overall average travel expense increased by 121% during COVID. · More specifically, travel-related transportation expenses increased by 14-fold, travel-related accommodation expenses tripled and travel-related parking expenses doubled. As COVID cases decreased by 4% in January of 2021, travel expenses increased by 183%. With people travelling closer to home, consumers no longer need to spend on luggage and baggage carriers. Luggage-related expenses declined by 8 fold since the pandemic. Canada Key Takeaways: The overall average travel expense declined by 86% in Canada during COVID. As COVID cases decreased by 2% in January of 2021, travel expenses in Canada increased by only 21%. Izabella Gabowicz, Chief Operating Officer at Sensibill, said, “This month’s Barcode Report validates how understanding SKU-level data can directly impact and strengthen customer engagement strategies. For example, the banks and credit unions that analyzed SKU-level data over the past year recognized noticeable differences in consumer spending related to travel. While each region had a different response, the data revealed that travel didn’t stop completely – it shifted. Those that recognized this could offer relevant advice, deals, promotions, insurance, and card products for local travel, unlike competitors that assumed travel stopped entirely and missed relevant opportunities to meaningfully engage with customers.”