Canadian Traffic Data Halved By COVID-19, But Starting To Come Back Slightly

May 7, 2020 by Dave Haynes

The Canadian OOH media company PATTISON Outdoor Advertising has released new location traffic data that would confirm the sense most people would have if and when they head out for vital supplies like groceries, potato chips and booze – traffic has been halved.

But it is increasingly lately, as Canadian cities are starting to very slowly open things up. 

Says Pattison:

The findings show that while travel trends have tapered since initial lockdown announcements were made, average decreases in traffic volumes taken since March 15, 2020, were lower than anticipated, and since mid-April traffic has steadily improved across many markets, particularly where essential services are offered and where emergency measures are starting to be lifted.

The ongoing review includes weekly traffic data, with a 7-day look-back collected since January 1st, 2020 on mobile devices passing by more than 24,000 PATTISON geofenced displays in over 200 markets across Canada.

The summary details the changes to the flow of traffic in major Canadian markets since the start of the year. PATTISON’s latest findings show that traffic by its Out-of-Home locations are increasing as data is collected and projected throughout May.

 “The ongoing analysis by PATTISON Outdoor, gives our clients and agency partners access to the most comprehensive data available for the Canadian Out-of-home industry,” says Steve McGregor, President of PATTISON Outdoor Advertising. “As of April 26, traffic passing by PATTISON’s Out-of-Home displays across the country has increased to 50% of normal levels, and we are very pleased to see that in many markets, traffic is steadily increasing above 50% of the norm. This level of data and transparency plays a critical role in informing the advertising strategies businesses and brands will take to connect with audiences who are making trips to essential retailers and soon, will be returning to their places of work.”

This is important information for a media company to get out there, though it can be as detrimental as it is useful. Media planners and their brand clients have a reason to say no to DOOH and OOH advertising because they assume few people other than essential workers are actually out of home these days.

On the flip side, data suggesting there are still many people out and about is something to tout.

The initial report was first released on April 17, 2020 and an update to this is available for download at the Knowledge Centre on PATTISON Outdoor’s website.

UK Data from talon Outdoor is available here:

You can look at distance traveled data from Geopath, for the US market, here:

I have not found data similar to PATTISON’s for the US, though it MUST exist (send links my way, please and thanks). But here is interesting data from the GPS gadget maker Tom Tom and from Apple.

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