The allure of online shopping is growing and none more so than in the early hours of the morning, according to new research from John Lewis.
The department store chain revealed a dramatic increase in shoppers that log on between midnight and six in the morning, when analysing purchases made in the last year.
A 30% increase in sales was noted, highlighting how more customers are logged onto the internet at all times of the day.
This view was echoed by John Lewis Managing Director Andy Street, with the digital market providing a massive opportunity for stores looking to boost sales.
Why people are turning to the online marketplace
Alongside the early morning purchases, the study also suggested that afternoon television programming was also shaping sales habits.
However, television and film also played an important role in influencing early morning shoppers too, while social media was also identified as a key driver for online sales.
Retailers with specific product adverts and campaigns on social media noted an increase in volumes of sales, undoubtedly driven by that targeted advertising.
In the US, a tradition of Black Friday has developed with retailers offering one-off discounts on the day immediately after Thanksgiving.
Strong sales between midnight and 1am are noted virtually every year as Americans log on to make purchases, usually signalling the beginning of a Christmas shopping frenzy.
Specific purchases trend at certain hours
The research from John Lewis saw some interesting patterns emerge relating to the purchasing of some specific items.
In the six-hour period between midnight and 6am, certain products were incredibly popular, with games consoles, children’s toys and Lego all seeing sales peaks.
Men were most likely to purchase formal wear in the early hours, possibly following a party the evening before while womenswear was frequently purchases by early risers.
Gamers also made purchases shortly after midnight, with new releases often being purchased shortly after they go on sale.
Nursery items were also popular purchases in the early hours, possibly as a result of new parents logging on following a night of troubled sleep.
Funding online shopping purchases
It’s very easy to spend large amounts of money in a very short space of time when online and sometimes that money is not always available.
Using a prepaid card is a great way to tackle reckless spending as only the funds on a card at any given point can be spent.
The lack of a credit facility also means that it’s impossible to rack up debts, providing a certain degree of financial stability.
As the cards are not directly linked to bank accounts, the risk of fraudulent activity is also reduced, while chip and PIN security is available on some cards for additional protection.