Bedtime browsers increase nocturnal spending

Research released by John Lewis has confirmed that sleepless Brits often turn to bedtime browsing, which has resulted in a 23% increase in nocturnal spending over the last 12 months. But is that driving up our demand for an unsecured loan or credit card? The retailer said that those that shop online between midnight-6am now account for 1 in 15 purchases using their credit card.

The most popular item, rather unsurprisingly given the time, is a duvet cover, with headphones also in the top 10 items searched for. However, the most common night time purchase on the John Lewis credit card, which can be used at any retailer, is for flights and holidays. Furthermore, the use of unsecured loans to fund a holiday is on the increase, with Brits borrowing 109.4milion in 2016; 112.5 million in 2017 and 31.7million at the start of 2018.

Director of financial services at John Lewis & Partners Mike Jackson, said: “Shopping is now a 24-hour activity. More customers are shopping on their smartphones and tablet computers and it would appear many are using this technology to shop from the comfort of their own beds.”

According to the data it is women which are more likely to spend in the early hours; with 66% of women accounting for purchases between midnight-6am, although their average spend was below that of men.

Twenty years ago, Saturday afternoons was the peak spending time on credit cards in the UK, so it seems online shopping has totally changed our spending habits. In 2016 research by Barclaycard found that late evening browsing was changing the shape of shopping, with 10.18pm the most common time to make a purchase. It said that nocturnal shopping increases when the clocks go back, with long dark evenings encouraging people to stay home and shop online instead.

Furthermore popular TV shows can influence our purchases, with The Great British Bake off seeing an increase in night time sales of proving drawers, and Strictly Come Dancing encouraging us to book dance lessons.

In separate analysis by Verto Analytics, they confirmed the secondary peak in online shopping is between 11am-midday, with the overall peak being 9pm. 25-34year olds in particular tend to make online purchases during late morning, before heading to lunch. Thus if you are now reading this while at work on a Monday morning and at the same time flicking between shopping websites, you’re probably the average millennial consumer.