John Lewis says bedtime shopping habit surges

Britons are increasingly shopping online at night with ‘bedtime browsing’ on the rise, a new report from John Lewis claims. The company said spending on its webstore between midnight and 06:00 has soared as much as 23% in the past year alone.


Britons are increasingly shopping in bed and women do it most - Bruce Mars


The retailer said tech advances have made shopping a truly 24-hour activity and one in 15 buys made using the company’s Rewards credit card are now what it calls “bedtime purchases”. That’s significant because the credit card can be used on any retailers’ sites so is a good guide to how nocturnal shopping habits have evolved.

Importantly too, women are the biggest nighttime shoppers, accounting for 66% of the overall spend, although men spend £3 more per purchase on average than women at £37.

While some of the most popular buys during the night are sleep or insomnia and comfort-related (such as duvet covers, sofas, sofa-beds and headphones), the ability to buy fashion at all hours of the day has big implications for fashion labels.

“Our research suggests shopping is now a 24-hour activity,” John Lewis director of financial services Mike Jackson said. “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 beds.”

While mental health charities have expressed concern that changing habits mean retailers could be targeting people when they’re vulnerable, there’s no denying that the move of consumers to shopping at non-traditional times has happened organically in recent decades.

From the early days when shops were first allowed to open on Sundays to the news that e-shopping done on Christmas Day adds up to a significant figure, it seems consumers want to shop when it suits them. And their sophisticated mobile phones let them do this.

That means they’ve shifted the peak time for credit card spending from Saturday afternoon, which was the top time 20 years ago, to a little after 22:00 any evening, according to other figures from Barclaycard.

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