skip to main content

2,621 shops listed | Last updated: 24 May 2022

Monitor Add a site

Peak online shopping time is during work hours

26 August 2010 - 12:05 by Simon Crisp

Share on

People who have internet access at work are driving something of a boom in safe online shopping during the final hour at their desk, with 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon calculated to be the peak time for internet retail in the UK, according to a recent study.

When this peak period is compared to net usage during a lull, most e-commerce sites see a 75 per cent increase just as workers reach the end of the working day in the middle of the week.

The study concludes that people are choosing to carry out safe shopping online from their workstations because they are either bored with work or simply procrastinating.

A secondary reason for the popularity of afternoon shopping at work is that employees tend to spend their time exploring internet retailers during the period directly after lunch, which is when many sales are made.

52 per cent more people shop online during the afternoon in comparison to the morning, with 11 per cent more consumers hitting the virtual high street for a spot of retail therapy at 2pm than just two hours earlier.

In addition to picking up speed on a Wednesday afternoon, safe shopping online is popular on Sunday evening, with researchers attributing this peak in demand to the fact that many consumers are looking to cheer themselves up as the weekend draws to a close. Nearly a third more people shop online during this time than on Saturday evening.

The survey was conducted by InvisibleHand. Its founder Robin Landy said that the strain of holding down a busy job in an office was leading ever more Brits to spend money online while actually at work. The trend thus highlights the low ebb of the working week when the weekend seems as distant as it can possibly get.