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Popular TV programmes fuel online shopping trends

22 September 2016 - 09:11 by Sarah Collinson

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Research published by eBay this week has pinpointed the impact that watching TV can have on the types of items people buy via safe shopping online.

In an age when people can shop from their sofas using a smartphone or tablet, the practice of ‘second-screening’ is increasingly common. So when people get inspired by a show they love, there is no need to wait to make a purchase, according to the Guardian.

Last month when the Great British Bake Off returned to screens, there was a 67 per cent increase in the number of people searching eBay for items related to cookery. And once the program had concluded, this spiked further, rising by 113 per cent.

Swords and sorcery epic, Game of Thrones, is similarly influential with the conclusion of this year’s season resulting in a 600 per cent boost in searches for everything from box sets to merchandise. And almost three quarters of these searches were generated by mobile devices, showing the influence of second-screening on habits across the UK.

Bicycles enjoyed a higher profile during the recent Olympic Games in Rio thanks to the major wins that Team GB’s riders achieved, with hundreds of thousands of people looking to buy their own two wheeled mode of transport online in August.

Furthermore, the influence of TV over fashion remains relevant, with popular BBC gangster drama, Peaky Blinders, helping to generate a threefold increase in the sales of flat caps when it returned for a third season earlier this year.

Since eBay is a platform that allows a multitude of sellers to auction off items to the public, these peaks in demand benefit not only the company itself, but smaller businesses across the UK at particular points in the year.