A new report has revealed that Thursday is the optimum day that people are most likely to shop online – with working from home habits shifting shoppers to sneaky late morning splurge.

The findings in SaleCycle’s “2021 Ecommerce Statistics report” showed that while lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions have influenced a more evenly spread shopping experience through the week, Thursday remained the stand-out day globally to spend online.

Interestingly despite the closure of stores, the pandemic didn’t introduce a new wave of Saturday e-shoppers – in fact the weekends saw the biggest dip in online sales compared to 2019.

According to the report, the number of people working from home since the pandemic struck is now around 50%, which is an increase of 26%. This change in patterns revealed people are now secretly doing their online shopping between 10am and 11am while at work, rather than 8am and 9am in previous years.

Amusingly the rise of ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ or ‘Singles Days’ across the globe saw online shoppers double in their numbers from 2019 to 2020, with more people hitting the web than ever before to treat themselves.

And it is no surprise that e-commerce shopping numbers peak in November, dominated by Christmas splurges, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Shoppers are twice as likely to head online this month than February or March.

The report also measured the products consumers are most likely to ‘leave in basket’ or abandon at the check-out.

Pharmaceutical products and grocery items have the lowest abandonment rate, whereas high-ticket items like jewellery or cars are among the highest.

Based in Durham, U.K., SaleCycle work with ecommerce businesses to understand their customers so they can increase web conversions, recover sales, and drive loyalty for their online stores.

Brad Ward, author of the SaleCycle 2021 Ecommerce Statistics report, said, “The last 12 months have seen a rapid shift into ecommerce shopping, with the pandemic propelling what was believed to be an inevitable change for many areas of retail.

As our lifestyles change and mould to living in a post-pandemic world; we can expect to see these newly learned shopping behaviours to continue. Numbers will continue to increase for day-time shopping, and items such as travel, fashion and grocery will dominate online.”

He continued, “We hope the report will be a helpful tool for e-commerce businesses to help drive traffic to their webpages and maximise on peak shopping times.”

The report also showed some sectors had felt the pinch of the pandemic more than others. In 2020 on average 84% of visitors to websites adding holidays to their basket were likely to abandon their purchase.

However, interestingly, those looking to buy holidays or make travel plans were most likely to book on Wednesday (15.7%), with shopping hitting its peak at 10am on hump day.

When it came to fashion retailers, e-commerce often targets a younger demographic who are more likely to be tech-savvy and shopping via mobile. Millennials and Gen Z (in other words, people born between 1981 and 2015) are expected to make up 40% of the luxury fashion market by 2025.

For the full report please download here.


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