New exclusive research from Currys PC World, the UK’s largest electrical retailer, reveals that lockdown life in 2020 has transformed the nation’s shopping habits as 91% of Brits say they now do their online shopping throughout the night, with 43% admitting they have been shopping more in the evening this year due to the pandemic. As the tech retailer gets ready to re-open its stores nationwide, it reports that this Black Friday Weekend was their busiest ever online with nearly 120,000 calls taken through its ShopLive personal video shopping service.
The customer trend data, taken from a sample of 700k+ customers using Currys PC World’s 24 hour ShopLive service and bolstered by research, revealed that half (47%) have been shopping online more during the lockdown periods, with people taking advantage of the longer evenings to make online purchases. Interestingly, 41% admit they are shopping in the dead of night between 12am and 6am.
Overall, the most common reasons people stated they preferred online shopping at night is because over half felt free from all distractions (51%), while 44 percent have more free time in the evening due to the national lockdowns, 28 percent have difficulty sleeping and a quarter (24%) do it because it makes them feel happier in the winter darkness.
The new data shows an hour-by-hour breakdown from day to night of the most popular tech products on ShopLive over Lockdown 2 in November, Curry PC World’s busiest month, including Black Friday Weekend data.
The most popular items being purchased this year by shoppers were laptops, large screen TVs, washing machines and printers & scanners with a move from home office equipment from the first lockdown to more essential tech and gifting this time around. Lockdown 2 saw more purchases of smart home controls, home theatre kits, as well as headphones as customers stock up in time for Christmas.
Launched as a 24/7 service at the start of November to help customers during the national lockdowns, Currys PC World’s ShopLive service witnessed a surge in traffic over Black Friday Weekend, receiving an average of 414 calls per hour. ShopLive is Currys PC World’s free personal shopping service, which connects customers with its expert in-store colleagues via video.
As a response, Currys PC World has coined four shopping profiles based on when they are seeing people are shopping:
- ‘Lunchtimers’; people who shop online exclusively during their lunchbreak
- ‘Breakfast Club’; those who like to do all their online shopping before starting work
- ‘Night Owls’; individuals who specifically do their online shopping in the evenings
- ‘Techsomaniacs’; those who exclusively do their online shopping after midnight and before 6am.
The news comes ahead of Currys PC World re-opening its stores nationwide on Wednesday 2 December after the four-week lockdown in England. The retailer is set to re-open with all relevant safety measures in place to protect colleagues and customers. The retailer will continue to be open online 24/7 and the ShopLive team will remain on hand to help customers day and night.
Ed Connolly, chief commercial officer, Currys PC World, says: “In many ways, the pandemic transformed our lives overnight, so it makes sense that our shopping habits would change along with it. Regardless of whether you’re a ‘Lunch Breaker’, or indeed a ‘Night Owl’, we want our customers to know that our tech experts are always on standby to help you make a decision on the right tech for you.”
“We’re thrilled to see so many of our customers taking full advantage of our ShopLive service over Black Friday weekend and throughout the national lockdown periods,” Connolly continues. “As we get ready to re-open our stores this week, we’re proud that we’ve been able to adapt to the various challenges for our customers and provide them with the best deals, whatever the circumstances.”