What are the peak times for online shopping?

SaleCycle’s 2020 Ecommerce Stats Report is now available.

Consumers are more likely to make purchases online on Mondays and Thursdays, with the peak purchase time every day lies between 8pm and 9pm, according to new data from SaleCycle’s recently-published 2020 Ecommerce Stats Report.

The report reveals that ecommerce sales broadly follow people’s daily patterns, with sales beginning to build from 7am, and growing throughout the rest of the day. While the peak hour is between 8pm and 9pm, sales volumes are consistently high from 3pm and begin to drop off after 10pm.

The evening is therefore prime time for ecommerce sites, though this is also when many customer service departments are winding down or already closed until the following day.

To avoid lost sales, it may pay to provide help at this time, when most customers are online, and may have questions about potential purchases. Monday has often been stated as the busiest day of the week, though we found that Thursday narrowly beat Monday into second place.

The weekend is the quietest time for ecommerce, and sales begin to dip from Friday, as people have more leisure time.

Monthly sales trends are heavily influenced by pay dates, with the peak days for sales coming at the beginning and end of each month, when people have more to spend.

We found that the 29th of each month was the busiest day online, while the 21st was the quietest.

Looking across the year, we can see the effect that big online sales events have on ecommerce sales volumes.

January, a traditional period for post-Christmas discounting, produces the third biggest sales peak, as shoppers snap up bargains. However, November and December are the biggest two months by far in terms of sales volumes.

The biggest online sales events occur during this period. Singles’s Day (worth $38.4bn in 2019), Black Friday ($7.4bn) and the Christmas shopping period all combine to make these the peak months for online retail.

Graham Charlton is editor-in-chief at SaleCycle.

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