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Longer nights, TV shows, m-commerce and the rise of on-demand services fuel ‘Vampire Economy’

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Just in time for Halloween, research shows that the nation’s love for shopping anytime, anywhere on mobile is fuelling a ‘Vampire Economy’ – which is boosted when the clocks go back – with one in three UK shoppers saying they now spend more money shopping online at night than they did five years ago.

The research finds that as nights draw in, night-time shoppers spend on average 2 hours 12 minutes browsing after dark each week, up from 1 hour 30 minutes during the summer. According to Barclaycard, which processes nearly half the nation’s credit and debit card transactions and has been at the heart of British shopping for more than 50 years, 10:18pm is the peak time to purchase.

With the increasing availability of fast fashion at the tap of an app and changing eating patterns, it’s no surprise that clothing and food are amongst the most popular purchases in night-time shopping baskets – those filled between 9pm and 5am:

The Vampire Economy has been driven, in part, by the growth of on-demand delivery services such as Deliveroo, Hungry House and Amazon Prime, which have made it easier to purchase items whenever, wherever at the tap of an app. This has turned us into a nation of impulse buyerswith one in five consumers saying that they buy items online at night because they feel like treating themselves.

A number of these purchases are influenced by primetime TV shows, with one in ten of us impulsively buying an item we’ve seen on the TV – such as the proving drawers made famous by The Great British Bake Off or dance classes inspired by Strictly Come Dancing.

One in five have bought a foodie must-have such as a spiralizer or food mixer, whilst the long nights and winter weather have spurred 14 per cent of us to book a holiday on a whim.

The ‘Vampire Economy’ looks set to continue with one in five consumers wanting pharmacy items delivered to them in the small hours, and the same number pining for the day they can order a takeaway literally any time of the night. Over one in ten of us (14 per cent) wish they could have their preferred snack delivered at any time – such as an emergency chocolate or ice cream.

Paul Lockstone, Managing Director at Barclaycard, explains: “The Vampire Economy has arisen from Britons’ love of bed time browsing, and increasing numbers of us are being drawn onto the web as a way of satisfying our craving for a midnight madras or that spur-of-the-moment spiralizer in the small hours. With more and more companies recognising the importance of the graveyard shift, and offering late night delivery for our nation of night owls, this trend is only set to grow.”

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