Increasing appetite for shopping, not sugar to fight 3pm slump

Increasing appetite for shopping, not sugar to fight 3pm slump

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It’s becoming a habit: Online shipping figures soar midafternoon and into the evening. Picture: istock

WE used to tread a well-worn path to the vending machine for the 3pm work pick me up.

But a new survey has revealed many are instead opting for a cheeky online shopping hit as their midafternoon office fix.

And the rise of mobile devices is making us more comfortable doing it: because nobody’s peering over your shoulder at your desktop.

The rise of online shopping continues unabated: with mobile shopping figures soaring in the past year, according to a “Know Your Data” study into digital habits commissioned by Yahoo7.

Comparing year on year data, it found daily digital shopping was on the rise: doubling since 2016. Almost 40 per cent of Australians shop online once a week, and only one in 10 Australians have not yet engaged in online shopping, according to the data.

It also found smartphone-specific shopping was up 56 per cent.

The study also revealed what we do online at different times of our “digital day”.

The number one activity in the morning was going online to check the weather, followed by checking or writing emails, with checking in with the news number three.

Mid-morning, online banking was the most popular, followed by emailing, and searching.

The number one online lunch activity is searching, followed by emails, and checking in on social media.

Mid-afternoon, users go online for recipe inspiration (number one), look for how-to- videos and ask questions (number 2) and shop online (number 3 and rising).

We keep shopping online into the evening, when watching the box via either catch-up TV or live streaming are the number one activities.

Digital media expert Paul Whybrow said the worlds or work and personal lives continue to blur as smartphones continue their rise.

Of course there’s a downside to that. As the iPhone celebrated it’s 10th birthday recently, London professor of organisational behaviour André Spicer described it as “the crack cocaine of technology”, bemoaning the prevalence of smartphones in our lives as one in three adults admit to checking their phone in the middle of the night.

More people are opting for online shopping instead of sugar to beat the 3pm slump. Picture: iStock

More people are opting for online shopping instead of sugar to beat the 3pm slump. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied

While most activity happens in the evenings, many use their “working” day to jump between professional and personal digital use, he said.

“In the past, we did many things based around physical activity — you might use your lunch break to go to the bank or drop into the travel agent. Then at 3pm you’d be after that reward and might hit the vending machine,” he said.

“Now because everyone is digitally so linked in everything we do, we are swapping between things all the time.

“Convenience is the key. In the past you had to go to the bank, now you can pay the bills online quickly.

“Employers I think are now more accepting of this. The shift has been led by mobile: the key thing is people are expected to always be online and connected.

“There’s almost an expectation and understanding that the swap between personal and work life is something you do constantly during the day.”

As much as work life has intruded into personal life, it seems the reverse is happening.

“The shift to mobile can’t be underrated,” Mr Whybrow said.

“Using your phone you can do so much so fast — whether it be checking and sending emails before and after work, or online shopping.”

It also doesn’t hurt that a sneaky bit of 3pm online shopping done on your phone is less public than “sale” banners popping up on your desktop screen.

“Just like a 3pm sugar hit can be a guilty pleasure a reward, online shopping can be for some too,” Mr Whybrow said.

He added that the increasing number of online shopping mobile apps were also driving online shopping growth — for everything from groceries to must-have fashion.

The findings, from a nationally representative sample of 1120 Australians, came up with overreaching trends via a study of Nielsen data in conjunction with online survey and analysis of other custom studies of family habits and companion television, according to Yahoo7.

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