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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 08, 2011

Inebriated Brits to splash out $3 billion online this holiday season

'Tis the season to be merry but, according to some seasonal stats from Kelkoo, not while sat in front of the computer. Being drunk in charge of a mouse may well lead to some unexpected arrivals.

by Helen Leggatt

When Kelkoo asked 4,200 British shoppers if they had ever attempted to purchase items online while drunk nearly half (43%) said yes, they had. Over a third (39%) admitted that they will be inebriated while buying items online at some point during the holiday season..

Assuming they were sufficiently compos mentis to enter a correct card number and address, some (4%) only found out about the drunken deed when the item turned up in the mail.

Over half remember shopping online the morning after, found Kelkoo's survey, but for 19% it took another day before their drunken act dawned on them. Seven percent had to be told by friends or family what they had done.

The survey also revealed just how much inhibitions are affected by alcohol. More than half of online shoppers spent more if they were under the influence. Furthermore, judging by the times most drunken shopping sessions take place, between 11pm and 1am, they have likely had a skinful. One in five night owls make purchases up to 5am.

While inebriated shoppers may be good news for online retailers, with a forecast $3 billion worth of unintentional purchases being made this Christmas alone, Kelkoo's Chris Simpson warns shoppers to be responsible. If they can't be careful, says Simpson, there are always the retailers' returns policies.

Not all of those under the influence are successful. Of those surveyed 8% had to cancel a transaction because the item cost more than their credit card would allow, 9% nodded off and 13% had such blurry vision they had to abandon the transaction.

Tags: alcohol, Christmas, drunk, holiday season 2011, Kelkoo, online retail, online shopping, UK

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