Al Desco Shopping Trends

You have heard of all fresco dining now hear about al-desco shopping and what you can do as a store owner to tap into this.

From examining the hourly stats of shoppers over the month of December 2018 we can see some interesting trends.

Conversions are rising in the hours 0830-0930 mon to friday. We used to think this early surge was an after school drop activity.  We now know that this was a little innocent on by us. We can see that its all happening after workers open their email in work. Customers are shopping online in work at the start and the end of their days. They have done all the research and then make a quick dash in and out to make their purchase.

Then we see another surge in conversion from 1700-1830. So as the worker comes to the end of their day in work they un-officially clock off and start shopping ( working late ) .

This is what we call al desco shopping.

A report in cnbc calculated that most office workers in the US are spending up to 2 hours a day at peak times shopping / browsing online.

“Overall, 57 percent of employed Americans confessed to shopping while on the clock, totaling some 234 million hours a day browsing the internet.   Another report showed that over 50% of tech leaders in silicon valley want to stamp out desk shopping. The shock here is that 50% dont mind their employees shopping on their time.” ( source )

How to spot on an online shopper at work ?  They are the ones with their left hand in the ready Alt Tab position.

Some businesses are banning online shopping deliveries from their staff to their work places. Post rooms are becoming personal shopping to desk delivery services. However there is a balance where workers may leave the office early to pick up deliveries or “work late” to place more orders online.

Work places in general, still do not seem to mind their employees using their offices as parcel depots. Some reception areas in some offices at Christmas look like Santa just came early.

What does this mean for the timing of targeted shopping emails and offers ?

Send your email before 0800 so as to arrive top of the email list, or after 1700 so as to catch the “late workers” at their desks when they are least productive.

Test special offers should expiring at 1930, this way the late worker will get the discount and those who went home early or are just after their evening meal get their bargain.

Trends from Christmas 2018 in the US are interesting as they point to a rise in al desco ecommerce shopping.

Al desco shopping


Action plans :

1. Time emails for friday afternoons and first thing after lunch when workers are at their least productive.

2. Special offers should expire circa 19:30 so as to catch the late workers who are the cash rich time poor shoppers.

3. Social media and Google advertising for retail brands should be decreased during working times.

4. Social Media posting should be increased during commute times so as to keep the brand in front of the shopper.

5. Deliveries to workplaces have a lower re-delivery rate and are cheaper for delivery companies to do as they are delivering many parcels to the one address. Use this in your rate negotiations with your delivery / logistics companies.


Some interesting online shopping terms.

Cyberloafing :  Using your empoyers internet access to loaf around and not do work.

Clickmas :  the art of doing all your Christmas shopping online

Zentail :  online shopping that is perfectly effortless

Sources :

Yeildify infographic.

Google Analytics

Hardly Working ( )

PRN Newswire ( )




By | 2019-03-31T21:11:23+00:00 March 30th, 2019|e commerce|