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New research from the Royal Mail suggests that, for those employees who like to do their online shopping from work, Friday lunchtime is the most popular time.

Of those online shoppers who have internet access at work, 65% are likely to buy during the week - and Friday afternoon at 1pm is the most popular time for one in eight.

It seems from the research that these 'work shoppers' are valuable customers for e-tailers, as they spend more than the average online shopper. The survey found that, up until the end of August, they spent an average of £725 online, more than the national average of £609.

Other findings of the survey included:

• 11% of online shoppers have understanding employers who allow them to have their goods delivered to work.

• The biggest online shoppers are 45-54 year olds, who spend £724 every year on average.

• Music downloads were the most popular, with 71% of respondents buying them online, followed by gifts on 69% and electrical goods, on 62%.

• The most popular time for online shopping is between 6pm and 8pm, with 27% logging on after work.

• 60% of Internet shoppers work full-time with 51% having Internet access at work.

The Employment Law Advisory Service (ELAS) has previously complained about workers shopping on work time, claiming that this would cost UK businesses £7 billion.

This research suggests that shoppers are mainly using lunch hours (if they are lucky enough to get one, that is) and are logging on after work.

Graham Charlton

Published 16 November, 2006 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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