Alcohol and consumerism is a marriage as old as Tupperware parties and wine spritzers (or whatever ungodly mix of Tab and spirits passed for a cocktail in the 1950′s).
But as The New York Times‘ Stephanie Clifford reports, the boom in online shopping “has opened alcohol-induced purchases to the masses.” Indeed, ChannelAdvisor, which powers e-commerce for hundreds of sites, says order volumes peak about 8 p.m. (just after after-work imbibing). This year, the company reports that the number of orders placed from 9 to midnight has increased. (In our collective defense, it was a pretty grotesque year.)
Although retailers “can never be sure” whether you clicked “buy” on that bejeweled Hello, Kitty iPhone case because you thought it was a good idea or because that Cranberry vodka told you to, they are nonetheless putting promotions in place to take advantage of your vulnerable state.
Andy Page, the president of Gilt Groupe, told the Times that Gilt is adding more sales starting at 9p.m. Although the article doesn’t mention gender specifically, it seems like many of the examples (post-dinnertime sales of cosmetics on QVC or a at 8:44 p.m. promotional offer from Gilt for macaroons and faux-fur blankets) seemed directed towards and purchased by women.
Courting the currently-inebriated can be a careful dance:
Still, the nighttime spike requires delicacy among retailers: for reasons of propriety, they do not want to be seen as encouraging drunken shopping, and many people who inadvertently buy products in that state would most likely return them at high rates.
As long as these websites aren’t selling puppies, we think it’s gonna be okay.