Across the globe, e-commerce is booming. With online retailers making it easier than ever to receive clothes, takeaways and tech, including next and same day delivery, it’s a trend that’s set to continue. In fact, e-commerce sales are predicted to reach a staggering $4,878 billion per year by 2021.
While e-commerce is definitely big business, it may not be growing in the way you would envisage. While online sales are indeed on the rise as more of us choose convenient ways to buy, there is a new form of shopper who is increasingly finding alternative ways to splurge online. Enter: the vampire economy — so called because the number of night-time browsing and shopping sessions has increased dramatically. It appears that more of us are choosing to make purchases after dark.
While you may not have heard this terminology before, the vampire economy is not a brand new trend. In fact, the idea of the vampire economy was making headlines in 2016 — around the same time browsing on mobile phones first outstripped desktop. As such, this change in our shopping habits should come as no surprise, especially when it has become all too easy to scroll through company apps and place orders with a one-click process, any time day or night. Essentially, it is a symptom of our change in habits as more people operate outside of the traditional 9-to-5 bubble.
But how is this impacting consumer spending?
An Increase in Borrowing
While many may be spending their hard-earned cash online, the emergence of the vampire economy could be a worrying trend. This is because it has been revealed that the amount of credit UK consumers hold has increased, so much so that in 2018 figures are comparable to those in 2008, which peaked just before the financial crash.
This has highlighted the worrying trend that many British households are borrowing significant amounts, with credit among consumers increasing by 9.3 per cent during the last twelve months. As such, while the vampire economy is not the only factor in this figure — for example, the increase in living costs continues to outstrip the rise in wages — it could play into this.
As such, it is important for consumers to shop wisely and carefully, regularly monitoring transactions and spends, and avoiding using credit where necessary.
A New Delivery Solution
On a more positive note, the vampire economy could result in better customer services for shoppers across the country, and the globe.
This is because despite the rise in the vampire economy, there is one area that has been slow to catch up: the logistics industry. However, recognising the trend and the promising business potential, logistics companies could soon be altering their services to include evening deliveries. In addition to benefiting customers, this could also provide advantages for courier firms (with less traffic, quieter roads and thus faster deliveries, especially for larger and heavy items), and the economy (with the potential to create more jobs).
As consumers have already adapted and embraced the twenty-four-hour economy with the rise in online shopping, it was only a matter of time before delivery companies changed their processes and rose to the challenge, providing new services to meet customer demand.