Online purchases surge by 30% between the hours of midnight and 6am, according to research conducted by John Lewis into tens of thousands of sales made by the retailer.
The trend intensifies during flash sales such as Black Friday, when most purchases are made between midnight and 1am.
“When people think there is a bargain to be had, they don’t care what time of day it is,” said John Lewis’ managing director, Andy Street.
Nocturnal shopping is particularly popular among gamers buying new consoles and parents of young children, meaning that Lego and nursery paraphernalia are some of the biggest selling items at around 4am.
“Shopping has become much more spread over the day because the internet means it is no longer fixed to when things are open,” said Neil Saunders, retail analyst at Conlumino. “But what has also changed is the rise of the tablet. They are much more portable, so you are able to take them to bed in a way you would never have dreamed of doing with a laptop.”