What time of day do people shop on mobile apps?

Please see a more recent post about this topic here.

What time of day do you think people are most likely to shop on mobile retail apps? Morning? Afternoon? Evening?

We wanted to find out, so we took a couple of the apps we’ve made for brands, and collated their purchasing data to try and get some answers.

For the graph below, we collected together the total sales over time for one of our clients, and divided them up by hour of the day. The sales are for the whole 60 minutes, so for example 10am includes every sale from 10.00 – 10.59.

Chart of what time people purchase via mobile app

You can see three major peaks in this data. One is between 9am and 11am. The next is around 1pm, and the third is in the evening, between 7pm and 10pm.

(and yes, there are some people shopping on their mobiles at 3am. Perhaps insomniacs are an untapped demographic…)

These peaks roughly follow a pattern that you might expect, which is that people use their mobiles in idle moments, for example:

  • on the way to work and at the beginning of the work day
  • at lunchtime
  • in the evening in front of the TV

Here’s a chart showing the collected data from another client’s mobile app:

Chart showing what time people buy fashion on mobile apps


Now this chart looks pretty different, but there’s an explanation. The data has been skewed by a sale that the client held, which led to a peak in purchasing at the beginning of the day (9/10am) when the sale launched.

Putting that aside, it’s interesting to see that there are peaks throughout the day – at lunchtime, in the afternoon, and then again we see the evening being a good time for purchasing, up until 10pm.

Obviously this data isn’t statistically significant, and every company’s results will be different, depending on the product they’re selling and who their customers are. But it’s a useful insight into when fashion customers shop via apps.

It’s also handy for knowing when to send out push notifications – during those peak times of early morning, lunchtime, and then in the evening when customers are likely to be sitting browsing on their phones or tablets already.

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