U.S. Likes Cybershopping During Work Hours

New figures from ecommerce company CyberSource show that most online shopping in the U.S. happens during what would be considered “working hours,” despite the proliferation of broadband Internet access to American homes.

According to CyberSource, numbers from the week of December 3rd to 9th were typical, with online shopping transactions peaking at 4 P.M. Eastern Time, 1 P.M. Pacific. Similarly, online transactions hit their nadir between 2 A.M. and 7 A.M. Eastern (11 P.M. and 4 A.M., Pacific). The highest volume of online shopping happens on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Saturdays and Sundays typically showing the lowest volume.

“We’ve all seen the numbers—broadband is now in two-thirds of American homes equipped for the Internet,” said Doug Schwegman, CyberSource director of market and customer intelligence, in a statement. “But our processing stats say the majority of people are still doing their online shopping from the office.”

Although it might be comfortable to infer that online shoppers must, of course, be in an office at 4 P.M. Eastern/1 P.M. Pacific, CyberSource’s numbers don’t provide any evidence to that effect, and Schwegman’s conclusion might be generously described as a bit of “old world thinking.” Given the number of professionals who telecommute, work from home, own their own businesses, work on “flex-time” schedules, it’s likely that many shoppers CyberSource seems to think are sapping productivity from the American economy by shopping at work are, in fact, shopping on their own time. And as an increasing number of business procure supplies and services online, a number of them might even be shopping online as part of their jobs. And gosh, there might be an online shopper or two outside of the U.S., skewing the timestamp data.

Which is not to say the availability of broadband Internet to U.S. homes isn’t increasing the amount of online commerce taking place during Schwegmans’ non-work hours: the number of online commerce transactions continues to grow, and the relative gap between the highest and lowest volume hours is decreasing. According to CyberSource, in the same week in 2004, the difference between the lowest and the highest number of transactions was approximately 300 percent, while in 2006 that difference was just 160 percent.

“We believe several factors are at work here: one, the widespread availability of broadband, so people can conveniently shop from home, and two, the globalization of ecommerce. We know from our latest fraud survey that many of our large merchants have 17 percent or more of their volume coming from outside the U.S. Just last year, that percentage was 14 percent.”

Product Review

Sony's Xperia 10 falls frustratingly short of budget brilliance

Better know for premium products, Sony does also have a budget smartphone range, but can the Sony Xperia 10 compete with great cheap phones from Nokia and Motorola? We put it through its paces to find out how it measures up.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.

Saving for a vacation? Here are the best apps to help you manage your wealth

Looking to start managing your money, but don't care for intricate software or spreadsheets? Lucky for you, we made a list of the best budgeting apps designed to help you rein in your expenditures.

Quindim, quiche or quesito? What will Android Q be called?

We always like to wildly speculate about the next dessert-themed name for Android, but the letter Q is making that tougher than usual. Here are our best guesses and suggestions for the full name of Android Q.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.

Amazon slashes $77 off the iRobot Roomba 690 multisurface robot vacuum

This special offer comes just in time for you to get a head start on spring cleaning. The Roomba 690 robot vacuum sucks up dust, dirt and pet hair — all while you're away at the office.

Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.
Smart Home

Get sweaty with the best smart home fitness gadgets on the market

Are you looking for smart fitness devices that will really help your workouts, no matter where you like to exercise? These smart home gadgets are designed to help you analyze your workouts and keep track of how you are doing.
Smart Home

Our favorite coffee makers make flavorful cups of joe from the comforts of home

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.

Fibaro smart devices are now compatible with the Samsung SmartThings hub

Samsung SmartThings now supports even more devices with the integration of Fibaro, a company known for its smart home sensors. Several Fibaro devices are already compatible, with more on the way.
Emerging Tech

Tombot is the hyper-realistic dog robot that puts Spot to shame

Forget Boston Dynamics’ Spot! When it comes to robot dogs, the folks behind a new Kickstarter campaign have plans to stake their claim as makers of man’s (and woman’s) newest best friend.

Walmart drops prices on air fryers from Ninja, Farberware, and more

Walmart dropped prices on best-selling air fryers from Ninja, Farberware, and La Gourmet. Interest in air fryers took off when home cooks realized the possibility for guilt-free fried food when you cook with very little to zero oil.
Smart Home

Amazon cuts prices on Alexa-controlled Echo and Echo Dot bundles

Amazon cut prices on Alexa and Amazon Echo device bundles. The second-generation Amazon Echo and third-generation Echo Dot are bundled in discounted deals with the Amazon Smart Plug. The Echo and Echo Dot are also bundled together.
Smart Home

Protect yourself: Here are some of the best home security systems

Looking for the best home security systems for your house? These systems offer the best mix of devices, smart features, monitoring services, and fees that you can afford (plus good customer service reports).