Chinwag's Old Blog: Broadband Pigs Might Fly and Late Night Shopping

Strange that BT would choose a series of flying pigs to feature in their adverts promoting broadband Internet access. I'm still scratching my head and trying to figure out whether they thought they were being post-ironic. Maybe I'm missing the humorous side of it, altogether.

At least it does seem to be happening. Researching the news stories for the recent issue of MarketingMonitor, I came across a piece on the Grauniad website touting figures that broadband usage has tripled since the New Year. And what's more it's not just, err, exotic entertainment, that us Brits are using all that lovely bandwidth for in our evenings. According to a story in Web User, we're spending bundles of our hard-earned cash in the wee small hours.

Bundles, you're thinking? How much, excatly is that? £2.3bn per year outside normal working hours according to the article. And in our dozy state, it looks like we're spending more, on average £1.60 per transaction. Taken in context, perhaps it's not surprising. One of e-commerce's great strengths is that your online store can be open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, etc, etc. Now, there's proof that it's working but also that those customers are potentially more valuable.

Clearly, that's a bit of an assumption on my part, but it's an interesting trend. With ever-increasing working hours, and the stress at work, it's no surprise people are shopping from home after work. Are they following up on offers they received via email during their working day? From my own experience, I've definitely bought online late at night, remembering promotions I've been sent during the day.

From a marketers perspective, this information provides some food for thought. Particularly when you're considering the optimal time to send out an email newsletter, email promotion or a special offer on a website. As the volume of targeted email (and let's face it, spam) increases during working hours, is there a window to get greater share of mind, by sending these emails out of office hours?

Let's just hope the online customer service catches up.