Secret office shoppers: Employees admit to often shopping online during work hours

Nov 8, 2019 | E-commerce

Secret office shoppers: Employees admit to often shopping online during work hours
Brits often shop online during work hours, with 1 in 2 admitting that they engage with marketing emails from brands within their personal accounts during the working day, according to new research.

With Black Friday and the festive season fast approaching, new findings from marketing technology company Pure360 have revealed that Britain is a nation of secret office shoppers, with 45% of employees admitting to using work time to get their online shopping done.

Other key findings:

  • Nearly half of employees (49%) read marketing emails from brands in their personal email accounts during the working day
  • However, employees admit they wouldn’t want to receive marketing messages from brands on platforms such as Skype IM, Slack or through office emails during work hours

In pursuit of finding good deals and inspiration, almost 1 in 2 employees say that they engage with personal email accounts during the working day to read marketing messages from brands that contact them. When considering what consumers find useful whilst they are shopping during work hours, Pure360 found that almost three quarters (73%) like it when brands remind them via email that contracts or subscriptions are coming to an end. Similarly, 63% of consumers want more brands to give them the option of receiving a notification when an item that is out of stock becomes available again at their local store.

But whilst consumers are using work time to get their online shopping done, it doesn’t mean to say that they want their professional or office communication channels infiltrated with marketing messages from brands. The research revealed that 29% of consumers wouldn’t want to receive marketing messages from brands on Skype IM during work hours as they would find this distracting. Similarly, 28% of consumers wouldn’t want to receive these on Slack during work hours for the same reason, and the same percentage wouldn’t want brands contacting them through their work email during the working day.

The study also revealed that, when browsing online and accessing a site for the first time, the most common method of registering is using a personal email address. With 88% of consumers claiming they don’t use their Facebook accounts to access a website for the first time, brands need to continue offering alternative login methods that a consumer is going to find more useful – such as email.

Komal Helyer, VP Marketing, Pure360: “Consumers are already engaging with and buying from brands during the working day – this is only set to increase in the run up to Black Friday and Christmas when consumers will want to get in on the best deals and get organised with their festive gift-giving. For brands, it will become more important than ever to understand shoppers, what is useful to them and what’s going to put them off during this crucial period.”

“Emails that provide helpful information – demonstrating that the needs of the customer are understood – are likely to get increased engagement. For example, leveraging customer insights from purchase history, real-time behaviour and purchase intent can lead to the creation of content that offers customers exactly the right recommendations and information they need at the right moment. These messages can be tailored to individuals using highly unique messages and can involve information such as real-time pricing and availability, countdown timers and even insights on other shopper’s habits to create a sense of urgency.”

“That said, it’s clear from the findings that employees don’t want personal and professional messages to mix – preferring to be contacted by brands only through personal communication channels. No matter how useful the content, consumers do not want to receive marketing messages when they are in ‘work mode’ or a ‘working’ frame of mind. This serves as interesting insight into the mindset of busy employees who also double-up as secret office shoppers in order to manage their time effectively”.

The research was conducted by Censuswide an independent market research consultancy, with a two nationally representative samples of British adults. One survey took place with 2,000 respondents between 12.08.2019 and 14.08.2019. The latter followed between 23.10.2019 and 25.10.2019 with 2007 respondents. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society. All survey panellists are double opted in, which is in line with MRS code of conduct and ESOMAR standards.

Source: Pure360

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