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Inebriated Shoppers A Merchant’s Dream?

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Friday December 30, 2011 )

On many occasions over the last 15 years I have been incredibly thankful I gave up drinking before getting involved in the online world.

I’m a reasonably cautious fellow when sober who usually contemplates purchases carefully, but that used to change with a few drinks under my belt. Actually, if I could have limited my imbibing to just a few drinks, I’d still be enjoying the occasional beer today.

Aside from generally behaving like an idiot, which would have gotten me into all sorts of trouble had the World Wide Web been accessible to me then, I was well known for wasting large amounts of money when under the influence and having nothing really useful to show for it.

While at times my life became so pathetic I was reduced to living rough and eating out of garbage cans, of course not everyone who drinks winds up in that situation.

However, it seems that even folks who can handle alcohol may be more likely to spend online after having a few drinks. It makes sense – alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that reduces inhibition even in reasonably small quantities.

In addition to mailing out specials during the working day, some companies are sending email campaigns out at night with great success – and alcohol may play a role says a New York Times article.

A survey referred to in the piece found nearly half of respondents had shopped online after drinking.

However, before you rush to send out your Boozer Specials campaign – the article also points out that items purchased in somewhat of a haze may be more likely to be returned.

The NYT article, while very interesting to me as someone involved in marketing; it also sends shivers down my spine – it was a great reminder to me of one of the gazillion reasons I need to stay sober :).


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