It’s not surprising that goods sold online are priced higher on the weekends than they are in the week.
After all, the weekend offers many 9 to 5 workers downtime to buy birthday presents, treats or items for the home. As demand for an item increases, etailers will raise the price accordingly. That’s nothing new – it’s the typical rules of supply and demand.
But why are wearable fitness trackers cheapest on a Tuesday?
New research from price comparison site Idealo has found that most goods are more expensive on a Sunday, and that online retail prices fluctuate up to 18 per cent throughout the week.
The research suggests that a lack of awareness about the flexible nature of online prices means consumers may be missing out on better deals.
Video games offer the biggest savings – they are 18 per cent cheaper on average on Mondays.
Wearable fitness trackers, meanwhile, are typically eight per cent cheaper on a Tuesday, and are most expensive on a Sunday. But why is that the case?
Katy Phillips, consumer affairs editor at Idealo, explains: "Internet shopping allows for a style of retailing that logistically wouldn’t have been possible in physical stores: dynamic pricing.
"The digital age allows merchants to adjust their prices from one second to the next, depending on any number of relevant factors. This leaves the retailer able to set flexible prices that change occurring to the most current market demands, and thereby increasing their profit margins.
"In some cases, the pricing strategy will be controlled by complex algorithms, and in others, a retailer might make the decision to hike or drop the price of a particular product manually according to its popularity, or even the day’s events."
Phillips goes on the explain why the weekend is more expensive: "There is no hard and fast rule that says that if you have an online shopping spree over the weekend you will end up paying more – it really depends on what you are buying, and how popular it is at that time.
"However, there is no ignoring the results – retailers seem to hike their online prices up slightly at the weekend. This could be linked to the fact that there is a likely increased demand at the weekend, when consumers have more free time and are more likely to click buy.
"The inflated weekend prices could, therefore, indicate retailers cashing in on their knowledge of consumer behaviour. Although the huge benefit of online shopping is that it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are still many consumers who will browse during the week, potentially add an item to their basket, but then wait to complete the purchase from home – so most likely at the weekend where they are using their own secure internet connection, where credit and debit cards are closer to hand and where family members are nearby in order to discuss the purchase together."
Idealo’s data analysts tracked the prices of 7,642 products across 12 categories over a period of three months, then took the average price of each product for each day of the week.