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The rise in smartphone and tablet-PC use has created a new breed of “extreme shoppers,” according a study by online fashion retailer Very.co.uk. In a survey of 1,000 women, 43 percent of respondents admitted to surfing e-commerce sites in bed. They also logged on in secret at work (37 percent), on their commutes (33 percent), on the loo (18 percent), and in the bath (14 percent). The research, conducted by Onepoll in July, pegs up to 1 million British women as hardcore online shoppers who are unable to resist temptation even at work meetings (6 percent), in the movie theater (5 percent), at the gym (4 percent), on a date (4 percent), or in church (3 percent).
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The ability to shop and share items with friends via social networks 24/7 has also led to an uptick in “social shopping,” a route that is quickly supplanting the convention of visiting stores with friends for advice and approval. Findings reveal that the equivalent of 8.6 million British women (47 percent) have shared a dress, either spotted or purchased, on social-media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Londoners are the biggest social shoppers (55 percent), while over a quarter of women under the age of 25 (27 percent) say they use social media to solicit opinions on a potential purchase.
One in five British women check their smartphone “as often as possible” for new and sale merchandise.
More evidence that online shopaholicism is on the ascent: One in five women (18 percent) check their smartphones “as often as possible” for new and sale merchandise. Fifteen percent confess they think about shopping on their phones even when they’re unable to use them.
“The rise of smartphones and tablet computers means that there are no longer boundaries to shopping and women are never far from being able to get their fashion fix,” says Rebecca Elderfield, style director at Very.co.uk. “Women can get inspiration for the latest looks as well as the seal of approval from dozens of friends in a matter of seconds, meaning the way we select, buy, and chat about fashion has changed dramatically.”
Time to unplug?