What do you do on Sunday at 8pm? If you’re like me, you watch Planet Earth II or the X Factor while casually picking your toenails and depositing them in your empty coffee cup. Top-up, dear?

Revolting habits aside, it does seem that, while millions of us have these hit shows up on our glorious Ultra-HD curvy screens, we’re not actually paying that much attention.

That’s because we’re shopping online. Or ‘second-screening’ as it’s now known. All of which confirms the general impression that, in 2016, the average human has the attention span of a.. oh look, a squirrel!

This information comes from research by Lloyds Bank that also found that Monday at 11am is another peak time for online retail. Well, what else would you be doing at that time?

It seems that Sunday evening is the prime spot for credit-card transactions, while Monday morning is reserved for high-price items following a furtive visit to the shops at the weekend.

The figures, which looked at transactions in the year to August 2016, confirm the growing trend of visiting stores to see the physical reality of a product before compare prices online.

Tut-tut. Who would do that?

Well, me, if we’re honest. And probably you.

Paul Gordon, managing director of credit cards for Lloyds Bank, confirms this view: “It’s likely that the peak we see in online spending by value on a Monday is driven by those who use the weekend to find the goods they want in store, then shop online to make sure they get the best deals, as well as by retailers who offer sales and discounts over long weekends, often ending on a Monday.

“As for online spending by volume, it looks like we’re most likely to spend online on a Sunday evening while we’re watching The X Factor or Planet Earth.”

This Sunday-night shopping bonanza has meant retailers have had to run vast warehouses open 24 hours a day to keep up with demand and those rash promises of immediate delivery.

Amazon is typical. Next year, the online behemoth will open the UK’s largest warehouse in East London. Partly staffed by robots, to speed up processing time, it will weigh in at 200,000 square feet. That’s roughly the size of Russell Brand’s ego. That’s big.

The new depot will have a lot to live up to. Amazon’s Prime Day record for delivery practically reversed the space-time continuum. A customer in Beeston, West Yorkshire idly clicked through an order for a Playstation game. Ten minutes and 11 seconds later, a driver from the Leeds distribution centre rapped on the front door.

At least he didn’t leave it under the cat with a card shoved through the door.

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Author Chris Painter

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