When do US and UK Shoppers Shop Online?

What day do you shop online the most? If you’re anything like the average shopper in the US or UK, you probably do most of your online shopping on Sunday.

Based on SimilarWeb data, we found that Sunday was the most popular day for online shopping based on a study of the top 25 shopping websites in both the US and UK. This data is based on both desktop and mobile web, which is crucial because much of mobile web in both the US and UK is increasingly mobile.

After, Sunday, the habits of US and UK online shoppers start to differ slightly, as American shoppers have made Monday the second most popular day to shop online, while over in the UK, shoppers have made Saturday the second most popular online shopping day.Most Important Day of the Week: US Retail


This data can also be examined on a website level and we can compare data in the US and UK. With Amazon, not surprisingly, Sunday was Amazon’s most popular day in both countries, though traffic to Amazon.com in the US is more evenly spread throughout the week.

Furthermore, according to SimilarWeb app data, Amazon’s shopping app peak usage day in the US is on Monday while in the UK it peaks on Sunday. The app, which based on our recent ASO report ranks extremely high for in-store search, is the third most popular shopping app in both the US and UK.
amazon uk and us


For Ebay, a similar trend emerges, both UK and US shoppers favor (or favour if you’re from the UK) Sunday and then Monday for their Ebay shopping. Once again the US traffic is more spread out, indicating that US shoppers, though they prefer the early part of the week, also spend a significant amount of time shopping on other days.ebay us vs uk


Ikea is another example of a store that has very similar traffic distribution in both the US and UK. However, unlike most other top shopping websites, Ikea’s second most popular day for web traffic is actually Saturday. This reflects user strong habits of perusing or shopping on the Ikea website over the weekend.

If Ikea wanted to run an ad campaign or online sale, they may want to consider doing so on a weekday. This would bring more users to the site and entice shoppers that are used to only using the site on the weekend.ikea us vs uk


Ali Express, represents a site in which US and UK shopping habits differ in terms of days of the week. Both countries prefer Sunday as the most popular day to shop on aliexpress.com, but in second place, Monday rules in the US, while Saturday is next most popular day in the UK.ali express us vs uk


In the graphs above we compared shopping to one website in both countries, and adjusted if the site had a local .co.uk domain. However, looking at two different retailers can also provide interesting insights and show shopping trends of different stores in both countries.

Macy’s, familiar to many Americans, is one of the largest US department stores and in some ways is comparable to Marks and Spencer (M&S), a UK department store. The key difference between the two is that in addition to clothing, M&S is also a food retailer.

M&S represents an interesting case as it’s peak traffic was actually on Thursday, with Sunday representing the second strongest day. Macy’s is more along with the average and had Sunday, followed by Saturday, as the most popular days of the week. This difference may be a result of the fact that M&S is also an online grocer, though UK traffic to two other grocery stores, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, shows that their peak traffic is in fact on Sunday.

Our recent department store SEO report found that search traffic was a crucial traffic source to the industry and retailers can even adjust their SEO strategy based on what day of the week they want to target shoppers.
makrs and spencer macys


In addition to comparing data on a country level, we are also able to look at web traffic to a particular website and compare it to the overall shopping average. Retailers can further use this data to see which day’s of the week they struggle on, compared to their competitors and also discover which days are their strongest. Newegg, for example, is far below the US average for Sunday and is missing out on the huge market of weekend shoppers. Where the electronics retailer excels is on Friday, a day in which they are 4.58% above average, and on Tuesday when the site is 4.29% above average.newegg vs average


Similarly, in the UK, H&M is below average on Sunday, but ahead of the curve on Thursday. Though overall Sunday was H&M’s most popular day, they are clearly doing something right on Thursdays and their shoppers visit hm.com on Thursdays much more compared to other retailers.hm vs average



Key Takeaways 

  • Sunday is the most popular day for online shopping in both the US and UK
  • For US shoppers, Saturday is 2nd most popular but for UK shoppers Monday is 2nd 
  • Retailers can discover their place among the competition and adjust digital strategy accordingly
  • Retailers can learn which days they need to improve on and run campaigns on those days

About the Author -

Pascal Cohen is a Digital Marketing Insight Manager at SimilarWeb. He has extensive experiences in the online marketing world, especially within the Retail, Travel and News/Media world. Some people call him the "Datanator".

Discover the secrets of online success