Americans making big buys online in the middle of the night

Digital ads are pushing people online to make up to $500 in purchases

It seems a good number of Americans have $500 burning a hole in their pockets as they burn the midnight oil -- and they are going online to spend it.

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According to a new study from digital-marketing firm Adlucent, one-quarter of Americans are night owls taking flight shopping online all as the results of digital ads so far has been responsible for a whopping $2 billion in revenue in 2019.

Adlucent surveyed 900 U.S. adults, aged 18-to-64, on their online shopping habits and the importance of personalization in their online experiences. The initiative was part of its “Personalize-To-Play: The Next Generations’ Digital Marketing Sentiment Report.”

A majority of respondents said they’ve spent up to $200 online in recent weeks and 25 percent said they’ve spent a whopping $500. More than half of the survey-takers prefer to shop at night, with younger generations using their smartphone or another mobile device.

Nearly 40 percent recalled clicking an ad before making a purchase, too. As for the other 60 percent, Adlucent said this indicates ads have “become such a native part of platforms where consumers spend time, they don’t always distinguish paid placement from organic.”

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A majority of spenders were willing to give up personal information to snag deals, too, with 66 percent giving up their email address to gain access to promotions, sweepstakes or notifications. Another 67 percent logged onto a retailer using their social media account.

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A study from the Allianz Life Insurance Company pointed to the “fear of missing out” as a potential reason for the spending. It found that 90 percent of millennials said social media creates a tendency to compare their own wealth or lifestyle to that of their peers. And 60 percent report feeling “inadequate” about their life because of something they saw online.

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Not all consumers are happy about seeing ads online, though. Half said they feel “annoyed” or “creeped out” when served an ad for an item they just bought, Adlucent data shows.