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Black Friday purchases peak at 10am as savvy shoppers bag a bargain from their work desk

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The most popular time for online shopping on Black Friday is 10am, as consumers snatch online bargains while at work.

Ahead of the annual slashing of prices, AIB data of Black Friday sales reveals that almost a third of buyers shopped online last year - and almost 12pc of sales were made before 9am.

The peak time for online shoppers was 10am, when most people were at work.

While online shopping decreased as the day went on, in-store purchases peaked between noon and 4pm, as employees took lunch breaks or finished work for the day and grabbed a bargain.

The data was compiled from one million debit card transactions made by AIB customers on Black Friday last year.

Some of the most popular Black Friday bargains include prices being slashed on electronics, and shoppers took full advantage of the reductions last year as the average transaction on electronic items totalled €174.

Consumers in Sligo spent the most on electronics, with an average of €218 per transaction - while those in Offaly spent the least, with an average of €142.

Jewellery saw by far the biggest spike in sales in comparison with the previous Friday, with a 275pc increase.

Customers took full advantage of jewellery sales and spent €118 on average, with Tipperary shoppers spending the highest average of €160.

Meanwhile, customers in Limerick spent the least on jewellery, with the lowest average of €62.

Health and beauty products were also big movers last year as sales rocketed by 234pc on Black Friday in comparison with the previous Friday.

Buyers spent €36 on average on health and beauty products, with shoppers in Sligo splashing the cash more than any other county.

Shoppers also hit the clothing stores last year, with the average Black Friday shopper spending €65. Those in Monaghan spent more than any other county on clothes with a €70 average, and buyers in Westmeath spent the least, with a €57 average.

Clothing also saw by far the biggest increase in spending, particularly online, with a fourfold increase, or 466pc, in online spending on clothes via the internet. "These insights give us a real understanding as to how Irish consumers are spending their money," said Fergal Coburn, chief digital and innovation officer at AIB.

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Mr Coburn said that more shoppers were switching to digital wallets, meaning that they used mobile apps to pay for their purchases.

"More recently we are seeing an increase in digital wallet usage, with more shoppers using Apple, Google or Fitbit Pay to carry out their transactions."

Some 3.8pc of customers opted for digital payments through Apple or Google Pay.

"This year, we have seen a trend in consumers using their digital wallets more as they reach for their phone over their card," he said.

However, 41pc of customers still used contactless payment on their debit cards to pay for their purchases, most of which were below €30.

Women dominated the Black Friday shopping sprees, with almost 60pc of consumers online and in-store being female.

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