Have you ever had one too many drinks, received a late-night email from your favorite retailer on your smartphone and thanks to your past purchase made a simple one-click-checkout purchase? If so, you are not alone. According to NYTimes, sipping-and-clicking is on the rise.  If you haven’t experience it, don’t be surprised if you find a confirmation email in your inbox with that special item you’ve always wanted to buy but never would have spent the money on with a sober mind.

E-retailers say that traffic patterns and anecdotal evidence suggest that a growing number of consumers seem to be buying after having a couple of drinks. ChannelAdvisor, which runs e-commerce for hundreds of sites, says its order volumes peak about 8 p.m., and that shoppers are placing orders later and later.

eBay reported 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., as its busiest times. When asked if drinking might be a factor, Vice President for eBay Mobile said, “Absolutely.” He added “…if you think about what most people do when they get home from work in the evening, it’s decompression time. The consumer’s in a good mood.” All these factors collide to create the emerging consumer base of shoppers that S.U.I.

As a marketer, I know a happy consumer spends more, and according to The Week, a number of companies, from Neiman Marcus to Lowes are taking advantage of this. These companies are flooding consumer email inboxes with late night offers in an attempt to increase sales and website traffic.  But drunken consumers may not be the smartest target audience for companies. Drunken shoppers often lead to high sober returns, which can reduce company profits because most companies absorb the costs for shipping items back and restocking fees.

Today online shopping is increasing at an exponential rate thanks to the convenience of the Internet being accessible on iPads, mobile devices, and laptops. Regardless of how you make your leisurely purchases, buyers beware as you unwind, don’t be a victim of a S.U.I.

Interested in knowing the growing rate of online consumers? We listed an interactive chart below.

Sources: Lucky magazine , The Week , NYTimes