Latest trade association figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have revealed that retail search volumes coming through tablets increased by 132% for this year’s April to June quarter compared to last year.

Smartphone search volumes rose by half as much, up 66% year-on-year. Whereas total retail search volumes grew by just 15% from the figures released by the BRC for the April to June period of 2012.

Many more UK consumers are looking overseas for products. There was a 51% rise in searches for retailers abroad, whereas foreign consumers searching the UK only went up to the tune of 16%.

Emerging Influence

Google retail director, Peter Fitzgerald, reported that much of the growing interest in UK retailers shown through search volume stemmed from several of the world’s more emerging markets.

“International interest remains a strong lever for our homegrown retailers with fast-growing regions such as South America and Asia providing much of this increase,” Fitzgerald explained.

Top retail search terms in alphabetical order for April to June 2013 included adidas, Converse, dresses, garden furniture, gta 5, iPad, iPad mini, Nike, Pandora, prom dresses, ps4, Swarovski, Vans, wedding dresses and Xbox One.

Sunshine Shopping

DIY and gardening was especially popular among consumers during Q2 2013. Its 32% year-on-year increase was the fastest achieved of any sector. It also had the highest search growth on smartphones and tablets, a year-on-year rise of 81% and 170% respectively.

Recent sunshine has had a big bearing on the performance of certain verticals within search and where actual purchasing is taking place, according to director general of the BRC, Helen Dickinson.

“With the continuing increase in the use of mobile devices to perform these searches, we may well be seeing customers researching new wardrobe and garden purchases while outdoors enjoying the sunshine,” said Dickinson.