The volume of Brits searching for goods outside of the UK has risen by 9% over the last year, according to new stats from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Working off data from Google, the association has shown a notable increase in Brits using the web to shop overseas. A rise of 9% in international searches since Q1 2014 is even higher than the 5% seen a year beforehand. 

This is a trend being felt around the world, as the number of consumers from foreign markets searching for UK apparel has risen 10% over the last year.

The BRC’s data goes into detail regarding the consumers most likely to search for UK items, highlighting Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary as emerging markets.  

Tablet turn-off

As well as covering searches in general, an ‘Online Retail Monitor’ for Q1 2015 applies a great deal of focus to the rising volumes of shoppers browsing for goods via mobile devices. 

Every single market surveyed by the BRC reported a year-on-year rise in searches for UK goods via smartphones, going up as high as 194% in Serbia and as low as 15% in Australia.
With tablets, however, the enthusiasm appears to be waning. While Serbia topped the leaderboard again, its tablet searches for UK retailers increasing 86%, 6 of the 13 markets saw a decrease in activity.

These included some of the most developed online markets, including Russia (-7%), the US (-10%) and Australia (-26%).

Many EU markets are helping to keep the tablet ticking, with Germany (24%), France (7%), Ireland (8%) and Spain (6%) increasing their searches for UK goods.

Striking a balance 

The success of the smartphone and demise of the tablet, combined, equate to moderate increases in mobile searches to UK retailers between 2014 – 2015.

Serbia is leading the pack through a 36% rise, with India (23%), Germany (23%) and Taiwan (20%) all putting in strong performances. 

As for the most popular goods to search for, the crown for growth belongs to luxury apparel on 15%, pairing a 57% rise in smartphone searches with a 5% decline on tablet.

Elsewhere, footwear saw a 13% rise (66% vs 6%) and department stores finished on 11% (70% vs 9%).