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Retail searches from tablets and mobiles rocket as sunshine loving UK consumers change how they want to shop, suggests BRC-Google data

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Search volumes on tablet devices outpaced those on any other device, increasing 132% compared with growth on smartphone devices of 66%, according to the latest BRC-Google online retail monitor data out this week, showing how consumers are changing rapidly how they shop online.

Total search volumes from UK consumers searching overseas retailers increased by 51% in Q2 compared with the previous year. Total search volumes grew fastest for DIY & Gardening, up 32% year-on-year. DIY & Gardening also had the highest growth in search volumes on tablets and smartphones, up by 170% and 81% year-on-year, respectively.

Growth in search volumes on tablets and smartphones were at their highest on the weekend before the Wimbledon Championships.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium believes that part of the rapid growth in retail searches on portable devices could be down to the weather. “As the weather has improved, [clothing and gardening] have been popular categories, and 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.”

Peter Fitzgerald, Retail Director, Google, believes that second screening is also playing a dramatic role in how, why and where consumers now shop. “The growing multi-screening phenomenon across the UK – where people use their connected devices whilst watching TV – is also reflected in the growth in queries coming from tablets and smartphones.”

Adam Stewart, Marketing Director at Rakuten’s believes that today’s BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor results provide further proof that the way consumers shop is changing:

“More people than ever are using tablets to discover and buy new items, and social networks to gain and share recommendations. In the past year, we have seen a 100% increase in shoppers using tablet and mobile devices to visit Rakuten’s and this now accounts for around 30% of all traffic. As the discovery shopping trend grows, social is playing an increasingly important role in retailers’ multi-channel strategies.”

“Whether browsing by tablet or mobile, consumers’ shopping decisions are being shaped by peer-to-peer conversations, shared content and recommendations. A big part of this engagement takes place on social networks and sharing sites. Whilst retailers should be offering a seamless shopping experience across numerous devices, it’s important to tap into social networks. This can amplify reach and further encourage discovery and entertainment shopping amongst consumers. It is the combination of the two – the device and the right channel – that is the route to effective selling in a multi-channel age.”

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