Food was the fastest growing sector for mobile searches in the second quarter, rocketing 163% year-on-year.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Mobile searches are booming and the biggest growth area within that is for food and drink, showing smart consumers are increasingly using new devices to price check before buying their groceries.

“Around a fifth of all online spending is on food and drink but only a small proportion – 4% - of total grocery spending happens online. There are huge opportunities for food retailers to expand their internet businesses and this will be a big area of competition in the coming months and years.”

Total retail search volumes grew 9% in April to June according to the BRC Google Online Retail Monitor, driven by a 113% soar in mobile searches.Tablet searches accounted for 40% of all mobile searches over the period. Mobile searches peaked on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7.

All sectors experienced double digit growth in the volume of retail searches except for consumer electronics which declined 3%. The top search terms included Amazon Kindle, Adidas, iPad and Superdry.

Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald said: “The second quarter was a quarter with lots of talking points and events - the weather, the Jubilee and the European Championships. Weather conditions negatively affected many retailers in April, but retail query growth in April was strong. This shows that people were still online and shopping.”

London accounted for 38% of total retail searches in the second quarter, up marginally from the first quarter, while Northern Ireland accounted for just 1%.