Mobile searches for retailers soared 181% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2011, while searches on Google grew by 29%

Mobile accounted for 11% of all retail searches according to the first BRC/Google Online Retail Monitor, which measures the growth of online retail searches.

Retail search grew fastest for multi-channel retailers which saw a rise of 42% year-on-year compared to 19% for pureplay retailers.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Online is the fastest growing part of retailing. Despite any short-term effects from weakening consumer confidence, what stands out here is the fundamental strength of the growth of online retailing.

“The star performer is mobile. A three fold increase reveals customers are taking to smartphone and tablet shopping very rapidly. The rise of mobile use to one in ten searches sends a valuable message to any forward-thinking retailer that doesn’t yet have an m-commerce platform.”

Clothing was the most sought-after item with boots and dresses top of the most searched terms. Homewares – such as beds, kitchens and curtains - and technology including the Amazon Kindle, were within the top ten searched items.

The number of overseas consumers searching for UK retailers was up 27% over the period.