The number of consumers searching for retail products and stores on tablets has risen by 132% as the multi-screening phenomenon grows.
The BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor showed total retail search volumes grew 15% in the second quarter of 2013 in April to June compared to the same period last year.
Alongside the growth of tablet searches, smartphone retail searches grew 66% as shoppers increasingly used two devices simultaneously, for example using a smartphone as they watch television.
Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald said: “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.”
The monitor showed total search volumes from UK consumers searching overseas retailers increased by 51% in the second quarter compared with the previous year.
Fitzgerland said that fair weather and three bank holidays fuelled strong growth for DIY and gardening retailers. Total search volumes grew fastest for DIY and 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.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “This quarter’s search data backs up the trends we have been seeing in the BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor, with increases in interest in clothing brands and garden products. As the weather has improved, these 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.
“These results also show the changes the internet is bringing to the international retail market. The considerable increase this month in the number of UK consumers searching overseas retailers show that barriers are increasingly being broken down. UK retailers are already responding well to these changes and will be keen to continue seeing equivalent increases in overseas customers searching them out.”
Fitzgerland added: “Pureplay retailers in particular regained their growth, responding to the pressure of multichannel retailers in the online space. 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. UK interest in overseas brands however, has really peaked this quarter driven in particular by interest in US brands.”