Total retail searches rose at the fastest rate this year during the quarter to September at 35% as thrify Brits scoured the web for a bargain.

The increase was driven by soaring mobile searches which rocketed 168% over the period according to the BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor.

Mobile accounted for 10% of all retail searches.

Searches for pureplays rose 71% compared to 26% for multi-channel players.

The number of overseas consumers searching for UK retailers grew by 34% in the third quarter while the volume of UK consumers searching for overseas retailers soared 78%.

People in London were responsible for 35% of all retail searches, followed by 22% from the North of England.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Mounting pressures on household budgets may be generating more online retail searches as people work harder to compare prices and track down value. While searches grew 35 per cent, their fastest this year, the BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor show growth in online spending has actually slowed to 10 per cent suggesting extra searches are a symptom of bargain hunting.”

Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald said: “September saw an uplift, as Christmas gift related searches began to appear. This is unsurprising given that many consumers are Christmas shopping earlier this year, in order to spread the cost and avoid disruption due to bad weather.”

The top retail search term was bed, followed by dresses, flowers and HP Touchpad.