Etail searches recorded healthy year-on-year growth in the third quarter of the year driven by overseas shoppers hunting for beauty bargains.

The volume of total UK retail searches rose 9% across all devices in the three months to September 30, according to the BRC-Google online retail monitor.

Greater London made up the highest proportion of UK-based online retail searches at 27%, followed by the North and Yorkshire at 23%.

Internationally the beauty sector was the primary driver of online retail searches.

In the EU searches for cosmetic items rose 38% year-on-year and outside of the EU it was the most searched for sector, up 21%.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Beauty and clothing brands continue to attract the most interest from both overseas and UK consumers, which kept the categories firmly at the top of the growth rankings.

“At home, festivities over the summer months and into Autumn spurred a flurry of searches online for clothing, with wedding dresses and Halloween outfits high up on the shopping agenda.

Google retail director Martijn Bertisen added: “Looking to the EU, growth rates remain strong across the region.

“In particular, we saw sustained growth from Eastern European nations, as they benefit from increased internet accessibility via smartphone penetration.

“Across the region, we saw particular demand for British beauty and apparel retailers, a trend we also saw at home as well.

“This is a trend to watch in the coming months as we head into peak gifting season, aware that consumers’ are more empowered than ever before to find the best products, deals and service when planning Christmas.”