UK retailers have experienced a surge in online searches from key overseas markets including the Netherlands, France, Germany and the US.

Shoppers in Russia, Argentina and India also visited UK sites in droves and the home and garden, beauty and leisure sectors drew traffic, according to the BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Retailers experienced a 64% increase in the total volume of overseas consumers searching for UK brands on smartphones, with a 41% year-on-year increase in the volume of searches by tablet, the study showed.

Germany, Russia and Argentina recorded the most substantial growth rates in smartphone search volumes at 231%, 145% and 137% respectively, for UK retail searches.

A number of countries demonstrated considerable rates of growth in tablet searches including Germany, which was up 130%, France, up 78% and Russian Federation, in which traffic rose by 66%.

The number of UK consumers searching on smartphones for overseas retailers rose 28% year-on-year, while on tablets this figure grow by 43%.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said:“The UK is the world’s second biggest online retail exporter, beaten only by the USA. These new BRC-Google figures show UK retailers are investing heavily in international online experiences, localised websites and faster delivery times to drive exports.

“There were also very positive results from the Russian Federation and Argentina. We will be working hard to make sure that these good trends are not undermined by proposals in these countries for import taxes targeted against cross-border internet sales.”

Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald said: This Christmas mobile truly came into its own. Those retailers who invested in cross-device experiences - allowing their customers to easily find, buy and discover no matter where they are -reaped the rewards.

“Export continued to be a key driver of growth for our retailers this Christmas, particularly for our clothing and beauty brands. Phenomenal smartphone growth was seen across both emerging and established markets, with 231% growth in smartphone searches from Germany over the fourth quarter.”