The UK online retail industry is receiving a huge boost from tablet devices as their increasing popularity is turning them into true assistants to consumers’ path to purchase, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
With the help of Google, BRC found that retail-related search volumes on tablet devices in the UK soared 132% in the second quarter of the year compared with the same period of 2012. The increase in search volumes on smartphones was significantly smaller, at 66%
The largest growth in search volumes on tablets and smartphones was recorded the weekend before the Wimbledon Championships.
Overall, retail search volumes across all platforms advanced by 15% in April-June. Searches initiated by UK consumers looking for international retailers expanded by 51% in the period over the previous year.
DIY & Gardening was the sector displaying the fastest growth in online searches on tablets and smartphones, up 170% and 81%, respectively. The segment was also the best performer across all other platforms in terms of search, seeing an annual rise of 32% as the warm weather and the three public holidays fuelled Britons’ desire to do some gardening and repairs at home.
The findings hint at the profound change mobile is bringing to the e-commerce market, which allows people to browse for items while outdoors enjoying the sun, BRC head Helen Dickinson commented. The results further reveal that all barriers can be broken down with the help of the Internet, with UK retailers already addressing consumers’ interest in overseas brands and expecting to see the same from overseas customers searching them out, she said.