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Online searches for UK retailers remains robust: report

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Online searches for UK retailers by international consumers is as robust as ever, with many non-EU countries experiencing a double-digit growth on mobile devices for the second quarter of 2016.

According to a new report published by British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Google today, some of the highest search volumes came from countries in the Middle East, with Israel, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia all featuring in the top six.

Also featuring in the top six were Hong Kong, Indonesia and the US.

Israel had the biggest growth in the second quarter, with an 89 per cent increase in search volumes from mobile devices.

Emerging economies Brazil and Chinia reported declines of 33 and 29 per cent respectively, which has been attributed to a slowdown in economic activity within their countries.

Meanwhile, in terms of tablet device search volumes Japan was the only nation to have reported an increase. The report said searches on tablet devices has been in decline for “some time” as smartphones continued to evolve and more appealing.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said these statistics should come as no surprise given the UK’s reputable retail industry.

“It’s clear that there are exciting growth opportunities for UK retailers wishing to explore global export markets,” she said.

“Today’s numbers show that international customers are increasingly using mobile devices to research their purchases.

“British retail businesses are remaining at the cutting edge by tailoring their e-commerce offer to make the journey from search to shop as mobile friendly as possible.”

Google retail director Martijn Bertisen said the report was “reassuring” for UK retailers who were concerned about a post-Brexit era.

“Looking outside the EU, we see growth from our North American neighbours in Canada and the US,” he said.

“However, it is in the Middle East and Asia where increasing mobile adoption rates have driven the strongest growth in interest in our UK retail brands.”

The report also indicated that the clothing and beauty sectors experienced the biggest growth of search volumes on a mobile device, with a 52 and 49 per cent increase respectively.

“With an impressive 52% increase in non-EU international searches on mobile devices for UK beauty retailers, the UK brand is strong internationally,” Dickinson said.

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Published on Monday 25 July by Elias Jahshan

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