Searches on tablet devices are driving online retail search volumes, accounting for 42 per cent on total mobile searches in the third quarter, data released today has found.
Tablet based searches have increased two per cent on the previous quarter, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)/Google Online Retail Monitor, while total retail search volumes leapt eight per cent in Q3 compared with the same period a year earlier.
Peter Fitzgerald, Retail Director of Google, said of the findings: “Despite a tough trading environment in Q3, queries continued to grow at a steady rate of 8 per cent this summer.
“Alongside the high street, we saw a drop in overall retail traffic during the Olympic and Paralympic games.
“Mobile, however, continued to grow – now representing nearly a quarter of overall traffic. This reflects the growing trend that people are engaging with multiple screens at once – browsing their tablet and smartphone devices whilst watching TV.
“Interestingly, tablet penetration is largely driving mobile query growth. Sundays and bank holidays continue to be big days, with the August Bank Holiday seeing a peak in search queries across devices and mobile traffic significantly increasing on Sundays.”
The Olympics Opening Ceremony impacted mobile retail searches significantly, with the BRC highlighting “a noticeable drop” on Friday July 27th.
Overseas consumers though helped boost growth as total search volumes from these customers rose by 33 per cent compared with a year earlier while in the UK, mobile search volumes were driven by the popularity of food & drink.
As food & drink search volumes via mobile surged 144 per cent year-on-year over the period, total search volumes grew fastest for health & beauty items, increasing 15 per cent year-on-year.
Stephen Robertson, the BRC’s Director General, explained: “Food and drink was the fastest growing sector for mobile searches, demonstrating that hard-pressed customers are increasingly keen to use new technology for finding groceries at the best possible value.
“Most non-food areas saw strong growth in overall searches, with health and beauty performing particularly well.
“The signs are, the combination of limited spending power and faster, easier access to information will drive an even more competitive Christmas for retailers. And with 4G looming, this trend is likely to accelerate.”