Retail online search volumes in the UK have continued growth over the second quarter of 2017, driven by a rise in smartphone use and growth in beauty searches.
According to the BRC–Google Online Retail Sales Monitor, search volumes maintained a year-on-year growth of seven per cent in the second quarter, boosted by smartphone search volumes which jumped 26 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The increased search traffic was largely directed at the beauty sector, which saw a 42 per cent rise.
Meanwhile, apparel also performed strongly, seeing a 38 per cent boost in search volumes the same period.
“An unseasonably warm second quarter saw consumers increasingly searching from their smartphones whilst out and about. Retail-related smartphone searches in the UK grew 19 per cent year-on-year,” Google retail director Martijn Bertisen said.
“Overseas shoppers – from within the EU and beyond – continue to show increasing interest UK brands. In particular beauty and fashion brands are benefiting from an increase in consumer interest.
“Whilst back at home, we saw a 43 per cent increase year-on-year in sun care searches as we endeavoured to protect ourselves from the heat.”
Estonia was reportedly most keen on UK retail brands, seeing a 77 per cent rise in mobile searches compared to the same period last year.
British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson added: “One in five pounds are now consistently spent online for non-food purchases at home, while the growth in mobile browsing from the EU demonstrates a stable appetite for UK brands from overseas consumers.
“Satisfying this interest from abroad through retailers’ digital offer, is crucial to go some way to offsetting the more discretionary spending habits of hard-pressed UK consumers.”