Online search volumes for UK retail went up by nine per cent across all devices in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year.
According to Online Retail Monitor compiled by Google and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Greater London experienced the highest share of UK retail searches, at 27 per cent, followed by northern England and Yorkshire with 23 per cent.
Austria demonstrated the strongest year-on-year growth for UK retailers from the EU, reporting a 28 per cent increase in the three months to September 30.
Meanwhile, beauty was the most searched for sector by non-EU overseas consumers on all devices, reporting growth of 21 per cent during the same quarter. It also remained a popular sector for EU consumers on all devices, increasing 38 per cent.
“The third quarter of 2017 saw higher volumes of online browsing activity, with smartphones driving the lion’s share of growth,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“This is consistent with the double digit growth seen in online non-food sales over the past couple of months, with the online penetration rate in September reaching its highest since January.
“The relentless march of mobile activity reflects the significant innovation and investment from retailers to make their offer to on-the-go customers ever more convenient.
“Beauty and clothing brands continue to attract the most interest from both overseas and UK consumers, which kept the categories firmly at the top of the growth rankings.
“At home, festivities over the summer months and into autumn, spurred a flurry of searches online for clothing, with wedding dresses and Halloween outfits high up on the shopping agenda.
“Some of the most significant growth came from searches for UK brands from consumers in the Baltic and Balkan states. The extension of internet access in these rapidly developing countries presents retailers with an ideal opportunity to expand their outreach and boost overseas sales.”