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Mobile is online retail star performer

Published: 26 April 2011
Mobile retail searches surged 181% year-on-year for the three months to March 2011, according to the new BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor launched today.
Mobile is online retail star performer
The new report measures the growth of online retail searches - counting every time someone goes online and searches for a retail product on Google.

In Q1, total retail search volumes grew by 29% year-on-year, but mobile was the star player, with mobile searches now accounting for 11% of total searches during the period.

The number of overseas consumers searching for UK retailers grew by 27% in Q1, while the number of UK consumers searching for overseas retailers grew by 21%.

The monitor also revealed the top 10 search terms in the three months to March, revealing popular items in the post-Christmas sales period. Beds came in at number four, followed by kitchens at number five, curtains at number six and sofas in seventh position. The trend leans towards high-value items, said the report, which benefit from price comparisons, as well as items which are less frequently found on the high street.

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: "Online is the fastest growing part of retailing. We need to better understand that development and what's driving it. Despite any short-term effects from weakening consumer confidence, what stands out here is the fundamental strength of the growth of online retailing. A 29% increase in retail searches in a year is a huge increase in potential shoppers."

He added: "The rise of mobile use to one in 10 searches sends a valuable message to any forward-thinking retailer that doesn't yet have an m-commerce platform. The figures show, British retailers are very good at selling online and winning business from all parts of the world. What we need from politicians, UK and European, is a regulatory environment that helps that develop further."

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