By Daniel Hunter
Total retail search volumes grew 16% in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same quarter a year earlier, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
In the first quarter, search volumes on tablet devices outpaced those on any other device, increasing 198% compared with growth on smartphone devices of 66%.
Total search volumes grew fastest for homewares, up 34% year-on-year. Homewares also had the highest growth in search volumes on tablets (236%) and smartphones, up by 88% year-on-year.
During the January Sales, total retail search volumes were at their highest, with noticeable peaks on 2 and 20 January 2013.
Total search volumes from UK consumers searching overseas retailers increased by 18% in Q1 compared with the previous year.
Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "These figures confirm how tablets and smartphones are becoming increasingly integral to the shopping experience for many of us, whether we're at home or on the move, and from research to purchase. It's easier than ever to compare prices and products online, and retailers are continuing to invest in their websites and their ‘omnichannel' offer so that customers have choice, convenience and flexibility when they shop.
"The retail search data also closely mirrors the sales performance across different categories in March. It's clear that the prolonged cold snap held many of us back from both browsing and buying new-season clothing lines until some sunshine arrived. But it was a strong month for searches and sales of homewares and furniture, as the Easter weekend got many of us thinking about spring cleaning and home improvement."
Peter Fitzgerald, Retail Director, Google, said: "The first quarter of 2013 saw a strong start to the year, with retail queries growing at 16 per cent year-on-year. This growth continues to be fuelled by the multi-device trend we are experiencing. Tablet queries grew nearly three times compared to the same period last year, whilst mobile traffic grew at 66 per cent.
"These are trends that will only continue into 2013 as more people own multiple devices. International interest is also proving invaluable to our UK retailers, with overseas searches for UK brands at 16 per cent growth, and particular interest from our American neighbours with searches up 75 per cent."
Join us on