Rising smartphone and tablet usage in the UK has triggered an upsurge in mobile search, growing 181 per cent in the first three months of 2011, compared to the same period last year, according to statistics produced by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
According to the BRC, UK consumers are using their mobile devices for retail-related queries at an ever increasing pace, with the most popular searches being for multichannel retailers that support both online access and High Street stores. Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, confirmed that online was the fastest growing part of retailing, and that growth in e-commerce was helping to reverse the trend of weakening consumer confidence.
"A 29 per cent increase in retail online searches in a year is a huge increase in potential shoppers," said Robertson, as reported by Cellular News. "[But] the star performer is mobile. The rise of mobile use to one in ten searches sends a valuable message to any forward-thinking retailer that doesn't yet have an m-commerce platform."
The BRC's Online Retail Monitor (ORM) study, which measures the rise of online searches by noting the number of retail-related search terms consumers put into Google, is the first to be published by the organisation, with searches ranked by pure-play and multichannel retailers.
Commenting on this ORM report, Peter Fitzgerald, retail director at Google, told NMA that this research was a "big step in understanding online consumer behaviour" across retail categories and had been designed to provide retailers with insights into the changing digital marketplace.
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