Retail searches on tablets surge 238%
Retail search volumes grew by 14% in the fourth quarter of 2012 driven by a continuing surge in smartphone and tablet ownership according to figures released by the British Retail Consortium.
The BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor for Q4 2012 shows that search volumes on tablet devices outpaced searches on any other device in the period, increasing by 238%. This compares with growth on smartphone devices of 76%.
Total search volumes grew fastest for homewares, which rose 28% year-on-year. Tablet growth was driven by clothing searches which saw a 273% increase in the period.
Retail searches peaked on Boxing Day, with more than twice the volume of searches compared with Christmas Eve.
Commenting on the figures, Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, said: "This strong growth shows how online retail really came of age this Christmas. It's playing an increasingly significant role at every stage of the customer journey, especially when researching items and comparing prices both at home and on the move. Retailers continue to invest in their online offer, and more and more of us are reaping the resulting benefits of more flexible delivery options, user friendly websites and improved accessibility and security.
"Much of this growth is driven by the continuing surge in smartphone and tablet ownership. Tablet searches outpaced those on any other device and were particularly widespread on Boxing Day when many used them to get a head start on the sales."
The BRC said that searches from overseas to UK retailers' sites also had a strong showing, up by 25% on the fourth quarter of 2011.
Dickinson added: "This really brings home the UK's position at the forefront of international e-commerce, and highlights the increasing importance of having a foothold on the global stage."
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