UK fashion retailers see rise in searches from online international shoppers
The number of overseas consumers searching for UK clothing and footwear retailers increased significantly in the first three months of 2014 as retailers improved their online and multi-channel offerings.
Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Google show that the number of overseas consumers looking for UK apparel retailers grew by 13% year-on-year in the period while UK shoppers searching for overseas apparel retailers increased by 5%.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "UK clothing and footwear retailers are already world-beaters. These new BRC-Google numbers show that they are continuing to improve and expand on their online and multi-channel offers, increasing their appeal to international markets and boosting the economy with their exports.”
Smartphone searches for UK apparel retailers experienced the largest rise, up 43%, with department stores leading the way with a 77% increase. The BRC said the rise was partly a result of retailers taking advantage of new technology to reach an increasingly diverse audience.
Dickinson added: "This innovation and good use of new technology explains why the UK is now the world's second biggest online retail exporter. We will be working hard with government to help this growth continue and give retailers all the support they need to attract even more new customers from international markets."
Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald said that China and Russia continue to represent a huge opportunity for retailers, with the fastest query growth for UK apparel.
China experienced the largest increase in searches for UK apparel retailers across all devices at 50%, followed by Russia at 42%, France at 27% and Germany at 21%.
Meanwhile India, Germany and Russia saw the most substantial growth rates in smartphone search volumes with rises of 111%, 104% and 79% respectively.
Fitzgerald said: "The importance of having a mobile strategy - both in the UK and abroad - is evident, as smartphones are shown to be the main driver of query growth worldwide. Interestingly we also see different search behaviour on smartphones, highlighting the impulsive nature of smartphone searches as users are able to search for anything, anywhere."
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