LONDON: The UK ecommerce sector is benefiting from the growing popularity of tablet devices, according to a new report from Google, the online services firm, and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a trade body.
The Online Retail Monitor for the second quarter of 2013 showed that British retail-related search volumes on tablet devices increased 132% compared with the same quarter a year earlier, while searches via smartphones grew by 66%.
In addition, total retail search volumes across all platforms increased 15% while searches by UK consumers for overseas retailers increased by 51%.
These findings indicate that new mobile technology is reshaping internet shopping. Good weather and a series of public holidays in the UK also helped to make DIY and gardening the fastest-growing sectors for online searches, the report suggested.
Helen Dickinson, Director-General of the British Retail Consortium, attributed the year-on-year growth for DIY and gardening – up 170% and 81% respectively – on consumers being able to use new mobile technology to carry out these searches "while outdoors enjoying the sunshine".
She added: "These results also show the changes the internet is bringing to the international retail market. The considerable increase this month in the number of UK consumers searching overseas retailers shows that barriers are increasingly being broken down.
"UK retailers are already responding well to these changes and will be keen to continue seeing equivalent increases in overseas customers searching them out."
Peter Fitzgerald, the Retail Director at Google, added that the data suggested UK retailers were also benefiting from searches conducted by consumers living overseas.
"International interest remains a strong lever for our homegrown retailers with fast-growing regions such as South America and Asia providing much of this increase," he added.