Smartphones fuel boom in retail searches

Helen Cahill
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Overseas shoppers have been helping boost searches (Source: Getty)

Smartphones caused an explosion in searches for the wares of UK retailers in the second quarter, research released today has found.

The volume of smartphone searches made for UK retail items jumped 26 per cent in the quarter as compared to the same period in 2016, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Google.

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Across all devices, searches were up seven per cent.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said beauty brands were “firmly at the top of the growth rankings” in online searches.

“It would appear that this could have translated to some extent into product sales, as health and beauty products ranked second highest in online sector performance over the three-month period,” she said.

Overseas consumers were a big driver of interest in both beauty and fashion items. For example, in Estonia, searches made for UK items soared 77 per cent year-on-year.

Martijn Bertisen, retail director at Google, said businesses were responding by making sure they were “always on” to respond to digital orders, and were also investing in multiple ways to contact shoppers online.

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