Desktop users fall as shoppers move to mobile

Kasmira Jefford
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THE NUMBER of Britons searching for goods on their desktops has dwindled in the past year as tablet ownership booms and more consumers shop from the comfort of their sofa.

Retail searches on desktop computers were down by 10 per cent in the third quarter compared with the same time last year, according to data released today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in collaboration with Google.

The figures showed a decline across all categories, with clothing, health and beauty and electronics all reporting double-digit falls.

In contrast, searches on tablets such as Apple’s iPad surged by 100 per cent in the three months to September, outpacing searches on smartphones which increased by 58 per cent.

Total search volumes were up 12 per cent, a slight slowdown on the previous quarter as the hot summer weather kept Britons out of doors.

“We’re again seeing strong growth for searches on tablets and smartphones, showing that these are playing an increasingly integral role in the customer journey,” BRC director general Helen Dickinson said.

British retailers have been posting booming online sales thanks to the growth of smartphones and tablets, which allow consumers to browse for products on the move and away from their PCs.

DIY, gardening and homeware were the fastest growing sectors on smartphones and tablets as consumers took advantage of the hot weather.

Dickinson said the data matched trends revealed by BRC and KPMG data earlier this month, which showed online sales grew by 13.4 per cent in September compared with the same time last year.

“Many customers were searching for good deals on new technology releases, gadgets and games, mirroring the strong sales performance for these items in recent months,” Dickinson said.