A recent BRC report found:
- In the UK, search volumes on smartphones increased 26% in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter a year ago.
- For all devices across the UK, search volumes maintained year on year growth of 7% in the second quarter of 2017.
- Beauty was the most searched for sector by overseas consumers on mobile devices, reporting growth of 42% in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter a year ago.
- Apparel remained a popular sector for overseas consumers on mobile devices, increasing 38% in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter a year ago.
- Estonia continued to demonstrate the strongest appetite for UK retailers, reporting a 77% growth on mobile devices in Q2 2017 compared with the same quarter a year ago.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, British Retail Consortium said: “The growth of UK retail searches online in the second quarter of 2017 remains unchanged on the previous year, although smartphones are increasingly becoming the dominant device for online browsing and therefore the main contributor to this growth. The increase in mobile search volumes over this period is consistent with the upward trend in online non-food sales growth.
“At home, the top trending searches by UK consumers were prompted by seasonal events and occasions. Beauty brands in particular continue to attract interest from overseas as well as UK consumers, which put the category firmly at the top of the growth rankings. 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.
“One in five pounds are now consistently spent online for non-food purchases at home, while the growth in mobile browsing from the EU demonstrates a stable appetite for UK brands from overseas consumers. Satisfying this interest from abroad through retailers’ digital offer, is crucial to go some way to offsetting the more discretionary spending habits of hard-pressed UK consumers.”
Martijn Bertisen, retail director, Google commented: “An unseasonably warm second quarter saw consumers increasingly searching from their smartphones whilst out and about. Retail-related smartphone searches in the UK grew 19% YoY. Overseas shoppers – from within the EU and beyond – continue to show increasing interest UK brands. In particular beauty and fashion brands are benefiting from an increase in consumer interest. Whilst back at home, we saw a 43% increase YoY in suncare searches as we endeavoured to protect ourselves from the heat.
As consumer shopping journeys increasingly involve multiple touchpoints across digital and non-digital channels, we have seen UK retailers respond by protecting always-on presence across digital channels, and seriously invest in omnichannel measurement.”