Retail search volumes up 52 per cent in Q1 2016

The latest figures from the BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor Q1 2016 show total retail search volumes grew 52 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Search volumes on mobile devices also increased 50 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter a year ago, reaffirming the shift to mobile. The report said that beauty was the most searched sector by EU consumers on mobile devices, reporting growth of 91 per cent in Q1 2016, while  Department Stores was also a popular sector for EU consumers on mobile devices, increasing 75 per cent in Q1 2016.

The European market is increasingly important for British retailers, with the Czech Republic demonstrating the strongest appetite, reporting a 256 per cent increase on mobile devices in the first quarter of 2016.

Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC Chief Executive, said: Today’s figures provide further evidence that the EU is an increasingly important market for UK retailers. With 14 EU countries reporting over 100 per cent growth in searches on mobile devices, not only is interest in UK retail growing steadily on the continent, EU consumers are also far more likely to be experiencing the British retail offer through their smartphones.

“This impressive mobile interest sits alongside a healthy double-digit increase in total searches across all devices in all but one EU Member State (Estonia). The desire for UK retail products is especially strong in the beauty sector and searches for British department stores are also very high – likely due to the UK being the home to some of the most recognisable department store brands in the world.

“The desire for UK retail products is especially strong in the beauty sector and searches for British department stores are also very high – likely due to the UK being the home to some of the most recognisable department store brands in the world. In all, the strength and popularity of UK retail beyond our own borders shows little sign of diminishing.”

Martijn Bertisen, Retail Director, Google, added “UK brands continue to drive interest from the rest of Europe: particularly our department stores and our beauty retailers. Some of the largest major European markets like Germany are driving much of that growth. This report also demonstrates the huge growth of mobile across Europe, as Eastern countries, like the Czech Republic, are growing at over 250 per cent year-over-year, and mobile is powering the overall market growth. Q1 signalled the start of wedding season with top apparel searches relating to weddings, and we also saw a lot of searches for health-related products like the Nutribullet and Fitbit as people prepare for summer.”