The British Retail Consortium has released its Google Online Retail Monitor for Q1 2015, citing a 44% increase in smartphone searches for engagement rings and a 41% increase in phone searches for jewellery in general.
The report highlighted mixed results for tablet searches, with search volumes for engagement rings dipping 9%. However, tablet searches for jewellery rose by 12%.
Overall in Q1 2015, search volumes across devices grew by 13% for engagement rings and 14% for jewellery in general – showing just how crucial mobile is for business.
In emerging markets, smartphone and tablet searches for UK products in Mexico jumped 76% and 2% respectively, while Russian smartphone searches for UK items jumped 69%. Similarly impressive gains across smartphones could be seen in India and Taiwan (87% and 82%).
British Retail consortium director general Helen Dickinson, said: “The latest BRC-Google figures show that UK consumers are making greater use than ever of handheld devices to shop online, particularly where it comes to buying clothes. The number of people using their smartphone to search for apparel is up by 54% compared to year ago, while tablet searches over the same period are up by 11%.
“British shoppers are also increasingly looking abroad as well as at home to buy their clothes, with a 9% rise in consumers searching online for overseas clothes retailers. This trend also applies however to shoppers abroad with a 10% rise compared to last year in the number of consumers in other countries searching online for UK apparel.”
Peter Fitzgerald, retail director for Google, said: “Mobile continues to drive growth in the UK and this remains the case with apparel in the first quarter of the year. Interestingly, emerging markets still see strong growth from tablets, however smartphones supercharge growth for overseas consumers of UK brands. Multichannel retailers had a strong Q1, growing at 42% YoY. This reflects the increasing trend we see in the UK toward click-and-collect services. Consumers value the convenience of in-store collection, and particularly for apparel, the ability to easily return goods to store.”