UK retail brands enjoy increasing international attention online

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 11:  In this photo illustration a laptop displays the shopping basket on the eBay website on August 11, 2014 in Bristol, United Kingdom. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale. Since that sale - a copy of an album by the artist Sting - online retailing has grown to such an extent that it is now claimed that 95 percent of the UK population has shopped online and close to one in four deciding to shop online each week.  (Photo Illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Searches for UK retailers remains robust on mobile devices, with a number of countries outside of the EU reporting double-digit growth in Q2 2016.

According to the Q2 2016 BRC-Google Onine Retail Monitor all sectors experienced an increase in the volume of non-EU international consumers searching for UK retailers on mobile devices. Beauty and apparel lead the way, demonstrating the largest increase in search volumes on a mobile device, with a 52% and 49% increase respectively.

Under the apparel category ‘engagement rings’ was among the top trending sub categories from international consumers.

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Some of the highest search volumes came from countries in the Middle East, Asia and North America with Israel, Hong Kong, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, United States and Saudi Arabia being the top six countries.

A number of emerging markets reported a decline in mobile search volumes with Brazil and China reporting falls of 33% and 29% respectively. These countries have both experienced a slowdown in economic activity which could be reflective of their decline in search volumes for UK retailers.

Of the countries above, all bar one (Japan) reported a decline in tablet search volumes.

Searches on tablets have been declining for some time as smartphones have become more sophisticated and thus more appealing to consumers when browsing UK retailers.

BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson, comments: “The UK retail industry has long led the world in online retailing so today’s figures should come as no surprise. It’s clear that there are exciting growth opportunities for UK retailers wishing to explore global export markets.

“Today’s numbers show that international customers are increasingly using mobile devices to research their purchases. British retail businesses are remaining at the cutting edge by tailoring their e-commerce offer to make the journey from search to shop as mobile friendly as possible.”

Google retail director, Martijn Bertisen, adds:  “As the UK moves into the second half of the year and makes the first steps towards Brexit, it is reassuring for our UK retailers to note the continued international interest in the ‘Best of British’.

“Looking outside the EU, we see growth from our North American neighbours in Canada and the US. However, it is in the Middle East and Asia where increasing mobile adoption rates have driven the strongest growth in interest in our UK retail brands. Whilst closer to home the spring/summer season is well underway with wedding related searches popular in apparel, and outdoor furniture and barbecues in home.”

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