The British Retail Consortium and Google have launched a joint ‘Online Retail Monitor’ to provide insights into online shopping trends. It reveals that the total volume of online retail-related searches in the UK grew by 29% in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same quarter a year earlier. However, mobile retail search traffic rose by 181% over the same period. Overall, 11% of total retail searches in the first quarter of 2011 were made on a mobile device.
Stephen Robertson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium, said “Online is the fastest growing part of retailing. We need to better understand that development and what's driving it. Despite any short-term effects from weakening consumer confidence, what stands out here is the fundamental strength of the growth of online retailing. A 29 per cent increase in retail searches in a year is a huge increase in potential shoppers. The star performer is mobile. A three-fold increase reveals customers are taking to smartphone and tablet shopping very rapidly. The rise of mobile use to one in ten searches sends a valuable message to any forward-thinking retailer that doesn't yet have an m-commerce platform. The figures show, British retailers are very good at selling online and winning business from all parts of the world. What we need from politicians, UK and European, is a regulatory environment that helps that develop further.”