Total online retail search volumes grew 52% YOY in the first quarter of 2016, according to BRC-Google, which also points out that the European market is becoming increasingly important for British brands.
Search volumes on mobile devices increased 50% YOY in Q1. Department stores were a popular sector for EU consumers on mobile devices, increasing 75%.
The Czech Republic demonstrated the strongest appetite for UK retailers, reporting a 256% increase on mobile devices.
The home and garden category saw a decrease in total search volumes – up 42% YOY on mobile devices, but down -12% overall. 'Beds' and 'curtains' remained amongst the top five search terms in the category.
Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC chief executive, says: "These figures provide further evidence that the EU is an increasingly important market for UK retailers. With 14 EU countries reporting over 100% 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. In all, the strength and popularity of UK retail beyond our own borders shows little sign of diminishing.”
Martijn Bertisen, retail director, Google, adds: “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% YOY, and mobile is powering the overall market growth."