DURING the heatwave of 1976, most shoppers seeking the latest summer fashion had to leave the beach, or barbecue, and head to the high street.
Today, growing numbers of consumers are checking out the latest clothing trends from the comfort of their deckchair. Research published today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows that many consumers are using tablet devices to spot the styles that will suit them best. Total search volumes on tablet devices increased by 132 per cent in the second quarter of 2013, according to figures from the BRC. Altogether, total retail search volumes grew 15 per cent in the second quarter of 2013, when compared with the same quarter a year earlier.
Helen Dickinson, the director general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “This quarter’s search data backs up the trends we have been seeing in the BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor, with increases in interest in clothing brands and garden products. As the weather has improved, these have been popular categories, and with the continuing increase in the use of mobile devices to perform these searches, we may well be seeing customers researching new wardrobe and garden purchases while outdoors enjoying the sunshine. These results also show the changes the internet is bringing to the international retail market.
“The considerable increase this month in the number of UK consumers searching overseas retailers show that barriers are increasingly being broken down. UK retailers are already responding well to these changes, and will be keen to continue seeing equivalent increases in overseas customers searching them out.”
Peter Fitzgerald, the retail director, of Google, said: “The second quarter saw strong sustained growth in retail queries. Traditionally this is a strong quarter for DIY and gardening retailers, a trend we saw repeated this year. The growing multi-screening phenomenon across the UK – where people use their connected devices while watching TV – is also reflected in the growth in queries coming from tablets and smartphones.”