UK retail search volumes grew by 9% year on year across all devices in the third quarter of 2017.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Google Online Retail Monitor showed that Greater London had the highest share of UK retail searches (27%) followed by northern England with 23%.
In the wider European Union, Austrian shoppers showed the strongest year-on-year growth for UK retailers, reporting a 28% increase in the three months to 30 September.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, said: “The third quarter of 2017 saw higher volumes of online browsing activity, with smartphones driving the lion’s share of growth. This is consistent with the double-digit growth seen in online non-food sales over the past couple of months, with the online penetration rate in September reaching its highest since January.
“The relentless march of mobile activity reflects the significant innovation and investment from retailers to make their offer to on-the-go customers ever more convenient.
“Beauty and clothing brands continue to attract the most interest from both overseas and UK consumers, which kept the categories firmly at the top of the growth rankings. At home, festivities over the summer months and into autumn spurred a flurry of searches online for clothing, with wedding dresses and Halloween outfits high up on the shopping agenda.”