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Smartphone clothing searches rocket 54%

The number of UK shoppers using smartphones to search for clothing rose 54% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to last year.

Searches on other handheld devices such as tablets increased 11% over the same period, according to the British Retail Consortium-Google Online Retail Monitor.

Across all devices, sports and fitness clothing experienced the largest growth in the number of searches, up 29%, followed by women’s clothing (28%) and outerwear (23%).

Men’s clothing was the only category to see an overall decrease in search volumes, down 2%, although the number of smartphone searches increased 37%.

Searches for UK retailers from overseas experienced a 10% increase, with jumps of as high as 194% coming from Serbia, while those in the UK looking abroad for clothing crept up 9%.

Director general of the BRC Helen Dickinson said: “The latest BRC-Google figures show that UK consumers are making greater use than ever of handheld devices to shop online, particularly where it comes to buying clothes.”

Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald added: “Mobile continues to drive growth in the UK and this remains the case with apparel in the first quarter of the year. Interestingly, emerging markets still see strong growth from tablets, however smartphones supercharge growth for overseas consumers of UK brands.

“Multichannel retailers had a strong Q1, growing at 42% year on year. This reflects the increasing trend we see in the UK toward click-and-collect services. Consumers value the convenience of in-store collection, and particularly for apparel, the ability to easily return goods to store.”

@LukeToddUK

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