One in five retail searches use a mobile or tablet device

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

As smartphone use boomed in 2011, the number of people using their mobile to search for retail items shot up as well.

That is the finding from the British Retail Consortium, which has found that one in five retail searches came from a smartphone or tablet device in December last year.

This increase helped push up overall retail search volumes by 24% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to the year before.

Retail searches from mobile phones and tablets were found to have grown 169% since the same time last year.

“For a fourth successive quarter, the number of retail searches from smartphones and tablets has nearly trebled compared with the previous year,” said Stephen Robertson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium.

“During December, one in five retail searches came from a mobile device and on Christmas Day this increased to more than one in four. Hard-pressed consumers are searching more for bargains and using technology to seek out the best offers.”

In the fourth quarter, overall searches for food and drink items had the fastest rate of growth, up 29% year-on-year, while on mobile device searches grew fastest for homeware products, up by 189% year-on-year.

"Mobile was the standout winner this Christmas with search volumes reaching unprecedented levels, growing from 7% of searches in Q4 2010, to account for over 20 per cent of all retail searches a year later,” said Peter Fitzgerald, a Retail Director at Google.

“Even in categories like Consumer Electronics, where growth slowed to just 3% in Q4, mobile and tablet searches were still up an incredible 95% year-on-year.”

Mobile users who are on the Orange network can get a range of benefits by signing up to the Orange prepaid card.

These include Orange shop vouchers, free minutes for pay-as-you-go customers and Orange reward points.

Also, Orange is currently offering customers a refund on their £5 sign-up fee if they load £20 on to the card by 29th February.

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