Smartphone home and garden search volumes outstrip all other devices, BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor shows

Total search volumes for home and garden grew by 15% in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the same quarter a year earlier, according to the BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor for Q3 2015.

Search volumes on smartphones outpaced search volumes on tablets, with growth of 48% compared with growth on tablets of just 7%.

BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson, said: “The most startling figure in this quarter’s monitor is that smartphone home and garden search volumes have outstripped all other devices, increasing an extraordinary 48% compared with last year. This is a testament to how hard retailers have worked to ensure their offers can be found and viewed effectively anywhere and on any kind of device.”

“The comfort and ease with which we can all now research our purchases continues to draw more people to searching for the products they want online. Searches in the home and garden category are up 15% compared with this time last year. This is no surprise, given that we have seen this category perform well in our BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. This suggests that not only are customers feeling the benefit of real terms wage increases and a little extra spare cash in their monthly budgets but also that they are thoroughly researching their purchases online first.”

Martijn Bertisen, country sales director, Google, said: “In home, we see strong growth of 15%, but more importantly we see shoppers becoming increasingly mobile. This is indicative of new research behaviour, whereby shoppers research on their mobiles whilst out and about, often resulting in a store visit. In fact, in the UK we have seen that 43% of offline purchases journeys began online.

Spurred on by two bank holidays shoppers were keen to improve their homes, with top searches ranging from appliances to soft furnishings. Meanwhile, a disappointing summer led to Brits spending more time researching home furniture, rather than barbecues, this year.”