Consumers are increasingly using mobile phone technology to research products and explore new brands. The British Retail Consortium has reported that in the second quarter of 2011, total retail search volumes grew by 27% compared with the same quarter a year earlier, largely driven by a rise in searches from mobile handsets of a whopping 216%.

Other findings include:

-    The growth of retail search volumes for multi-channel retailers (usually those using stores and the internet) reached 14%*
-    The growth of retail search volumes for pure online retailers reached 21%*
-    The number of overseas consumers searching for UK retailers grew by 34%*

Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said:

"While the retail sector as a whole is going through a difficult period, the boom in online retail continues. The star performer is mobile, with the number of retail searches being carried out on smart phones and tablets more than trebling for this quarter compared with the same period last year. Consumers are always looking for more convenient ways to shop. Retailers are making m-commerce easier all the time by offering mobile optimised websites, apps and transactional mobile platforms."

*in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the same quarter a year earlier

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