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M-commerce search queries increase

26 July 2011 - 09:44 by Paul Tissington

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A real spike in the number of people using their mobile phones to search for products and shop online has been detected by the British Retail Consortium.

In the last three months, the number of UK consumers picking up their handsets when they want to get details about an item they are thinking about buying, increased by 216 per cent, based on the figures delivered by search giant Google.

The total number of searches relating to retail made across all platforms during the same period increased by just 27 per cent, which shows how significant the role of m-commerce is becoming in 2011.

The good news for high street retailers is that consumers using mobiles and computers to research a product and then heading to bricks and mortar outlets to buy it, has increased by 14 per cent.

Of course e-commerce only organisations are actually experiencing a greater rate of conversion, with 21 per cent more people searching for and then buying goods via safe shopping online than during the same period last year.

It was Apple's tablet computer the iPad 2 that topped the charts for retail-based searches in the UK, while the as yet unannounced iPhone 5 was another top query made to search engines by consumers.

The BRC's Stephen Robertson, said that m-commerce searches made via smartphones were the standout feature of the most recent figures, indicating how habits are changing as more people pick up high end handsets and tablets, rather than relying on laptops and desktops for research.

Thirty-six per cent of all online shopping sales made in the UK over the past quarter were based in London, which indicates that residents of the capital are more heavily invested in e-commerce than anywhere else in the entire country.