Overseas interest in UK apparel grows

Overseas shoppers are increasingly searching for UK apparel retailers online, according to research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Google.

The total volume of overseas consumers searching for apparel retailers climbed 13% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to last year, with underwear and swimwear being among the most searched for categories.

Overseas searches for swimwear – the fourth most searched for apparel category behind jewellery, womenswear and footwear – rose by 8% on last year across all devices, while searches for underwear climbed 4% in the same period.

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Meanwhile, menswear, children’s clothing and outerwear experienced search declines, with men’s clothing down 7% on tablets.

India, Germany and the Russia have seen the most substantial growth rates in smartphone search volumes, at 111%, 104% and 79% respectively, for UK apparel retail searches.

Conversely, the number of UK shoppers searching for overseas apparel retailers increased by just 5%.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "UK clothing and footwear retailers are already world-beaters. These new BRC-Google numbers show that they are continuing to improve and expand on their online and multichannel offers, increasing their appeal to international markets and boosting the economy with their exports.”

Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald commented: "The importance of having a mobile strategy – both in the UK and abroad – is evident, as smartphones are shown to be the main driver of query growth worldwide. Interestingly we also see different search behaviour on smartphones, highlighting the impulsive nature of smartphone searches as users are able to search for anything, anywhere."




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