Retail searches made on tablets leap 200%

Sales in March rise 0.1 per cent in terms of value and fall 0.5 per cent in terms of units.
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Retail searches made by customers using tablet devices in Q1 have risen 198 per cent year-on-year.

Search volumes on smartphone devices rose 66 per cent.

Total retail search volumes grew 16 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, overall retail sales dropped 0.5 per cent in Q1 2013 in terms of units, and rose 0.1 per cent in terms of value.

2.6 per cent fewer non-food goods were bought during the period. 

"March 2013 was the second coldest on record and this appears to have had a negative effect on sales in the non-food sector," read a statement from the Office for National Statistics.

"Feedback from department stores, clothing stores and household goods stores suggested that sales were dampened by the weather as they prepared their stores for the spring season."

Helen Dickinson, Director General at the British Retail Consortium, commented on the tablet growth: "These figures confirm how tablets and smartphones are becoming increasingly integral to the shopping experience for many of us, whether we're at home or on the move, and from research to purchase. 

"It's easier than ever to compare prices and products online, and retailers are continuing to invest in their websites and their ‘omnichannel' offer so that customers have choice, convenience and flexibility when they shop."

Peter Fitzgerald, Retail Director at Google, added: "The first quarter of 2013 saw a strong start to the year, with retail queries growing at 16 per cent year-on-year. This growth continues to be fuelled by the multi-device trend we are experiencing."

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