Searches using tablets in Q2 of 2013 were 132 per cent higher than the same period in 2012, the British Retail Consortium and Google have discovered.
The research also found that total retail search volumes grew 15 per cent from Q2 2012 to Q2 2013, and that smartphone searches were up by 66 per cent.
The total search volumes grew fastest for DIY and gardening, up 32 per cent year-on-year and seeing the highest growth in search volumes on tablets and smartphones, up by 170 per cent and 81 per cent year-on-year, respectively.
Peter Fitzgerald, retail director at Google, said: "The second quarter saw strong sustained growth in retail queries. Traditionally this is a strong quarter for DIY and gardening retailers, a trend we saw repeated this year, fueled by some fair weather and three bank holidays. Pureplay retailers in particular regained their growth, responding to the pressure of multichannel retailers in the online space. International interest remains a strong lever for our homegrown retailers with fast-growing regions such as South America and Asia providing much of this increase. UK interest in overseas brands however, has really peaked this quarter driven in particular by interest in US brands.
"The growing multi-screening phenomenon across the UK - where people use their connected devices whilst watching TV - is also reflected in the growth in queries coming from tablets and smartphones."
Growth in search volumes on tablets and smartphones were at their highest on the weekend before the Wimbledon championships.
Adam Stewart, marketing director at Rakuten’s Play.com suggested that people are moving towards a new way of shopping: “More people than ever are using tablets to discover and buy new items, and social networks to gain and share recommendations. In the past year, we have seen a 100 per cent increase in shoppers using tablet and mobile devices to visit Rakuten’s Play.com and this now accounts for around 30 per cent of all traffic. As the discovery shopping trend grows, social is playing an increasingly important role in retailers’ multi-channel strategies.”