British web shoppers look abroad

Online shoppers in Britain are looking more to foreign websites for deals. Picture: TSPL

Online shoppers in Britain are looking more to foreign websites for deals. Picture: TSPL

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British online shoppers are increasingly looking to foreign websites for deals as international barriers to selling are broken down.

The latest figures on the use of retailers’ websites from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show online shopping continues to vastly outpace growth on the high street as consumers use smartphones and tablets to shop on the move.

Total retail search volumes grew 15 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

The number of UK consumers searching for overseas retailers rose by 51 per cent, while overseas consumers searching for UK-based retailers was just 16 per cent higher.

However, searches from some emerging markets grew much faster. The number of shoppers in Brazil searching UK stores was up by 319 per cent year-on-year.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “These results also show the changes the internet is bringing to the international retail market. The considerable increase in the number of UK consumers searching overseas retailers show that barriers are increasingly being broken down.”

Search volumes on tablet devices outpaced those on any other device, increasing 132 per cent, while searches from smartphones were up 66 per cent.

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