BRC commends UK retailers' use of technology

UK clothing and footwear retailers are continuing to improve their online and multichannel offerings and boosting their appeal to international markets, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said today.

According to the latest BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor, there was a 77% year-on-year increase in searches from international customers seeking out UK department stores on their smartphones in the frst quarter of 2014, which highlights the way technology can benefit business and the wider British economy.

Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, commented: "This innovation and good use of new technology explains why the UK is now the world's second biggest online retail exporter.

"We will be working hard with government to help this growth continue and give retailers all the support they need to attract even more new customers from international markets." 

Peter Fitzgerald, retail director at search engine giant Google, argued that fashion is a key driver of export for UK retailers, with interest in British retail growing particularly strongly in China and Russia.

"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," he explained.

"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."