Online garden searches up 15 per cent to end of September finds joint BRC Google research

Home and garden searches have risen in the third quarter, with Yankee Candle the top garden centre product search.

Smartphone searches were up 41 per cent, against 22 per cent on tablets.

The British Retail Consortium-Google Online Retail Monitor (ORM) monitors retail trends.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "This month’s monitor confirms yet again that technology is playing an increasingly significant part in all aspects of consumers’ lives. Possibly one of the biggest decisions a consumer will make, taking out a mortgage, is now heavily influenced by online research with our data showing that online mortgage searches correlate strongly with mortgage approvals.

"Given this trend, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing people take to the internet to decorate and furnish their homes as well as finding the funds to purchase them. Search volumes in the home and garden category have risen 15 per cent compared with the same period last year. This is likely due to an increasingly healthy housing market as sales in these categories tend to be directly impacted by house sales.

Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald said: "Home and Garden continues to be one of the fastest growing online retail sectors with 15 per cent YoY growth in the third quarter. A warm July led to slower YoY growth but that changed in August when ex-hurricane Bertha came to the UK leading to a marked increase in home searches. The August bank holiday also brought an increase in home searches as the UK looked to home improvement over the last long weekend before Christmas. Furniture and furnishings were particularly popular this summer as we used the summer to redecorate. While garden searches grew slower this quarter - evidence of the early summer we had this year."

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