Patio surfers search for gardening topics

In June, we showed you how to extend a Wi-Fi signal outdoors, allowing you to surf the internet while sitting out on your patio.

Now it seems more and more people are doing just that, as retail-related searches conducted on tablet computer systems like the iPad have grown substantially over the past year.

Research from the BRC and Google shows a 132% rise in tablet-based retail-related searches in the second quarter of 2013, compared with the same period of the previous year.

Smartphone searches are also on the rise, up by 66%, while across the board retail searches rose by just 15%, highlighting that mobile devices are driving the growth higher.

The research doesn't say whether the searches were conducted via home Wi-Fi connections, 3G or public Wi-Fi hotspots, but it is clear that DIY and gardening topics were among the biggest gains over the course of the year.

Homes and Horticulture

Overall, searches for DIY and gardening-related retail terms were up by 32% over the previous year, more than double the average across all retail segments.

On smartphones, 81% more DIY and gardening searches were conducted, while on tablets the total number was up by a massive 170%.

This suggests that more people are searching while on the move, and is also an indicator of the 'multi-screen' trend, where people use a portable device to conduct searches while watching television on a separate, larger screen.

Blame it on the Weather

For once, the weather has played a positive part in encouraging Brits to search for more gardening and retail-related terms in the past couple of months.

According to BRC director general Helen Dickinson, there is a clear impact when the sun shines on the UK.

"As the weather has improved, [clothing brands and garden products] have been popular categories, and with the continuing increase in the use of mobile devices to perform these searches, we may well be seeing customers researching new wardrobe and garden purchases while outdoors enjoying the sunshine."

Peter Fitzgerald, retail director at Google, adds that the second quarter is typically a strong performer for gardening segments.

"Traditionally this is a strong quarter for DIY and gardening retailers, a trend we saw repeated this year, fuelled by some fair weather and three bank holidays."

We have designed this blog to be mobile-friendly, even if you view the full version on a smartphone or tablet, and with Google Maps to give you directions to our Midland Road yard, we hope to see customers arriving at our gates with their iPhone or iPad in their hand in the months to come.