Alibaba.com, the online marketplace for small businesses, experienced a year-on-year increase of 2,450 % in global searches for diamond jubilee memorabilia and a rise of 321% in global searches for Queen Elizabeth II related paraphernalia. Their data shows that there was an overall increase of 16% for global searches in British goods, while British motorcycles and fashion trended as some of the most popular search terms on Alibaba.com.
Molly Morgan, Alibaba's senior manager of international corporate affairs, says "Alibaba.com has seen dramatic upticks in online searches and enquires from abroad since the royal wedding, and this will continue to rise following the Diamond Jubilee and upcoming Olympics, providing our small businesses and economy a much needed boost."
The founder and CEO of TOSH, a company that sell British-themed souvenirs, David McLagan agrees. "Both the diamond jubilee and the royal wedding have been a boom for our business," he says.
The diamond jubilee and the royal wedding were both big events for TOSH, but against expectations the diamond jubilee was actually the more popular of the two. "In the run up a lot of people were unsure how popular the jubilee was going to be," says McLagan. "I think it was the recession that caused a rise in nostalgia and a feeling of security in royalty that made the diamond jubilee in most parts bigger."
McLagan says his company, which sells goods to large retailers like Debenhams and John Lewis, made specific product ranges to capitalise on both events. He also mentioned that while TOSH does sell internationally, the vast majority of their customers are within the UK.
While the royal wedding and diamond jubilee have been great for small businesses, it is unclear what impact the Olympics will have on sales. Many small businesses are not creating Olympic-themed products because of the strict laws surrounding the use of the Olympic brand.
Nevertheless Morgan says this year is already shaping up to be a great one for British companies. "There's never been a better time to celebrate the best of British, as the world's eyes focus on our sporting and celebratory events," he says.
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