Google’s annual Australian Brand Zeitgest has revealed local retailers are still the most searched but overseas retailers are catching up.

While 2011 saw overseas brands slowly gain momentum in Australia, 2012 was recorded as they year they became mainstream. Australian retail heavyweights like Woolworths and Coles dominated the list of most searched for retailers, but UK fashion e-commerce giant ASOS came in at ninth place – the first time an online-only retail brand made the top 10.

“With online and international retailers posting strong gains throughout this year, it’s more important than ever for Aussie retailers to embrace the opportunities the web offers to stay competitive,” Ross McDonald, industry leader local & retail, Google Australia, said.

“We know that Australian shoppers trust their local brands and tend to look for them first –
but overseas retailers are catching up. An online and mobile strategy to make themselves readily available should be the number one priority for every retailer in Australia.”

Meanwhile, Coles ad topped the category of most searched for ads on Google. Searches for the term spiked in July shortly after the supermarket unveiled the recent iteration of their ad campaign ‘Down, Down, Prices Are Down’.  

The latest ad featured British rock band Status Quo, who took up guitars shaped like Coles Big Red Hands to sing the chain’s signature adaptation of the Quo’s classic 1975 hit 'Down Down' Saucy humour.