Keeping Up With Consumer Behavior Trends

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, consumer behavior is rapidly changing and adapting to the current environment. Consumer interests are therefore becoming harder to track and understand as consumer demand is fluctuating. In particular, paid search is an area at the forefront of the marketing industry as consumer purchasing and browsing behaviors are shifting, drawing the need for specific product searches. 

For instance, needs-driven spending has largely begun to overcome discretionary spending. In general, spending is down across all industries. However, needs-driven spending has led to the maintenance and in some cases increase of grocery and household supply spending. In exchange, industries such as travel and transport, out-of-home entertainment, and apparel are currently facing a decline. Online shopping has seen an increase in proportion to in person shopping as many stores have had to close their doors. These shifts will continue to occur as differing state guidelines cause varying states to start opening up their local economy. 

How It Works

In order to offer better insight into consumer demand, Google introduced Rising Retail Categories on their ThinkWithGoogle domain. Google’s new tool is very similar to Google Trends, which analyzes top search queries in Google Search. The interactive tool reveals fast-growing, product-related categories. Along with top categories, their associated queries and trending geographic locations are included. 

Users are able to see data for the UK, US, and Australia and can filter by week, month, or year. Volume information allows users to easily visualize trends based on search volume relative to the highest point on the selected map. Google updates the search information on a daily basis to reflect the most current trends. 

This additional information is limited, but does give aid to content creation, promotion, and product development as marketers and advertisers alike can use the data to supplement targeted efforts. 

An example of the tool’s layout can be seen below:

Why It Matters

ThinkWithGoogle has been able to expand their portfolio of search-data-driven tools with the addition of Rising Retail Categories. Other search engines such as Bing offer similar tools to monitor trends during COVID-19. Although there are other tools available, many of them do not offer the same extent of free information to the public. 

Although unassuming in nature, this tool offers interesting insight that may prove especially useful for small businesses and marketers. Seeing as this is the first time Google has provided insights like this, businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to explore the potential uses of this tool to better understand consumer interests. 

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