While early pandemic fads like whipped coffee and banana bread are long forgotten, some trends are here to stay, according to Google.
In a recent report released by the search engine giant, Google predicted that certain practices adopted by consumers during the COVID-19 will continue indefinitely.
Even after the majority of the world’s population is vaccinated against COVID-19, the following consumer shifts will continue to live on, Google speculates.
1. Doing A Search Before Shopping
Because consumers have been forced to limit their number of weekly shopping trips, more and more people have turned to Google to see which stores have products in stock before heading out to the store.
How does Google know this? Searches for “who has” and “in stock” increased by over 8,000% during the early months of the pandemic.
2. Taking Fewer Trips
As previously mentioned, consumers are making far fewer shopping trips, which will likely continue after the pandemic. To back up this prediction, Google cites an increase in searches for “can you freeze” and “home delivery.”
3. Spending Less Money
In its report, Google cites the following statistic from Kantar: 71% of people in G-7 countries say their personal income had or would be impacted by the pandemic.
As a result, a separate report from BCG found that 29% of consumers said they would save more money, and 27% would spend less on nonessential items.
4. Finding Alternatives
If the early days of the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that an essential item we rely on, like toilet paper, can disappear from store shelves in the blink of an eye. For this reason, consumers have become more adaptable and are willing to seek out alternatives when their favourite products or services are taken away. As people become more comfortable with these alternatives, Google expects that consumers will stick with them in the long run.
Google cites the following data to back up this prediction:
Searches for “online learning” went up 400% year over year
Searches for fitness apps jumped 200% year over year
Searches that included “with friends online” went up 300% year over year
Other Big Predictions
Unsurprisingly, Google also predicts that working from home, virtual events, and online shopping will be the norm long after the pandemic has ended.
While nobody can truly predict the future, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, Google’s predictions are pretty sound and are likely to be true. Therefore, brands will need to continue to adapt to these changes in consumer behaviour in order to remain successful.