Google Predicts Which Pandemic Habits Are Here to Stay How the Pandemic Shaped Present & Future Consumer Shopping Habits

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

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.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns


Performance Max campaigns in Google Ads have been updated with three new features, Google announced earlier this week. Among the additions are New customer acquisition goals, new Performance Max insights reports, and a one-click upgrade tool for Smart Shopping. Let’s dig right in and see how these features can help drive your business!

New Customer Acquisition Goals

You can now use your data to help Google identify (and target) new customers with PMax campaigns. This feature should help you identify who’s a new sure, who’s an old one, which will definitely help with the strategy. There are a few options available:

  • Customer Match Lists – When first-party data is uploaded (name, email, phone, country, postal code), Google gives a match rate that shows how many of your customers have a matching Google account that can be used for targeting. Much cooler than third-party cookies, eh?
  • Conversion Tags – using them might help the new feature cut out people that aren’t new
  • Google’s Autodetection Method – Besides the previously seen Google detected purchase conversion tracking in Smart Shopping, Performance Max also has new machine learning models that predict whether a user is a new customer or an existing customer.

Performance Max Insights Reports

Photo source: support.google.com

If you’re looking for more information on campaign performance, you will be pleased with this new feature. There are two new additions to the insights page:

  • Asset Audience Insights – this will tell you how text, images and videos ‘resonate with specific customer segments’. That means you will be able to see what your customers engage more with, with what content.  Using those insights, you can customize your marketing strategy!
  • Diagnostic Insights – these insights will show you all the issues that might prevent your ads from showing. It will also give you some suggestions on how to fix it.

One-click Upgrade Tool For Smart Shopping

This will begin rolling out soon, Google said, and Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will no longer exist. You’ll get notified when the tool becomes available and after you upgrade it, a new Performance Max campaign will be generated and keep the information from previous campaigns.

Here’s how to upgrade:


Why Is This Important?

You already know that tracking everything is the key to success. Well, one of the keys. These additional insights will not only help you keep track of your customers’ engagement and preferences, but will help you develop and customize your marketing strategy. Like it or not, Performance Max is alive and kicking and adapting to it sounds like the smartest choice.

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TikTok More Popular Than Google In 2021


For the first time in the last 20 years, Google wasn’t the most popular web address in a year – the title now belongs to TikTok.

The social video app owned by ByteDance has been a key digital platform for a while now. Gaining popularity during the pandemic, TikTok is now an opinion-maker of its kind and a go-to solution for targeting the younger generation, Gen Z.

According to Cloudfare, TikTok gained (and remained) number one in the global ranking on August 10, 2021. Before that, it was a back and forth battle with Google, but since then, the video app has mostly taken the lead.

Even though Google managed to come first again a few times, it didn’t win for the holidays. On Black Friday, TikTok rose again – a key fact for e-commerce businesses that rely on Google during the holidays shopping spree.

In comparison, TikTok was number seven in ranking after Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Amazon in 2020.

The app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users and doubled down on privacy, ad measurement and commerce, so it isn’t surprising that brands and marketers are getting more comfortable with advertising on it. The fact that the number of consumers exposed to ads nearly doubled, going to 37% this year, also helps.

After managing to surpass the potential ban in the U.S last year, TikTok continued attracting users and gaining more downloads. It became the first non-Facebook mobile app to surpass 3 billion downloads.

While staying in touch with its users and adapting to changes such as the return of longer videos, TikTok might have the potential to become a leader in the advertisement in the future.

The Year’s Winners By Cloudfare

Top 10 — Most popular domains (late) 2021

  1.  TikTok.com
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Microsoft.com
  5. Apple.com
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Netflix.com
  8. YouTube.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. WhatsApp.com

Top 10 — Most popular social media domains (late) 2021

  1. TikTok.com
  2. Facebook.com
  3. YouTube.com
  4. Twitter.com
  5. Instagram.com
  6. Snapchat.com
  7. Reddit.com
  8. Pinterest.com
  9. LinkedIn.com
  10. Quora.com



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