As per Google, these 4 pandemic changes are here to stay

Google cited search data to back its claims and stated that these trends are not going anywhere.

Due to the pandemic, a lot of companies had to adapt to the circumstances and change the way they carried out their businesses. Google predicts that some of these changes will be permanent.

Google cited search data to back its claims and stated that these trends are not going anywhere.

Acknowledging that all sectors had to adjust their marketing to ‘the new normal’, Google states that businesses won’t forget these customer-friendly shifts anytime soon.

Here are those trends:

Rapid response to changes in consumer behaviour

Consumers are changing their regular consumption habits per the pandemic, and businesses are forced to get better at tracking their behaviour for real-time insights.

There has been an increase in customers turning to Google Search to check if stores have stock of a product before going to stores. Google states that searches for “who has” and “stock” was up over 8,000% in the United States.

Consumers have also been making fewer trips to grocery stores, as queries like “can you freeze” in the UK and “home delivery” in France have seen a growing search interest.

Many consumers are spending less and less on non-essential items due to a decrease in personal income. Google cites data from a study by Kantar which states that 71% of people in G7 countries say their personal incomes had been or would have been impacted by the pandemic. 

A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report finds that 29% of people who expect their spending habits to change due to the pandemic will save more, and 27% of those people will spend less on non-essential items.

It is also clear that if something consumers depend on gets taken away from them, they will find alternatives.

For example, searches for “online learning” went up to 200%. Searches for “fitness apps” went up to 400% when gyms were forced to shut down.

In an isolating world, people sought to connect with their friends through the internet. Searches that included the phrase “with friends online” went up to 300% last year, and “watch party” grew to 400%.

 Virtual events will continue

Due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, in-person events have been cancelled. Companies had marketing teams come up with virtual alternatives to this situation.

Google predicts that live events will look much different even when they eventually return.

Now that consumers experienced attending events from the comfort of their own homes, live events need to pull off something extraordinary to attract crowds again.

Despite predicting that virtual events are here to stay, Google advises that they are not the best for all kinds of events.

Work-from-home will continue

Google predicts that the new work-from-home setting that many companies adopted will remain.

Search data suggests that the trend started to shift towards working from home has started before the pandemic. People displayed a desire to focus more of their energy and time on doing things that brought them happiness instead of commuting to and from work every day.

This, coupled with the pandemic, has changed the in-office work culture and values forever, ushering in a new trend of people working from home. This means that companies must find ways to meet people’s basic needs and building a more resilient workforce.

Online Shopping is now the standard

The pandemic saw a significant rise in e-Commerce platforms, with some people even turning to online shopping for the first time in their lives out of necessity.

Google observed that there was an increase in shopping activity for things that one usually would not buy online.  For example, nearly 10% of cars sold in 2020 were sold online. Brick-and-mortar businesses had to shift to offering local delivery options and curbside pickups.

Due to their convenience, these new practices are least likely to go away even if the pandemic does.  

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