Consumer Behaviour is changing – Search

Apr 15, 2020

Consumer Behaviour is changing – Search

COVID-19 is changing the landscape for all of us. While the challenges of each business are unique, we are all being impacted in some way. Google recently announced a (USD)$800+ million commitment to support COVID-19 response efforts. This commitment includes Google Ads credits and more ad grants for government, health and relief organisations.

Social movement towards isolation presents new reality and may have ongoing effects throughout the year. 45% of Australians believe they would stay safe with precautions and good hygiene (however those aged between 45 – 54 are most concerned). 

Australians have ranked the top most important things to them right now are

  • 70% My family’s health and wellbeing
  • 43% My long-term financial security
  • 41% My mental wellbeing

We recognise that this is a rapidly changing event. There have been big shifts in consumer attitudes towards the coronavirus situation in the 2 weeks prior to 23 March 2020, in line with the rapidly changing situation and increased restrictions.

Product affordability, safety and availability are most important to Australians. Amid widespread health concerns, federal travel restrictions and local movement limitations, the economy is facing the greatest, and fastest change in consumer behavior. The most notable changes to consumer behaviour have impacted the financial, health and retail industries.

Changes in Search behaviour

There is no doubt that Search behaviour is changing, the interesting thing is how. In Australia overall shopping has held up well, mostly due to groceries and pharmacy needs. Consumers are diverting discretionary spending stocking up and temporarily reducing spending on non essential goods. People are also fearful of financial impacts further limiting their discretionary spend.

Google trend data below shows the trend lines for key search terms important to Australians during the Corona Virus pandemic. We would know these key needs well – face-masks, hand sanitiser, toilet paper and hand wash.

Talking with our Google partners we have seen some interesting statistics on search trends within Australia (2 weeks from 8th March 2020) the most notable being year on year growth for: 

  • +239% FMCG – Household Supplies
  • +124% Finance – Investing, Loans and Shares
  • +123% Online Food Shopping & Delivery
  • +94% Cosmetics & Beauty Products
  • +74 Hygiene & Toiletries
  • +61 Medical Equipment 
  • +54% Health Conditions 
  • +25% Shopping Portals & Search Engines

Undeniably this pandemic is changing the way consumers think, feel and act, in all aspects of their lives and across industries. This situation is rapidly evolving and it is increasing the amount of digital media bringing BVOD ratings through the roof as well as media consumption on social media as well as online enquiries. 

If you would like to find out more about what we are seeing in these times or would like to start a conversation about how you can make the most of these potential opportunities to provide value for people. Get in touch with us to set up an online chat.

From Kantar Australia: AU_COVD-19_Infographic_VD.pdf by Kantar, March 2020. Based on online survey of 500 Australian consumers between the ages of 18 and 90.

From The Lab & Nature: COVID-19 BRAND NAVIGATOR Real-time insights into the rapidly evolving landscape. 2 April 2020.

From Google vertical trend data – first 2 wks in March 2020.