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Online Search Trends – Spring 2022

Online Search Trends – Spring 2022
Summary: Think Google's latest insights into online behaviour

Think Google have published a series of articles showcasing recent online search trends. I have included the links to the full articles, but I thought I’d share the highlights of the findings most relevant to our clients and readers here in our blog.


Optimism and Uncertainty

Google are seeing 2 moods emerging from uplifts in recent online searches, firstly, optimism, driven by the pandemic feeling like it’s coming to an end, but tempered with uncertainty owing to the War in Ukraine and the Cost of Living Crisis.

Here are some examples to illustrate :

  1. People are interested in what they can do to Help Ukraine
Source : Think with Google
  1. We’re feeling the strain on our finances. There has been a 500% uplift in searches for “energy bills” in the UK.
  2. We’re ready to Socialise. There has been a 955% uplift in searches for “Bottomless Brunch” and a 390% increase in searches for “dresses for wedding guest” in the UK.
  3. We want to look after ourselves better – we are searching for a more balanced lifestyle and a more holistic approach to wellbeing. Searches for “Yoga” peak at 6-7am, and search trends for “Gym” peaks at 7am and 7pm daily.
  4. We’re ready to take a holiday. Searches related to travel planning are on the rise, particularly on a Sunday.


Demand for Fashion is picking up

Google also recently surveyed 1,000 fashion consumers in the UK, and the results highlight some interesting changes in online behaviour.

  1. Online searches for Summer items such as dresses and shorts are trending earlier than usual this year – OK, the Easter weather forecast will have helped, but you can see the rise is much higher than in any previous year tracked :
Online searches for Dresses
Source : Think with Google

2. Timing is critical – When google analysed data from 71 U.K. fashion retailers, they found consumers who had heard from or seen an ad from a brand in the past two weeks were significantly more likely to consider buying from it.

3. There are key considerations beyond the product itself – In keeping with my experience in retail, price and quality were selected by    73% of customers when asked which factors were important to them in deciding which fashion brand to buy from. 33% of shoppers also said sustainability and ethical manufacturing was important, rising to 55% among 18-24 year-olds.

4. The fastest growing content type for fashion retailers is short-form video. YouTube Shorts is a new addition to the platform, and has accumulated more than 5 trillion views since its launch in September 2020.


Consumers are using new Tools for Research

  1. Online channels used to be seen as an alternative to going shopping in physical stores, but they are now an integral part of the customer journey. Google reports that people are increasingly researching and browsing online before deciding in which channel it suits them to buy.

    How people are searching online
    Source : Think with Google
  2. Google are also adding to the free services they offer to retailers. Take a look at Grow My Store, Test My Site and how to set up product listings for free in Merchant Centre.
  3. Mobile apps are introducing seamless ways of connecting and shopping.


How should you Respond to these New Trends?

  1. Research how YOUR key customer types (personas) are responding to the Optimism and Uncertainty dilemma. Talk about how your products or services can be relevant (where that’s the case) to be found for these trending online searches in Google.
  2. Document your user journey and how it has been impacted by the trends – what do you need to update to optimise your user experience?
  3. Check out Google’s new free tools to see how they can help you.


At WSI Digital Advisors, we always start with an assessment of your digital presence before we talk to you about which services might be relevant to you. If you’re not sure where to start though, our best service line could well be helping you build your Digital Strategy.  We’re happy to talk if you’d simply like to bounce your ideas around – just contact us.

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