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How lockdown has changed the way Indians search on Google | Gadgets Now

How lockdown has changed the way Indians search on Google

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How lockdown has changed the way Indians search on Google

These are unprecedented times. With the country under lockdown, digital dependence among Indians has increased grown exponentially. Netizens are utilising their time and going digital to binge-watch, read, learn, and seek ideas on how they can stay productive indoors. Google India has released a report titled ‘What is India search for: Insights for Brands Report’, here are the key takeaways from it.

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​'Near me' searches of chemists and Kirana stores see a massive rise

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​’Near me’ searches of chemists and Kirana stores see a massive rise

Closure of malls and markets has pushed consumers to look for chemists and kirana stores around their geographical locations. Owing to this, “near me” searches have seen a massive uptick since March 2020. Queries like “pharmacy near me” (+58%), “grocery delivery near me” (+550%), “ration dukaan” (+300%), and “vet doctor near me” (+60%) have become increasingly common.

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​'The Best' searches still rule, topics are new

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​’The Best’ searches still rule, topics are new

Another interesting finding is that consumers are looking for “the best” of whatever they need and business that can help them find it. “Best” searches, which have consistently seen high growth in India, continue to see a sharp rise despite the current scenario. While 2019 saw a significant jump in queries like “best headset” (+140%), “best/top 2W insurance” (+116%), and “best mattress” (+150%), “best” searches in 2020 have adjusted to the idea of limited mobility. They include queries like “best movies” (+35%) on YouTube and “Best trading platforms” (+45%).

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​Looking for new skills; validate buying decisions

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​Looking for new skills; validate buying decisions

Indians are coming online to enrich their knowledge base, enhance their skill levels, and seek validation for their purchasing decisions. Consumers are vigorously searching responses to questions like “gym at home” (+93%), “5 minute recipes” (+56%) as well as searches related to advanced skill sets like “machine learning” (3X) and “data science” (3X). With a majority of users being homebound, there has also been high growth in queries like “learn online” (+85%), “teach online” (+148%), and “at-home learning” (78%).

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​Search for immunity boosters up 500%

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​Search for immunity boosters up 500%

Queries in the health category have recently pivoted toward “immunity” (+500%). Searches for vitamin C, which grew by 40% in 2019, have surged by over 150% in recent weeks, as have queries for herbs with medicinal properties like “गिलोय” (Giloy) (+380%) and Ayurvedic home remedies like “काढ़ा” (Kadha) (+90%).

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​Personalised searches up, these include: 'how to homeschool kids', 'how to WFH' and more

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​Personalised searches up, these include: ‘how to homeschool kids’, ‘how to WFH’ and more

Despite the unprecedented scenarios, consumers continue to project that they want multi-moment brands to understand their likes, dislikes, and interests based on their online footprints. In fact, one out of every two consumers is seeking personalized information from brands by searching for queries like “how to homeschool kids” and “how to WFH”. Well, while custom goods seem to have seen a slight dip, personalisation is clearly here to stay.

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​Searches for paying bills online see a huge jump

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​Searches for paying bills online see a huge jump

With social distant lifestyle becoming the new normal, cash transactions have taken a backseat. Searches like “How to pay electric bill online” (+180%) are seeing an uptick.

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​Searches for financial tips up

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​Searches for financial tips up

Growth of searches like “overnight mutual funds” (411%) and “mutual funds to invest now” (249%) also shows that many consumers are now relying on online resources to take care of their long- and short-term financial goals.

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​Googling on-demand services like 'consult doctor online', 'free video dating' and more

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​Googling on-demand services like ‘consult doctor online’, ‘free video dating’ and more

Indians, especially the young, are increasingly seeking to move toward a hassle-free and convenient lifestyle with the help of on-demand services. This changing mindset is driven by a very simple logic: “If I can get a cab or pizza on demand, then why not everything else?” This new development is evidenced by the growth in searches for “consult doctor online” (+60%), “collaborative software” (+40%), and “free video dating” (+70%). The demand for such near-instant gratification has, in fact, led a lot of traditional businesses to pivot to digital to meet people’s evolving needs. A core element of on-demand gratification has been video.

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