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Google's Year in Search Report: India

As the lockdown keeps everyone home, being digital has become the new imperative. In a country like India with over five hundred million netizens, the internet helps users with endless stream of information vis-à-vis what users search. Being homebound, everyone is searching for tools and services that are just a click away.

Based on the top five search trends, Google has shared an interesting report title “What is India searching for.” The report reflects the effects of being locked down at home due to COVID-19 pandemic. And believe me, most of the top search trends aren’t surprising at all.

While constantly predicting what people really want has never been easy for the marketers, they now need to understand consumer behaviour more amidst this crisis. Here are the insights of the report that can help marketers understand and predict consumer behaviour and its potential implication for their businesses.

The Story of India 1 and India 2

Non-metros are emerging as the superstars. There has a 10x growth in local language searches. The three key pillars of voice, vernacular, and video are going from strength to strength in India’s Tier 2 cities.

In auto and tech categories, non-metros have left metros behind in terms of search volume, and in almost every category the growth rates for search queries are far higher for non-metros as compared to metros. Local languages are gaining popularity throughout.

Digital Drives Business

Digital is no longer just another marketing channel, it’s now responsible for bringing in money. 20% of a leading OEM’s sales are being driven by digital offline touchpoints during a consumer's buying journey are reducing with an increasing reliance on the web.

Digital Transactions and E-Commerce

The former is driving the latter and vice versa. Both are changing the way business is

done online. More and more Indians are looking for banking solutions online. There was 174% growth in “Payment Banks” searches while searches for “Mobile wallets” grew by 70%.

The online spender base will expand 2-3x it’s current volume to reach 180-200M by 2020. Fashion is taking over the runway as the largest e-commerce category. Highest growth markets are Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore and Chandigarh.

Consumers are conducting extensive online research before they buy a particular brand or product.1 Out of 3 fashion-related queries are research-based, i.e. “How to” or “What are” queries. Men are looking for brands while women are looking for assortment.

By 2021, Online education will become a $2 billion industry growing at 8x Consumers are seeking information on healthy living.

There was 70% growth in queries for online food ordering and accelerated interest in real estate.

The Omnichannel Experience

Online and Offline are no longer two different ways to reach consumers, but part of the same purchase experience. From fingertips to footfalls; Online and Offline are merging to create a holistic story. The omnichannel shopper is not only buying online but is also searching for brick and mortar stores to shop at.

Omnichannel shopper showed up to 33% higher in-store conversion rate. Offline retail stores for fashion and lifestyle witnessed a 50% increase in searches for “stores near me.”

There was an 80% increase in searches for stores that sell smartphones and laptops. Search was a 75% electronics shopper's go-to for research before a purchase.

Growing Interest in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

A lot of technology solutions are now embracing aspects of both. Machine learning continues to heavily influence content consumption patterns on video-viewing platforms. There was a 3x increase in consumer interest around “Machine Learning” and “Artificial Intelligence” courses. There was also a 3x increase in queries for smart home assistant devices.

Year in Search: India offers a complete roundup of what people searched for and what that means for marketers. Download the report from here to get deep insights in your vertical.

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