What Retailers are Learning from 2020’s Top Google Search Trends

Google has just released their top search trends for 2020, and it’s a pretty revealing glimpse into how consumer thinking has evolved thanks to the pandemic. Google’s users had to learn how to do more things for themselves, such as cut their own hair and make their favorite meals, while searches for things like vacation ideas and live events fell off sharply. Now that this data is available, brands and retailers have an opportunity to respond to common shopper questions with their own content and be a valuable resource to consumers that are looking for guidance from trusted industry names.

 

Top Search for “How to Make”: Hand Sanitizer

Unsurprisingly, the #1 thing that consumers wanted to learn how to make this year was hand sanitizer. This really underscores a few lessons that came to light at the beginning of the pandemic. For example, brands learned that they should be prepared to rapidly scale up production in case of a sudden surge in demand, and retailers learned that they need to have protocols in place to respond to this kind of demand and make sure that consumers don’t buy more than they really need.

One of the most controversial events of the pandemic was seeing shoppers reselling extra units of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies at an extremely high markup, and retailers have a responsibility to their shoppers to help fight against this kind of exploitation. If retailers had been better prepared from the very beginning and had immediately limited hand sanitizer sales with the initial spike in demand, “how to make hand sanitizer” might not have been a top search trend this year.  

 

The Most-Searched Foods Related to Travel

If you remember the enormous bread baking craze from the spring, it will be no surprise that the #1 most searched recipe was for sourdough bread. However, cancelled vacations led users to also search for recipes for foods that they were looking forward to getting on their trips. Disney’s churros and “Dole Whip” recipes made the category’s list of the top 5 searches, and so did DoubleTree’s cookies.

Recipes and other kinds of how-to content are a great way for hospitality brands to make connections with consumers and make sure that they stay top of mind, even when the consumer isn’t in a position to plan a trip. This search trend also shows that there could be an opportunity for hospitality brands to launch their own CPG products at retail, since consumers are clearly craving their products at home.

Google is where consumers go to get information, and retailers and brands should take advantage of this data to make sure that they are driving the content that shoppers are looking for. Whether they are offering up their best recipes or keeping shoppers updated on product availability, brand leaders can form stronger relationships with consumers if they understand their mindset and what they need to know.  

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