Google search trends signal pent up demand for cars, mobiles, ACs - Business Today

Google search trends signal pent up demand for cars, mobiles, ACs - Business Today

Google search trends signal pent up demand for cars, mobiles, ACs - Business Today

Posted: 05 Jun 2020 10:23 AM PDT

The 40-day stringent lockdown that caused economic jitters across the country due to demand and supply shock is finally easing. With relaxed mobility, are we seeing light at the end of the tunnel? A progression in Google trends across segments does suggest so.

Google trend is an interesting research tool that shows how much traffic a keyword has generated to gauge changing interest in a topic over a period of time. A closer look across segments reveals interesting insights.     

The auto industry paid a heavy price of a one-month complete lockdown registering zero sales in April and passenger vehicle sales dropped 84 per cent in May over last year. However, past 12-month search volumes data for cars gives comforting signals, especially during last couple of weeks. The search volume rose from a score of 58 in the week ended May 03 to 93 in the last week of May. Some other search items such as air conditioners, clothes, mobile phones and jewellery too witnessed a similar traction. The figure for mobile phone searches scuttled back to 100 in the last week of May after almost losing half of its popularity in the first week of May. Nonetheless, medicines retained its popularity almost all through the year.     

These numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point for a given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term and a value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of '0' means that there was not enough data for this term.

These are encouraging signs but whether it will substantially translate into a likely demand recovery is difficult to gauge.      

Based on the ground analysis of the recovery and constraints post lockdown, a Philip Capital report emphasised that while it is early to assess consumer behaviour amid rising coronavirus cases but the easing mobility offers respite to some segments. "So far, the signs are encouraging in certain consumer segments such as consumer durables and retail (a mix of pent-up and need-based demand, demand arising from discounts is yet to play-out); tractors/agri inputs remain strong as foreseen. Cement has shown unanticipated pick-up in certain regions. Other segments have certainly paced up in May over April, but the outlook stays weak," the report added. They are also watchful of changing versus sustaining consumer and business response amid falling income and profitability.

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How Search Trends Can Help You Plan in Uncertain Times - Business 2 Community

Posted: 21 Jun 2020 07:04 AM PDT

In order to effectively plan for the future, most businesses typically rely on historical data. For example, in normal times, cruise lines know to plan for extremely high activity in the "peak season" from July to August, while expecting fewer customers in December. Pubs and nightclubs could consistently estimate the amount of traffic and sales they'd make each weekend, allowing them to accurately plan for paying rent, payroll, taxes, and all other expenses.

In the same way that historical data enables "in-store traffic" projections for brick & mortar companies, effective online businesses use historical site data to project "site traffic" with tools like Google Analytics.

However, recent events have practically destroyed the usefulness of historical data. Whether you've been in business for 5 years or 50, you can no longer use that historical data to figure out the metrics you need to stay afloat.

The Solution

With traditional assumptions about consumer behavior being thrown out the window due to protests, lockdowns, a recession, and a pandemic, one source of data remains key: Real-time data.

To create effective projections now, you need solid, real-time data. You can forget about what your customers were doing a year ago, but with insight into current search trends, you can see what they're interested in now.

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A dashboard by the NY-based analytics firm Apteo collects a number of interesting Google Search trends, showing, among other phenomena, a recent spike in search phrases like "gun shop," "bread machines," "disposable gloves," and "fitness equipment."

Other search phrases, like "toilet paper," had a boom and a bust in popularity, briefly becoming viral search phrases before returning to normal.

Of course, you should collect whatever trends are most relevant to your business, keeping them in a dashboard to stay informed.

Why Search Trends Are More Important Now Than Ever

Google Trends has been around for a long, long time, but now is when this data truly shines. If you're reading about a certain business trend in the news, that means you're late to the game. Search trends are the first indicator of where consumer sentiment is heading, and by keeping an eye on the phrases most applicable to your business, you can stay ahead of the curve.

Of course, there will eventually be a "return to normal," which means that it's still a valuable exercise to have the systems in place to collect and store high-quality user data. Historical data will return to its former glory once things have stabilized, but for now, search trends are gold for businesses that know how to use them.


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