February 10, 2022 3:01:13 pm
Indians have become adept at using the internet to make more informed decisions when it comes to living their post-pandemic hybrid lives, according to the Google Year In Search 2021 report.
“As people become increasingly adept online, Search has become their ‘go-to’ for making sense of a hybrid world in which more and more services and solutions are also now online. Businesses will need to take a proactive role in responding to this consumer transition that’s well underway by providing seamless paths to purchase across online and otherwise,” said Sapna Chadha, vice president of marketing at Google India and Southeast Asia, while launching the report.
Adapting to the hybrid lifestyle
According to the report, last year saw a 350 per cent growth in interest in the term “hybrid workplace” along with an approximately 80 per cent increase in “online doctor consultation”. The report also mentions a trend for increasing user comfort with ecommerce as the search engine registered a 533 per cent growth in search interest for “D2C brands” and a 55 per cent increase for “virtual try-on”.
In 2021, people also became more concerned about online safety and misinformation, as is evident with the 80 per cent increase in searches for “is it true” as users try to fact check news.
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The report also indicates that people were reexamining lifestyle choices last year and prioritising personal wellbeing, quality time, family ties and overall health and wellness. The year saw a 44% increase in interest for “family health insurance” and a 27% increase in searches across physical, emotional and mental health.
2021 also saw a growing trend for conscious consumerism, with interest in the search term “sustainable” at its highest in the last five years. Searches for “electric scooter”, “fairtrade”, and “cycling” growing by 230 per cent , 15 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively.
Growing preference for regional languages
YouTube searches for songs and videos in regional languages doubled in 2021 in comparison with the previous year. There was also a growth in searches for translations and assistance in understanding words that are not in the users’ mother tongue, underlining the need for the digital ecosystem to serve regional language users.
The pandemic has exposed and accelerated existing inequalities that became increasingly evident as people turned to the internet for help. Search interest in “buy now pay later” grew by 38 per cent while interest in “job security” grew by 53 per cent.
Search interest for terms related to discrimination including “what is discrimination” went up by 60 per cent in 2021. During the same period, search interest in “women’s rights” and “equal pay” also saw a 30 per cent growth.
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