According to studies, over 4 billion people are staying at home right now due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This change in behavior has resulted in significant changes in how people use the internet.
Here are 5 key trends that Google says are shaping consumer behavior amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Using Multiple Devices
According to Google’s figures, staying at home has led to a 60% increase in content consumption. Their report states that people are watching around 12 hours of media per day and they are using multiple devices to access this.
Since more people are being asked by governments around the world to stay indoors, they are naturally turning to the internet in search not only for information but also for entertainment. With multiple family members stuck at home, one person can use their smart TV, smartphone or laptop to access content and videos online.
Relying On Google More
Aside from content consumption, many people are also using their devices to search for critical information. Searches for “online grocery”, grocery delivery and similar phrases have gone up since late March. Increase in searches for recipes and those related to cooking are also on the rise.
Meanwhile, more people around the world are also looking for “online pharmacies”, “medicine delivery”, “telemedicine”, “online doctor consultation” and similar keywords are being used in order to search for medicine and medical help.
This increased reliance on Google is surging mainly because people want to meet their essential needs. Since many people are stuck at home due to lockdowns, accessing critical information and supplies online has been rising steadily.
Staying Connected Online
The world is forced to transition from traditional office to a virtual one. This means people who can work from home are asked to do so by their companies in order to prevent them from coming into contact with infected co-workers. Since work from home is increasing, many workers are relying on online communication platforms to stay connected.
Google has made Google Meet free for everyone to use in order to meet the demand of online meetings and communication. As of April, Google Meet has hosted over 3 billion minutes of meetings and adding 3 million users every day.
YouTube has also seen a rise on the “with me” videos where people take videos of themselves cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, etc. There are even videos of “study with me” that are seeing an increase in uploads and viewing time too.
Adjusting Daily Routines
There is no way to tell how long this pandemic is going to last. Even though there are many governments around the world like Australia, New Zealand and South Korea that are easing restrictions, many people are still on stay-at-home orders and regular activities continue to reflect this.
For example, there has been an increase in “telecommuting” in the United States and other countries and this continues to grow every day. Since many people are still self-isolating and gyms are closed searches for “stationary bikes” are also on the rise.
Covid-19 is a new disease and there is still a lot of mystery that surrounds it. Everyday doctors and scientists are finding new information about the disease and how it infects people. In response to this, there has been an increase in searches on self-care.
According to Google, there is a rise on meditation-related videos and searches for “bored” also spiked in mid-March. Searches for “games,” “puzzles,” and “coloring books” also saw an increase during this month.
Covid-19 is clearly changing the way we live our lives. It has affected our work, business, social lives and behavior significantly. Above all, it is changing the way how we use the internet. For the time being, the use of video conferencing tools, webinar software, online delivery apps and online shopping platforms will dominate our searches as we continue to grapple with the pandemic. It will be interesting to see how the “new normal” will reshape our lives in the real world as well as in cyberspace.