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04/05/2021

Google reveals top shopping search trends

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Mother and child shopping

There has been a significant increase in commercial intent for searches across Google since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Google is releasing data on how consumers have been searching on its properties, including Google Search, Google Maps and YouTube, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. For example, search interest for products like "best exercise bikes," "best ring lights," and "best air fryers" increased by 100% or more in the last year. 

In addition to increasing their Google searches for products to buy online, consumers have been searching Google to find items they want to purchase nearby. 

Searches for “local” and “business(es)” have grown by more than 80% year-over-year, including searches such as “local businesses near me” and “support local businesses.” 

And searches for “who has” and “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year-over-year, including searches such as “who has Nintendo Switch in stock” and “who has gym equipment in stock.”

Looking at trends in dining search, Google found that two out of three dining consumers said they used search to find food and beverage information during the pandemic, while 57% of dining consumers said they discovered food and beverage information during the pandemic via online ads.

Examining trends in shopping-related search on YouTube, a recent U.S. Google/Talkshoppe study found that 45% of YouTube viewers say they watch to see a product demo before buying. In addition, YouTube viewers say they are twice as likely to go in-store or online to buy something they saw on YouTube versus the competitive average.

Meanwhile, searches on Google Maps for “curbside pickup” have increased 9000% year-over-year in the U.S., and searches on Google Maps for "discounts" have grown globally by more than 100% year-over-year. Searches on Google Maps for "gift shop" have grown globally by more than 60% year-over-year.

In February 2021, Google Maps recorded the following top generic searches:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants near me
  • Gas
  • Food
  • Food near me
  • Grocery store
  • Gas station
  • Coffee
  • Pizza

The top branded searches on Google Maps during February 2021 were:

  • Walmart
  • Starbucks
  • Home Depot
  • Target
  • McDonald's
  • Costco
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
  • Bank of America