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Google Lists 5 Key Trends Shaping Consumer Behavior Amid COVID-19

A new report from Google highlights 5 key trends that demonstrate how consumer behavior is changing.

Google has published a new set of research designed to help marketers respond to the changes brought on by COVID-19.

Over four billion people are staying home worldwide as of this week, Google says, which has lead to significant shifts in online behavior.

Google’s research highlights five key trends that demonstrate how consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior have been altered.

The five key trends listed in Google’s report include:

  1. More consumers using multiple devices
  2. Increased reliance on Google
  3. People are creating and fostering relationships virtually
  4. Adjusting routines to be at-home-first
  5. People are practicing self-care more

Here’s more insight into each of these trends based on Google’s latest data.

Multiple Devices

As people use multiple devices to go online at rates never seen before, content consumption is skyrocketing.

Staying home has led to a 60% increase in the amount of content watched in the US.

Americans are watching roughly 12 hours of media content a day, according to Nielsen data.

Searching for Critical Information

There has been an increase in searches for critical information and content to meet essential needs:

  • Search interest in “online grocery shopping” and “grocery delivery” grew 23% year over year in the US.
    • Americans are watching videos related to recipes and cooking at a rate 31% higher than they did in March 2019.
  • Search interest in telemedicine is up 150% week-over-week in the US.
    • Searches for “online pharmacy” have grown globally by more than 100% year over year.

Staying Connected Virtually

As people stay physically apart, they’re discovering new connections and nurturing relationships virtually.

Some examples of this from Google’s data:

  • As of April, Google Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding nearly 3 million new users every day.
  • 50% of US consumers said they used video to communicate with family and friends in March.
    • Search interest for “virtual happy hour” is rising, especially in the US.
  • On YouTube, there has been a rise in “with me” videos, where people film themselves going about ordinary tasks like cleaning, shopping, or cooking.
    • In the US, views of videos containing “study with me” in the title are 54% higher compared to the same period last year.

Adjusting Routines

With no way of knowing how long this pandemic will go on for, people are adjusting their routines to be internet-first.

People are adapting their regular activities to meet the demands of isolation.

Some examples of this include:

  • Search interest for “telecommuting” in the US reached an all-time high on Google and YouTube in mid-March, and continue to grow.
  • There’s growing search interest for “stationary bicycles” worldwide, as well as “dumbbell set.”


As people cope with the challenge of staying home, they’re focusing more on taking care of their own physical and psychological needs.

Some examples of this from Google’s data:

  • Views of meditation-related videos in the US are 51% higher compared to 2019.
  • Searches for “bored” have spiked significantly in the month of March.
  • Searches for “games,” “puzzles,” and “coloring books” increased considerably during in March.

See the Full Report

See Google’s complete, 39-page report here (PDF link).

For more data about recent shifts in consumer behavior, especially as it relates to product searches, make sure you haven’t missed our coverage of Google’s new Rising Retail Categories tool.

See: Google Reveals the Fastest Growing Product Categories in Search Results

SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Google Lists 5 Key Trends Shaping Consumer Behavior Amid COVID-19

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