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 Report of the year in search 2021.
“As people become increasingly savvy online, Search has become their go-to for making sense of a hybrid world where more and more services and solutions are also online. Businesses will need to take a proactive role in responding to this ongoing consumer transition by providing seamless routes to shop online and offline,” said Sapna Chadha, VP Marketing, Google India and Southeast Asia, introducing the report.
Adapt to the hybrid lifestyle
According to the report, last year saw a 350% growth in interest in the term “hybrid workplace” along with an increase of approximately 80% in “online medical consultations”. The report also mentions a trend to increase user comfort with e-commerce, with the search engine seeing a 533% growth in search interest for “D2C brands” and a 55% increase for “virtual proof”. “.
In 2021, people also became more concerned about online safety and misinformation, as evident with the 80 percent increase in searches for “is it true” when users try to check the news.
The report also indicates that people re-examined lifestyle choices in the past year and prioritized personal wellness, quality time, family ties, and overall health and wellness. The year saw a 44% increase in interest in “family health insurance” and a 27% increase in searches for physical, emotional and mental health.
2021 also saw a growing trend of conscious consumerism, with interest in the search term “sustainable” at its highest point in the last five years. Searches for “electric scooter”, “fair trade” and “cycling” grow by 230%, 15% and 41%, respectively.
Growing preference for regional languages
YouTube searches for songs and videos in regional languages doubled in 2021 compared to the previous year. There was also growth in searches for translations and assistance in understanding words that are not in the users’ native language, underscoring the need for the digital ecosystem to serve regional language users.
The pandemic has exposed and accelerated existing inequalities that became increasingly apparent as people turned to the internet for help. Search interest in “buy now pay later” grew 38 percent, while search interest in “job security” grew 53 percent.
Search interest for terms related to discrimination, including “what is discrimination,” increased 60% in 2021. During the same period, search interest for “women’s rights” and “equal pay” also saw a 30% growth