Google 2018 Consumer Insights

With 2018 wrapping up, Google brings a year worth of consumer insights to help us better understand key marketing trends of the past year. As consumer insights are one of the main pillars of any successful marketing organization, we have put together a list of the most popular 2018 consumer insights to carry with you into 2019:

People are always shopping
84% of Americans shopped at any given time and in up to six different categories. In one quarter of shopping occasions, shoppers say they turn on their smartphone first (source: Google/Ipsos). This provides brands an opportunity to provide more assistance as shopping across that many categories can be overwhelming for shoppers.

People use conversational search
As more people are using conversational search queries, allowing them to ask more specific questions can cut through the clutter. Mobile searches for “do I need” have jumped to 65% (source: Google Data). Marketers can utilize keywords and phrases typically associated with their businesses and consider using natural language phrases that shoppers may be using to find them.

People want nearby and now
A “near me” search is no longer about finding a specific place anymore but a specific thing, in a specific area, and in a specific period of time. “Near me” mobile searches that contain a variant “can I buy” or “to buy” rose 500% over the last two years, while mobile searches for “open” + “now” + “near me” grew 200% (source: Google Data).

People want to plan their experiences
People search to find experiences, not just to buy things. Whether that is a vacation or a dinner experience, people want to curate their experience before they go. They like to work out the details like price, maps, or schedules to reduce the anxiety and to be better organized. They want to be sure that there are no regrets with ample research.

People want look-alikes
In today’s research-obsessed consumer climate, price isn’t a deterrent. They are perfectly willing to search for a look-alike product. Mobile searches for “that looks like” grew by 60% in the past two years. For example, “furniture that looks like pottery barn” or “rock that looks like a diamond” are just some of the examples commonly used in search queries (source: Google Data).

Voice-activated speaker owners welcome brands
Voice-activated speakers were a holiday favorite last year and are gaining more and more popularity. Google surveyed over 1,500 people that own Google Home or Amazon Echo voice-activated speakers and found that parents are power users, while Boomers find the devices empowering companions with serious potential. This can create a great opportunity for marketers as people who own voice-activated speakers welcome brands as part of the experience. They are open to receiving information that is helpful and relevant to their lifestyle.

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Also published on Medium.