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Indians tap into search to strike a balance b/w online convenience and real-world experiences: Google Year In Search Report 2022

Growth in searches for international travel doubles 140% growth in searches for ‘affordable and clean energy’.

Emerging from COVID-19 confident of their digital savvy, Indians are tapping into Search to strike a balanced blend of online convenience and real-world experiences, reveals Google’s Year in Search report for 2022. People are turning to digital services like electronic payments and instant delivery to simplify their everyday lives, and free up time for in-person activities and long awaited indulgences such as travel, live concerts, and dining out. Searches for travel, financial and economic literacy, self-care and professional growth, witnessed a marked increase over the previous year, signaling people’s focus on evolving their identities towards their distinct individual preferences and needs.

Launching the report, Roma Datta Chobey, senior director-Digital First Businesses, Google India, said, “This year’s report points to people emerging from a period of disruption determined to claim control of their lives. As people become increasingly proficient in merging the ease of digital with the magic of experiential into a continuum, businesses too need to reenvision their channel strategies and minimize frictions between their online and in-store presence. As purchase patterns continue to evolve, people are also optimizing their spending towards brands they can trust and that share their concerns for the environment. ‘Green brands’ have an exciting opportunity to strengthen their credibility by sharing information about their contributions towards sustainability.”

Blending the best of both worlds

In several sets of contrasting queries, the year saw people successfully merging the online with the offline to create a seamless continuum of convenience and a sense of being back in control. As interest in in-person events rose substantially with queries for ‘movie in theater’ rising 220% and ‘live concert’ growing by 80%, so did searches for ‘OTT release’ by 380%. Sporting events remained top of mind with queries on ‘cricket match ticket’ growing by 170% and ‘Fifa world cup ticket’ by over 140%. Having become adept at the hybrid lifestyle, people are using digital services to make their lives easier, and free up time they save to enjoy offline experiences that they most missed in the prolonged pandemic period. Their need to simplify their lives saw searches for ‘instant delivery’ growing by over 180% and in ‘e-wallet’ by over 40%.

Eager to resume travel

As demand for travel in 2022 surpassed 2019’s pre-pandemic levels across most of APAC, in India too, searches for ‘international trip’ nearly doubled to grow at 80%. Search interest for ‘Thailand trip’ grew by over 90% and for ‘Europe trip’ by over 50%. As people look forward to getting back to traveling, searches for 'cheap flights' have seen a surge of 60%. At the same time, Indians are also looking to pamper themselves with search interest for 'luxury hotels' growing by 40%. Equally keen to reconnect with their immediate surroundings, search interest in ‘local guide program’ also saw a growth of over 90%.

Enhancing financial acumen

Increasingly discerning about value, consumers are searching for assurances that their choices will deliver quality and reliability at the correct cost. Towards this, people are enhancing their financial and economic awareness with search interest for ‘fuel price rise hike’ by +150% and ‘inflation’ growing by 50%.

Additionally, people have become increasingly alert to opportunities for professional growth, career pivots, and harmonizing work and life, with a growing interest in ‘salary negotiation’ which grew by 60%, ‘upskilling’ by 30%, and ‘career change’, up by 20%. Searches for terms popularized in the pandemic such as the ‘great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’ see significant growth at 1030% and 50%.

Preserving the environment whilst conserving cost

Consistent from last year, people’s interest in sustainability grew 40% with searches aiming to combine environment consciousness with cost savings. People are discovering that purchases which support sustainability can help them be savvier about their spending. In addition to search interest in ‘organic products’ doubling, ‘affordable and clean energy’ queries also increased by 140%, and people explored ‘things that can be recycled’ with a growth in this query rising 20%.

Prioritizing Self

People’s evolving sense of self is evidenced in an uptick of searches on self-care. As people increase their expenditure on health and fitness by 43%, grooming services by 35%, and beauty and personal care products by 31%, their searches are also gaining in specificity with interest in “heart shape face hairstyle male” growing by over 330%, ‘limited edition shoes’ by 170%, and ‘perfume for women’ up by +40%.

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