The industry is flooded with lengthy white papers, endless research documents and massive guides on the future of retail. To cut through the noise, here’s a quick view of purchasing trends that will drive business in 2021 and beyond.
Dynamic demand. People buying patterns will continue to change as they react to unpredictability.
From the start of the pandemic up to now, we’ve seen continual interest spikes in categories relating to the current societal context, including everything from joggers to toilet paper.
People have new needs. Everyday 15% of search queries seen on Google are the ones not seen before, they reflect more time spent at home, e.g. milk delivery grew 800% globally at the start of the pandemic.
Retailers need to be ready to anticipate customer needs by analyzing consumer trends and applying automation tools to keep pace with both large and small demand shifts in real time.
Digital inspiration. People will continue to look for ideas and shopping inspiration online.
More than ever, consumers are searching for ideas, inspiration and information on what products or services to buy as they browse the web. Searches for ‘ideas’ have surged on Google.
Searches directly on Google Images for ‘unique gifts for’ have grown globally by over 100%.
Spending more time at home, people have grown more comfortable with online browsing and shopping and are hungry for inspiration. Searches for ‘simple’ plus ‘ideas’ have grown globally by 200%
81% of consumers in surveyed countries across the globe said they discovered new brands online during the pandemic.
Counting on convenience. People will continue to shop in new ways with a focus on convenience.
Consumers want to know what they can expect before heading into stores, especially around inventory and business hours. We’ve also seen people take more of their shopping on Google Maps, with spikes in searches for ‘available near me’ and ‘curbside pickup’ happening directly in Maps.
In the past year, we’ve seen searches for ‘in stock’ grow by over 700%. Searches for ‘avaliable near me’ have grown 100% in the past year globally. And searches for “shopping” plus “apps” have grown by 210%.
Over half of consumers globally discovered at least one form of online shopping.
From purchasing products through mobile apps to buying online and picking up in store most consumers/ buyers plan to continue in these methods
Supportive Spending. People will continue to be more discerning about how and where they spend their money. We see this represented in search data. With less spending overall, consumers are going out of their way to shop smart.
The notions of ‘value’ and ‘values’ will continue to converge. Increasingly, a products perceived value will be less about its price point and more about its alignment with buyer’s values.
Whether someone is choosing to buy an electric car to do her part for the environment or directing her money to a black-owned coffee shop, consumers will more actively shop their values.
Searches for ‘ethical online shopping’ have grown globally by over 600%. Consumers are continually looking for the best deals. They’re also seeking ways to shop purposefully. Searches for ‘best affordable’ have grown globally by over 60%.