Data Analytics Shows How COVID 19 Impacted Search and User Behavior Online

Big data has made it easier to assess the impact of Covid-19 on consumer behavior.
How Has COVID 19 Impacted Search and User Behavior Online
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Big data helps us assess some of the biggest trends. A number of analytics tools can see market trends, but it is useful to use data analytics to spot social trends as well.

One trend that big data helps us understand better is Covid-19. We talked about how big data is helping us fight the pandemic, but it can also help us see how people responded to the changes.

There is no doubt about it. Covid-19 pandemic created a worldwide crisis. This in turn facilitated a significantly difficult business environment. Every company faced lots of challenges as borders closed, brick-and-mortar retailers closed their doors, and people were forced to isolate themselves at their houses.

Customer behavior has also changed. And on a huge scale. This is something that McKinsey evaluated, which depended on major big data insights.

Most of us weren’t able to do our usual stuff. Local shops were pushed to close their doors in order to stem the tide of the virus. People, worrying that there won’t be enough goods created waves of panic buying products in bulk. Financial chaos and the possibility of a hard and long-term bull market only furthered the bleak consumer perception, behavior, and outlook.

Hopefully, the facts and analysis present here will help you shape a better path forward for your business. Let’s meet see some of the insights that have been reached with big data tools.

Experts have used data analytics to look at consumer search histories to see how it affects their behavior.

Travel and Food Search Trends

Since most of us are staying in isolation and doing our part of flattening the COVID-19 curve, traditional traveling around the world has surely changed with the birth of the COVID-19 crisis. Even more, people are more interested in outdoor activities near their homes than never before. Moreover, they’re experiencing a new phenomenon — being a tourist in their local community. Not only do we have less travel and outdoor activity, but Covid-19 has impacted local bars and restaurants, and their related search. Here is what data analytics shows about changes in travel and food search trends.

  • In March 2020, the ‘stuff to do’ type of search fell by 73%.
  • During the same month, search for ‘outdoor’ grew by 46%.
  • Moreover, the search for ‘hiking’ rose by 59%.

When it comes to food search trends, the change is also noticeable. Since most of us stayed at our houses, the freedom to travel was obviously limited. However, there was also an increased response in searches for local food businesses. Not to mention that lots of companies adapted their operations for a pandemic. They increased offerings of curbside food delivery, online and textual pickup orders, as well as drop-off solutions.

For instance, in Reno US, there were more than two hundred local restaurants that were quick to change their business operations to provide more convenient and secure solutions for those searching for food online.

Yes, we won’t be visiting brick-and-mortar stores soon. However, consumers are becoming more and more aware of new ways to ease some of the expanding pains during these tumultuous times. Fortunately, short term solutions such as curbside pickups from our favorite local fast foods will likely entice customers to stay after the pandemic is over. Food search trends for the march were as follows:

  • Search for ‘restaurants’ fell by 46%.
  • Search for ‘food delivery’ went up by a staggering 113%.

What Data Analytics Says About Covid-19 Influence Buyer Behavior

The changes in search and user behavior during Covid-19 were most evident in the eCommerce sector. In March 2020, The Drum published a study showing that, although the yearly advertising growth rate in China is expected to drop from 7% growth to 3.9%, E-commerce ad spend is expected to rise by 17.6%. While social media spending is expected to rise by 22.3%. These data-driven insights have been remarkable.

This is evident when we add the change in customer behavior as they went from purchasing offline to doing it digitally. Moreover, since we are staying more in our houses, companies have reacted. Brands have changed their spending from offline media to digital. At least 15% of them did so. The same study concluded that the ecommerce sector has already experienced significant growth, particularly in the FMCG zone. Similarly, ecommerce spending in China’s channels grew about seven times as quickly as the overall ecommerce sector in 2019. The covid-19 virus only accelerated this trend.

On the other side, the study from Business Insider Intelligence and eMarketer in March 2020 suggested that the e-commerce sector is likely to expand as customers ignore physical retail shops. The research data showed that almost 75% of US online users spoke that they’ll likely avoid shopping malls and centers if the Covid-19 outbreak in the nation continues, and over 50% of the globe ignores physical retail in general.

In addition, new research conducted by Ipsos MORI showed that 50% of China’s and 32% of Italy’s consumer population told they’re now utilizing e-Commerce ‘more frequently’. On the other hand, only 19% of UK customers told they were using online shops more frequently, with almost 50% reporting that they didn’t change their e-Commerce behavior. Although considering that the UK is still under lockdowns such data will change. Likely in a dramatic way, and likely trend toward the figures we see in other nations with more progressed coronavirus problems.

The Relationship Between Covid-19 and Adoption of Online

Coronavirus has increased the width and depth of the shift toward online, from financial services, shopping, entertainment to eating, wellness, education, and more. Based on Swissre survey in 2020, almost 60% of US customers told that they were spending more cash online.

27% had subscribed to a minimum of one new online streaming service, and 43% had bought more through smartphone devices. App download for video conference and business purposes has risen dramatically. For instance, in Spain, downloads of the Houseparty application for March 2020 were 2,370 times the weekly average in the last quarter of 2019. Grocery order applications saw similar popularity. 

Adopting online life isn’t longer age-based. Rather, it has become a mainstream event across all generations. Moreover, all age generations have started adopting the “millennial mindset” — relying on friends and online channels for education and purchase instead of traditional information centers.

Big Data Provides Some Major Insights on the Impact of Covid-19

The pandemic has made some tremendous changes in our daily lives. Big data has helped us see some of the biggest ways that Covid-19 has impacted consumer behavior.

Annie Qureshi
Annie is a passionate writer and serial entrepreneur. She embraces ecommerce opportunities that go beyond profit, giving back to non-profits with a portion of the revenue she generates. She is significantly more productive when she has a cause that reaches beyond her pocketbook.