March US Search Trend Behavior During COVID-19

Spate shares recent behavioral shifts in how consumers are searching for lifestyle, beauty, and wellness items as the United States settles in to a new reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Spate is a team of ex-Googlers who use data science to predict the next big consumer trend in food and beauty. In a mid-March report for CEW members, Spate analyzed top Google search results related to beauty and wellness to help brands understand what’s top of mind for consumers right now. 

Shifting Digital Search Trends: March 2020

Given the rapid evolution of COVID-19 both globally and in different regions of the United States, search behavior has changed by the week. Consumers started their research and shopping journeys focused on protective supplies, but as more people were directed to stay at home and businesses were shut down, searches shifted towards DIY solutions, such as DIY baby wipes and using aloe vera to make hand sanitizer at home. 

Below is a timeline based on the strongest week-over-week growth for specified search terms over a four-week period:

February 23rd 

March 1st 

March 8th 

March 15th 

anti-viral mask: +541% 

hand sanitizer: +587% 

toilet paper: +589% 

at-home workout: +120% 

coronavirus test: +478% 

hand soap: +106% 

aloe vera gel: +131% 

nail kits: +88% 

 

Towards mid-March, users shifted their searches towards optimizing their at-home experiences during quarantine, with searches for wine increasing 77% WoW. 

Google Trends: Interest Over Time* in Search Term "hand washing" - Past 12 Months

Search Volume - hand washing

*Interest Over Time: Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.

Salon Services vs. At-Home Solutions 

at home manicure

One of the biggest shifts in searches within the personal care space has been because of the mandatory closure of salons, barbershops, and other close-contact businesses. For those who rely on regular haircuts, gel manicures, Botox touch-ups, blowouts, or other salon services to look and feel their best must now do without, or come up with an DIY alternative where available. 

Americans are asking important questions that relate to their safety, and before government mandated closures came into effect, they tried to determine on their own how much of their personal maintenance was worth risking their health. “Is it safe to get a haircut?” “Is it safe to get a manicure now?” “How to take off gel/dip powder nails?” 

We had previously identified a macro trend of increased salon services and other in-office procedures to help many with certain areas of their self-care or beauty regimen. Now, many have to give up their lash lift appointments and laser hair removal sessions in favor of being safe and respecting social distancing requirements. 

Key Takeaways 

As consumers adapt to their new at-home lifestyles, they will need to make more decisions around how they shop. Do they choose to restock their favorite personal care products? Do they DIY solutions for services or products that they no longer have access to? Or do they go natural and just deal with their new reality? Brands have the opportunity to show support to their customers, no matter which direction they go as they face new obstacles or unemployment. 

We’ll be actively monitoring this and other trends that relate to the COVID-19 global pandemic – be sure to follow our blog to learn more. 

 Source: https://www.spate.nyc/covid-19