Monitoring consumer trends during the COVID-19 crisis 

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The scary truth is that the COVID-19 crisis is showing no signs of letting up any time soon. Many states in the process of reopening have had to take a few steps back as cases spike. As the virus continues to spread, so does its impact on our daily lives. 

Many of your customers are experiencing drastic changes in routine, income, physical and mental health, living situations, etc. This means that their needs and preferences are drastically changing too. In order for you to keep your doors open and best serve your customers, it’s crucial that you keep up with their changing needs.

Google has really been on top of things during the pandemic. They’re constantly pushing out new tools for marketers to use, allowing us to view valuable statistics and search trends throughout this crisis. 

The following free Google COVID-19 tools are ideal for monitoring consumer trends and optimizing your marketing campaigns, so you can meet the changing needs of your customers and keep generating business. 

Google Rising Retail Categories

Google Rising Retail Categories is an interactive and free COVID-19 tool that’s updated daily to offer insight to retail owners. It shows you trends in what consumers are shopping for, the queries they used to locate these products, as well as their geographic location. 

You can look at yearly, monthly, or weekly data. The most recent retail search trends show that with summer in full swing, consumers have shifted from the quest for PPE and are looking for outdoor and water supplies. After increasing by 300% this past month, searches for “sprinkler controls” have become the number one trending category. 

Google Rising Retail Categories screenshot

Clicking the drop down above and changing “monthly” to “yearly” reveals that over this past year, product searches for sneeze guards and household disinfectants reached a record high.

Google Rising Retail Categories screenshot

Google Small Business Hub

Google’s Small Business Hub has included a special section dedicated to helping business owners through COVID-19. This free Google COVID-19 tool includes resources to help you adjust your advertising, adapt to new customer behavior, run your business remotely, keep your customers informed, and more.

To get started, select whether you run a local business, run a local business and have a website, have an online-only business, or are starting a new business. From there, it will guide you through the steps necessary to help improve your online presence (or get your business started online in the first place).

Google Trends

Google Search Trends is a really interesting free tool that allows you to look up search statistics for specific terms, products, or services. Simply enter the term you want to research and hit the enter key. For this example, we used the term “cloth face masks.” This brought up lots of statistics, including interest by sub-region as well as related topics and queries.

Google trends screenshot

From this data, we can see that Northern states, particularly New York and surrounding areas, showed the most interest in “cloth face masks.” The term “breakout” means that queries related to this search reached record-breaking highs as COVID-19 took over the United States. To view Coronavirus search trends, check out Google’s Coronavirus search hub. Here, you can find all the the current trends with this free Google COVID-19 tool. 

Market Finder

Google Market Finder helps business owners identify potential markets, uncover helpful operational information, and sell to customers everywhere. Start by entering your URL, select your business category and the region you want to sell to, and it will recommend your top markets.

When we entered our business, we found that our top recommended markets were California, Texas, and Florida.

Google Market Finder screenshot

If you’re struggling to figure out where to target your ads, this is a great way to discover potential audiences. It shows the number of monthly searches conducted for your business category in these specific locations, as well as residents’ average household net disposable income.

These free Google COVID-19 tools are incredibly helpful when it comes to keeping up with consumer trends and adapting your business strategies. For more information on marketing during the COVID-19 crisis, check out the Bizzuka blog.