The COVID-19 lockdowns have changed... well, pretty much everything about how we live our day-to-day lives at the moment. But one element that has been significantly altered is retail spending, and how we go about planning and buying the products we'll need while we're in social isolation.
We saw initial rushes on toilet paper (still weird) and hand sanitizer (still ongoing), but those were only part of the broader changes, and other product categories, you would assume, would also now be seeing significant impacts. More people are cooking at home, so grocery sales, you would think, would have increased, while school lunch items are likely down, along with grooming products and clothing, etc..
These would be my guesses, but I don't really know for sure. Which is where Google's new retail trends tool comes in.
As explained by Google:
"Businesses are using a variety of resources to understand changing consumer interests - including Google Trends, social listening, surveys, and their own data - in order to help make decisions on the fly. But if they don’t know what to look for, there isn’t an easy way to understand which product categories are gaining in popularity, and might pose an opportunity."
Google's 'Rising Retail Categories' listing caters to this - the tool uses Google search data to highlight fast-growing, product-related categories in Google Search, along with the locations where they’re seeing more interest, and the extended search queries associated with each.
So, 'swimming pools' are seeing more searches in the US right now. Scroll down the listing and you can glean more insight into other rising areas of product interest.
The data presented comes via Google Trends, so it's not new insight, as such. But as Google notes, many people don't know what to search for - you can search product-by-product to see what's getting more interest, but having a larger, overall listing will help to uncover relevant insight, on a broader scale.
At present, Google has made the listings available for the US, UK and Australia, and Google says that it will update the information every day to help businesses find more potential opportunities.
It's a handy tool to have, and it might help you uncover new product angles or considerations for your marketing outreach.
You can check out Google's 'Rising retail Categories' listing here.