Karachi, 16 February 2021: Did you know – “Kids home activities”, search queries have grown over 250% as Pakistanis are finding ways to teach kids at home while adjusting to the “new normal”. There was also a rise in searches for mental health-related information as people are finding ways to deal with the pandemic. These are some of the insights from Google’s annual ‘Year in Search’ report for brands that was released today. The report is a deep dive into what Pakistani users are searching for online and the opportunities these trends can unlock for brands.
Just like Google’s annual Year in Search captures the collective trending searches and sheds light on what captured people’s curiosity for Pakistan, this report shows major trends being driven by online users across the country. At the same time, businesses are seeking to understand how the pandemic has been changing behaviors and trends within their respective categories and how best to respond in the moments that matter most.
“COVID-19 has affected people in fundamental ways and has changed how we live our lives significantly. It also created the desire for us to connect to our wider community and give back – as witnessed by the 41% increase in searches for ‘sadaqah’. said Faraz Azhar, Industry Head for South Asia, Google Asia Pacific.
“In a year of historic challenges, happiness and joy have been very welcome. Consumers are embracing the brands that spark joy and create a safe space for them to take a break. Take gaming for example. We saw an increase of 35% searches for “online games” vs. 15% decline during the same period last year” added Aamir Altaf, Country Head, Google Customer Solutions Sales, South Asia
In the newly released report, Google outlined five key trends that are shaping Pakistanis’ search behavior and that marketers should care about:
2020 pushed Pakistanis to confront societal stigmas and complex issues, as visible from the 40% increase in searches for ‘gender equality’. In addition, regardless of whether mental health is widely acknowledged, there’s been a rise in searches for mental health-related information, with searches for ‘mental health support’ increasing by 100%.
Confronted with their own personal consumption habits during lockdowns, Pakistanis have been reassessing the impact on the environment. We witnessed a 128% surge in searches for ‘reusable’ as people sought ways to change their consumption habits. There was also an increased desire to proactively connect to our wider community to help and give back, with a 122% increase in searches for ‘charity work’.
Many Pakistanis are finding ways to cope with their work and home duties under one roof, with people actively looking for ways to optimize their time and search for balance. +250% increase in searches for ‘kids home activities’ and 71% increase in how to be productive. 2020 also saw a 328% increase in searches for ‘dubbed in urdu’ in Pakistan, which is a good indicator that brands are increasingly expected to keep in consideration their customers’ specific preferences.
Understandably, people also looked for comfort and ways to de-stress this year, more than in previous years. There was a 90% increase in searches for ‘gaming chair’. As social distancing became the new way of life, there was a surge in searches ‘adopt a pet’ with a 700% increase. Many also have been seeking forms of indulging themselves while spending more time at home – there was a 140% growth in recipe searches for ‘easy dessert’.
People are strengthening their economic prospects by boosting their skills and financial knowledge. There was a 223% growth in searches for ‘stock investing’. At the same time, proactive health management is on the rise, with 109% growth in searches for ‘disease prevention’ in a year that saw so many lose so much because of the pandemic.
For more insights on how Pakistani consumers use Google Search, along with some vertical insights on fintech, on-demand economy, telecom, gaming, and sports, visit Think with Google and download the Year in Search 2020 Pakistan report.