Google India reports very high search volumes for D2C brands during covid

There has been an up to 80% growth in customers searching for a brand’s official store as well, the Google India report said

Varuni Khosla
Updated10 Feb 2022
The pandemic also increased people’s searches for ‘online doctor consultation’ by 80%, according to the report.Mint
The pandemic also increased people’s searches for ‘online doctor consultation’ by 80%, according to the report.Mint

Consumer habits are changing with people learning to live with the pandemic, both within and outside the country. For some, it means more online search and research, for others it is finding direct selling shops to buy products online. Authenticity, too, is becoming a big factor while searching online, finds a new report.

The exponential growth of the internet user base has over the past two years led to millions of new and unique searches per day and businesses will need to adapt in how they respond to this customer transition, said Google’s Year in Search Report 2021. Consequently, online first shopping experiences and direct selling brands have been gaining momentum since the coronavirus outbreak, said the American multinational technology firm’s India arm.

Search interest in direct-to-consumer, or D2C, brands rose by 533% as businesses moved online to meet consumer needs. Searches for “which brand is good” grew by 41% as Indians researched before making decisions. There has been an up to 80% growth in customers searching for a brand’s official store as well, the report said.

The report, based on Google Trends, compared data from September 2020 to August 2021 with that from September 2019 to August 2020.

Covid has led to an unprecedented rise in internet adoption in the past two years and more and more people and businesses are relying on digital technologies, Sapna Chadha, vice president of Google India told Mint. “Digital is truly here to stay and this has had an impact on the economy across the board, whether it is startups who are leading the charge or a complete digital mainstreaming of traditional brands with technology transformation. Businesses are rapidly building new models such as D2C and that’s firmly taken a foothold,” she said.

The total addressable D2C market in India is expected to grow by more than 15 times from 2015 to 2025, according to research firm Statista. In 2020, the D2C market was valued at $33.1 billion. By 2025 this market is forecast to grow almost threefold and reach $100 billion, with fashion and accessories as one of the largest D2C segments in India.

The pandemic also increased people’s searches for “online doctor consultation” by 80%, according to the report. Search interest in “wellness”, including “mental wellness”, “emotional wellness”, and “physical wellness” grew 27%.

Savings were also on the top of the mind for many, leading to increased searches for “small investment” and “how to invest” by 30% and 43% respectively. YouTube search interest in “best stocks” rose by 45%, the Google report said. There was also a greater focus on digital in the day-to-day lives of people and search interest in “digital loans” grew by 90%.

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