The Retailer Winter Edition 2022

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before.” ‘‘

2) Flight: we looked for escapism, to dis tance ourselves from uncertainty. People did this by accessing more digital experi ences and more entertainment than ever

Shopping With stores shut through lockdowns, browsing exploded online. In 2020, 73% of retail query growth came from new or rarely used terms. That tells us that the growth is coming from new behaviours, new ways of searching, and more browsing online. This hunger for inspiration can be seen in the growing use of visual formats as part of consumers’ exploration - we can see this in the elevated use of Google Image searches and the Google Shopping Tab to find products.

Accessing services Similarly, people have been looking for local services that help them get things done. ‘Near me’ has in the last few months overtaken ‘best’ as a key modifier - a clear indication of the surge in interest in people trying to do something or take action.

Summary So, what are the questions retailers should be asking themselves in light of these insights? 1. Your customers are seeking understanding: > How is your brand helping customers navigate through complexity? > Does your brand have a clear position on the key issues your customers care about? 2. Your customers are seeking order: > Do your brand experiences and services give your customers control? > Does your brand have easy to use services? 3. Your customers are seeking escapism: > Does your brand offer engaging experiences? > Is your brand present in all the moments your customers are looking for inspiration with the right content and messaging?

3. Seeking escapism Finally, we sought flight through escapism. Whether we wanted to be immersed in shopping or transported through entertainment, the desire for escape was universal and we found that digital was able to satisfy us in a number of ways. Entertainment The demand for online entertainment was, and still remains, in high growth. Nowhere is this better seen than on YouTube where people looked to escape by exploring ideas, watching entertaining content, and learning how to do new things. We can see below the growth in searches for ideas on YouTube in 2020 and still in 2021 versus 2019. While there was a decline in these searches at the end of last year, overall the volume was significantly higher than in 2019.

Georgie Altman

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