The Impact Of Coronavirus On Search Trends
This article was originally published in by Matt Southern in Search Engine Journal
A new report reveals the impact of Coronavirus so far in the US, including which categories are up and which are down.
The report was published by Yelp this week and reflects data gathered from March 1 through March 22. Yelp’s report looks at which types of businesses have risen or fallen in interest relative to others in the same general line of business. Data is focused strictly on consumer interest, measured in terms of daily activity from US users.
Since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic, consumer behaviour has drastically shifted. “Consumers are responding to fears of infection, social distancing recommendations, stay-at-home orders and mandated business closures by changing their behaviour around eating, shopping, planning their finances, and taking care of their health and beauty.” Here are some of the key highlights from the report.
Categories That Are Rising
Categories That Are Declining
Coronavirus and Consumer Behaviour
Food & Drink
A big part of the shift in consumer behavior is what and where US citizens are eating. This past week has seen a major uptick in consumers sourcing food from farms. The category Community-Supported Agriculture is up 157% from last week, and the category Imported Food Stores is up 172%.
When consumers order food from restaurants for takeout or delivery, there’s been a growing interest in these categories:
- Thai (up 55%)
- Pizza (up 53%)
- Fast Food (up 53%)
Demand for delivery & takeaway is beginning to overtake demand for dine-in
On the opposite end of the spectrum, dining options that bring many people together in close proximity are down.
The categories of food courts and buffets are both down 32%.
When people look for things to do outside of their home, they’re now looking for exercise more often than before.
Activities that keep people far apart from each other are on the rise, such as:
- Fitness & Exercise Equipment (up 162%)
- Hiking (up 135%)
- Mountain biking (up 119%)
- Lakes (up 86%)
- Parks (up 62%)
- Videos & Video Game Rental (up 41%)
On the contrary, interest in activities that keep people close together are down.
Interest in bowling and personal trainers is down by 67% and 51% respectively.
Other similar categories that are down include:
- Yoga (down 51%)
- Amusement Parks (down 44%)
- Flea Markets (down 35%)
Seemingly no industry is immune to the impact of coronavirus, including the finance industry.
The extension of the federal tax-filing deadline sent the category of tax services down 26%.
Interest in mortgage lenders is also down by 22%
The urgent need for cash-in-hand has boosted the category of check cashing & pay-day loan stores up by 37%.