Consumer trends 2020: Watch how the U.K. searched in a year like no other

Lucy Ferguson / December 2020

2020 has been a year like no other for businesses and individuals alike — and Google Trends data provides a revealing snapshot of the changes we’ve experienced in the way we live, work, play, and shop.

We’ve captured this extraordinary period in one video: a two-minute take on shifting consumer interests and the dynamic relationship between different U.K. search trends.

The search data shows a picture of human spirit and ingenuity in the face of adversity. When times are tough, we look to better ourselves, entertain each other, and do a fair bit of DIY.

For marketers, search insights have always been valuable — but against a backdrop of huge fluctuations in consumer behaviour, they have become vital. Brands who have stayed on top of market trends in this dynamic environment and sought to meet changing consumer needs have put themselves in the best position to successfully navigate — or even emerge stronger — from the COVID-19 crisis.

The lasting impact of digital acceleration on consumer behaviour

The big question for marketers is: which consumer trends will sustain as the pandemic subsides? We’ve captured some of the predicted trends in the digital marketing predictions for a post-pandemic economic recovery and our deepdive into the future of the auto industry. And U.K. search data from a summer of fluctuating restrictions provides important clues for retailers, including a rise in localism and a focus on ethical brands.

While uncertainty remains high, one thing we can be sure of is that the acceleration of digital adoption we’ve experienced this year will have a lasting and significant impact on consumer behaviour. We have already seen this in the changes to the way we are shopping for Christmas.

The good news for marketers is that a growing array of digital marketing tools and technology means it’s never been easier to keep pace with these increasingly digital and real-time audience needs. And with the global distribution of a vaccine seemingly close (and rising search interest to match), there is cause for something that has been in short supply in 2020: optimism.

3 ways to keep pace with changing consumer trends

Be ready to spot trends as they arise

Underpin your marketing strategy with real-time search data. As the ‘new normal’ takes shape, use Google Trends and the rising retail categories tool to help gain a better understanding of evolving needs and the opportunities within them.

Utilise automation to meet shifting needs

People’s lifestyles are in flux — automation can help businesses respond to changing needs and identify difficult-to-predict patterns across consumer categories.

Elevate your digital marketing skills

A changing media and consumer landscape creates new demands for marketers. Ensure your skill-set is up to date with free online courses in digital marketing and leadership.

Year on YouTube: The videos the U.K. loved to watch in 2020