Here are three key trends that will shape your business and year ahead.
1. Value, reevaluated
Last year, people grappled with economic uncertainty: There was a +50% year-over-year (YOY) increase in U.S. search interest for “how to save money on.” At the same time, Americans were learning to define “value” differently. The word came to signal more than just price point. Indicators of value might range from user reviews and rankings — demonstrated by rising interest in superlatives like “best travel pillow” (+145% YOY) — to affordable sustainable options.
2. Aid and allyship
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 56% of consumers are now patronizing neighborhood stores or buying locally sourced products. Search data shows a +50% YOY increase in U.S. search interest for “community project” and a +30% YOY increase in U.S. search interest for “how to donate.” Together, these trends tell us that supporting local economies and empowering local communities are important to individuals. Those same goals should be important to the companies seeking a presence in those same locales.
3. Revising priorities
Despite rising costs, Americans are still spending money — they’re just strategizing to find the best ways to do it. U.S. search interest in “luxury travel” rose 175% YOY, U.S. searches for “spa day pass” rose 65% YOY, and U.S. searches for “michelin star restaurants” rose 55% YOY. At the same time, people are changing how they evaluate their jobs. There was a +85% YOY increase in U.S. search interest for “burnout symptoms” and a +40% YOY increase in U.S. search interest for “from home jobs.” The pandemic has left many of us feeling unsettled, and whether we’re looking for flexibility in our schedules or a first-class flight, we’re taking stock of what we feel is most important.
As Lewis Samuels, senior research and insights manager at Google’s Global Insights Lab, put it: “We’re living in a post-normal era, and employees have largely rejected the notion that one size fits all.” A similar shift has happened with shoppers, and in 2023, brands would do well to listen, understand, and provide solutions to individual people rather than consumer categories.