The (Un) Quarantined Consumer: Summer search trends provide a preview of larger 'return to normal' shopping trend to come

August 2, 2021
Mike Black
Written By
Mike Black

In the past few months, masks have been coming off and people have been returning to normal life, more or less. During that time, we’ve seen dramatic year-over-year increases in Amazon searches for many product categories, previewing what could be a larger trend once we get firmly in the clear with COVID.

The good news: Many brands that saw sales dip during the pandemic will have a chance to win them back. Search trends are generally a good leading indicator of purchases.

The bad news: Time will tell if these trends will hold or reverse course as concerns over the delta variant mount. So for brands in these categories, it’s still more “wait and see” than “full steam ahead.”

Trends we're seeing at Profitero:

Note: All Amazon.com search trends are year over year, comparing the weeks ending July 24, 2021 vs. July 25, 2020. 

Beauty: People are going from Facetime on their phones to actual old fashion “face time” again and starting to pay closer attention to their appearance. Amazon searches for makeup brushes are up 9,548%. Searches for under eye concealer, liquid eyeliner and hairspray are up by 274%, 167% and 76%, respectively.

Beauty


Clothes: :: A return to socializing, work and nightlife means the sweatpants are headed back to the drawer. Searches for women’s blazers are up 2,432%, and searches for jeans, work pants and bras up 87%, 83% and 78%, respectively. Anxiety over pandemic weight gain appears high too, with searches for shapewear up 255%; searches for the brand Spanx are up 102%.

Clothes


Food: A return to commuting means an end to relaxed meals at home and a need for more grab and go foods. Searches for instant breakfast drinks, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast bars are up 422%, 248% and 117%, respectively. Searches for low calorie snacks (up 315%) and healthy snacks (up 59%) are also trending as workers look to shed pandemic pounds.

Food


Personal Tech: Workers especially are getting ready to confront noisy offices again. Searches for noise cancelling earbuds are up 385%. Demand for portable power sources is also surging, with searches for power banks, portable chargers and iPhone car chargers up 705%, 230% and 82%, respectively.

Personal tech


Pet: Pet adoption surged during the pandemic, and now pet parents are thinking about how to keep an eye on Fido when they are out and about. Not only are searches for pet cameras up generally (87%), but treat-dispensing cameras, like the one offered by Furbo, are showing even higher demand, with searches up 368%.

Pet


Home Tech: People have grown attached to their homes after spending so much time there and want to keep a close eye on them, as well as their pets. Searches for security cameras are up 389%. Searches specifically for “Ring” indoor cameras are up 139%.

home tech


Over-the-counter drugs: Social distancing meant a milder cold & flu season last year, but “unmasking” and closer contact with friends, coworkers and loved ones is taking its toll. Searches for cough drops, cold medicine and throat spray are up 232%, 97% and 77%, respectively.

home tech (2)


Yes, so much is still up in the air. But if you have products in these categories, don’t wait for a full return to normal to begin prepping for a surge in demand. Now is the time to get your digital shelf up to peak health.

  • Revisit content and review benchmarks in your category. Are your product pages still up to snuff, or have category leaders surpassed you?

  • Make sure your product pages are keyword optimized so you can win your fair share of unpaid organic search placement when people start searching.

  • Refresh and update your product imagery to make sure your images are working as hard as they can for you. If you’ve never taken the time to A/B test product imagery, I strongly suggest you do; some brands are achieving a 20% conversion boost from the effort.

Beyond upgrading your digital shelf, be sure to capitalize on the top of the funnel, too. Now is the time to begin prepping social media and display ad campaigns to build awareness for your products, knowing that consumers will be starting to plan and think about what they need for getting back out in the world. And if they can come to Amazon already searching for your brand, that’s a huge win in media ROI.

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