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COVID-19: EMEA insights and advertising tips – July 2

Understanding consumer sentiment provides deeper insight into your target customers. We have been analysing our search data over the last few months as consumers adapt to new interests and priorities.  Our series continues with this week’s key trends:

  1. Research and comparison sites drive cost saving options across Europe and the value of brand loyalty comparison is considered in UK retail
  2. Interest in car buying is growing in the UK with new lifestyle needs and ‘electric’ is top of mind in France
  3. A finance rebound analysis in Europe
  4. Brand and generic search term evolution in travel worldwide
  5. Pet insurance searches rocket in the UK from the start of lockdown

Deals and cost change brand behaviours

With the economic downturn due to COVID-19 we have seen search behaviours change across Europe over the last few months.  Consumers are becoming mindful of cost, comparing, and researching products to secure the best deal and save money. 17% growth in search volume and 22% in clicks year-on-year, demonstrate the change in mindsets. 
  • Netherlands, Spain and Germany saw a considerable year-on-year growth in searches, meanwhile clicks increased with a similar pace but skyrocketed for Spain (+522%)
  • Searches containing “best” grew significantly in Spain, Italy and Germany. On the other hand, “comparison” related queries have driven the rise in Netherlands and France.
  • Terms like ‘free delivery’, ‘reviews’ and ‘discounts’ are key factors for influence. When looking at ‘brand loyalty´ in the UK: 44% are clicking on a new brand and 61% use a generic term before looking for a branded query.

Advertising tips:
  • Update ad copy to reflect the new terminology and mindset of consumers
  • Leverage generic search traffic to push offers and services
  • Leverage the Microsoft Audience Network to effectively reach and influence consumers
  • Drive conversions by expanding your keyword set to drive relevant traffic to stores
Finance, research and comparison, France, Spain, Italy and Germany
Retail, Brand Loyalty Comparison – UK


Consumers are back in the market for cars

There is a growing interest in car buying across the UK.  Electric and economy vehicles appear to be spearheading decisions, however there is greater demand for SUVs which could potentially be down to increased family time and the shift to staycations this year. In France, we see a 216% increase in year-on-year growth for ‘electric – hybrid’ and one third of ‘alternative fuel vehicle’ searches were made on ‘hybrid in May alone, however price and incentives are still top of mind for the user.
 
Advertising tips:
  • Retargeting & re-engage with consumers who visited your site and expressed interest in the recent months.
  • Explore location targeting keeping in mind that the consumers can continue car buying in England with stores still closed in other parts of the country
  • Generics are critical than ever before, as consumer adapt to new lifestyle needs, new buying processes and new technology (Alternate Fuel Vehicles).
  Auto, Car buying, United Kingdom
  Auto, Electric vs non overview, France  
 

How will finance fair in the future?

We have taken a deeper look into the Finance vertical across Europe to analyse both market and category rebound. Encouragingly, the data indicates marketplace stability in several important categories throughout Europe. Both car and home insurance have recovered, even recently entering a growth stage in France, Netherlands & Spain. Meanwhile short-term lending products such as credit cards are below pre-COVID market expectations although this may change as lockdowns continue to ease.
Finance, rebound analysis – EMEA 
 

What is driving people to consider travel?

As lockdown eases and borders reopen, people are beginning to think about travel again.  What does search data tell us about travellers’ intent?  Public holidays/events-based travel in the US, Spain and France have driven brand growth however, generic search terms continue to lead the way in all markets.
 
Advertising tips:
  • Consider re-activation or amplification of campaigns to reach consumers with potential purchase intent, investing in both generic and brand searches
  • Consider DSA and broad match to pick up new brand and generic queries emerging amidst lockdown easing
Travel, Brand Search Evolution, Global 
 

Growth in pet adoption drives pet insurance queries

One of the most surprising trends since lockdown is the growing popularity of pet insurance. Just five days into lockdown UK searches were up 94%, with our rebound analysis indicating that this sector is still on an upward trajectory.
 
Advertising tips: 
  • Consider cross-sell opportunities as pet owners look for information on how to care for their new friends. 
Finance, Pet Insurance, United Kingdom
 
Remember all our COVID-19 related insights across all verticals and regions can be found on the COVID-19 Hub.