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Hello, spring: Upcoming travel and home improvement trends

People walk around in an open area of a park while surrounded by trees, benches, and flowers.

As the spring season approaches, consumers have a lot on their minds. As soon as the clouds start to fade, the amount of time spent outdoors goes up. This, in turn, makes a big difference in the types of searches we see across our network here at Microsoft Advertising. It’s the season of spring vacation: An ideal time for people to get away from their mundane routines and escape to a warm climate.

Although the travel industry was hit hard the last couple of years due to COVID-19, online trends are showing that consumers are becoming increasingly more comfortable with venturing out again, and travel searches and clicks are predicted to rise in April. And that’s not all the warm weather brings; spring is also a time for decluttering and gardening projects. Home and Garden trends have been consistently growing in the last few years, especially in terms of home renovation and home improvement. Microsoft Advertising Insights is here to help you uncover any upcoming spring trends to watch out for in 2022 while also providing tips on how to best reach consumers as they gear up for some fun in the sun.

Pack your bags, it’s time to travel!

The travel industry was one of the most affected categories when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This was partially due to government lockdowns and partly due to consumers wanting to stay home as much as possible; travel companies struggled across the board. 2022 is different, however, as spring fever has made consumers anxious to get out of the house. According to a recent survey from Civic Science, 51% are now comfortable traveling amidst the current state of the pandemic, with another 10% saying they’ll be comfortable by April 2022.

Microsoft Advertising Insights took a look into past search trends (2019-present) and found that travel-related searches and clicks begin to rise in April and stay consistent through the summer. One of the top growing subcategories in our analysis was pet-friendly travel (+50% search growth since 2019). This aligns with a recent Hilton 2022 Trends Report, which states, “23 million US homes welcomed a new pet during the pandemic, and of those homes, 65% said they were interested in traveling with their pet in the future.” If your brand is able to offer pet-friendly travel accommodations, be sure to include this in your keyword strategy to better target consumers who are specifically looking for ways to bring their furry friend along wherever they go.

Pro tip: Expose new search trends and themes related to pet-friendly travel by implementing both Dynamic Search Ads and broad match into your upcoming campaigns.

Infographic of top “pet friendly” searches related to travel.

Pet-friendly travel isn’t the only recent emerging trend we’ve unlocked. The COVID-19 pandemic has also given more flexibility to remote workers known as “Digital Nomads.” Digital Nomads are location-independent people who value flexibility and are able to travel constantly and move from place to place as long as there’s a solid internet connection. Because they’re usually good with technology, they use online search engines often. On a recurring basis, they’re searching for housing and other factors that come with working in multiple new locations. There are currently 15.2 million travel enthusiasts who work remotely and are also on Microsoft Advertising in the US, and this is only expected to grow with time. Make sure you prepare your budgets for the upcoming travel season by helping online searchers plan and book their upcoming trips.

Pro tip: Target millions of travel dreamers and planners who are looking to stay at a property like yours. Property Promotion Ads offer a richly engaging, curated experience. Advertisers have full control over the text and images that appear in the ads.

Spring cleaning, commence!

Although the pandemic caused a large decline in travel, retail did very well, especially in the Home and Garden category. This is largely due to home improvement and gardening stores being classified as essential businesses on the onset of lockdowns. With more consumers staying home, more projects were being tackled. In 2021, we saw a 6.4% year-over-year (YoY) search growth and 3.2% YoY click growth across all of Home and Garden queries.

At the beginning of 2021, Microsoft Advertising published a Consumer Retail Trends Report, where we hypothesized that DIY projects would see a significant increase due to the rise of Home and Garden retail. Our predictions turned out true, as the data showed that consumers saw the value in doing their home projects themselves.

Our first-party data shows:

  • Arts & Crafts saw a +22% YoY search volume.
  • Home Décor and Interior Decorating saw a +14% YoY search volume.
  • Gardening had a +38% YoY search volume.
  • Lights and Lighting had a +39% YoY search volume.

We expect these trends to continue into 2022 as well, since YoY search and click growth is already showing similar year-to-date (YTD) trends. Similar to what we saw happen with Travel, Microsoft Advertising Insights discovered that Home & Construction consumers were 2x more likely to have a pet than their peers. They’re also more likely to be parents and gardening enthusiasts, making it easier for you to cross-target these sustaining caregivers with multiple subcategories under your client’s brand.

Pro tip: Layer on relevant In-market Audiences for search campaigns to reach Home and Garden shoppers during their cross-shopping journeys.

Home & Construction consumers are likely to be parents, pet owners, and garden enthusiasts.

Now that you’ve got an introduction into what to keep an eye out for this spring, make sure you’re staying up to date with the latest trends as soon as they’re released.

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