Thai Google searches reflect online behaviour, interests

Thai Google searches reflect online behaviour, interests

The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London. (Reuters photo)
The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London. (Reuters photo)

Google searches for "work from hotel" surged 1,600% in Thailand, while those for cryptocurrencies jumped 263%, according to Google's "Year in Search 2021" report.

The report is based on information from Google Trends in Thailand, comparing the periods Sept 1, 2020 to Aug 31, 2021, and Sept 1, 2019 to Aug 31, 2020.

The report offers insights into consumer search behaviour, which can be leveraged by businesses or brands for growth opportunities.

Saranee Boonritthongchai, head of marketing at Google Thailand, said people have adapted to the idea of constant uncertainties since the start of the pandemic.

Last year, she said, people adopted digital more than ever before and consumer behaviour changed in many aspects, including a blended way of living, shopping, work, finance and fact-checking.

People are making use of internet access to get information they need to help them make better decisions, said Ms Saranee.

Millions of people in Thailand use Google search to gain information. Brands and businesses can play an important role in supporting consumers through their decision-making journey, she said.

The report shows 90% of Thai consumers agreed they would purchase products from brands that provide helpful information when they were exploring options. There was a 30% increase in searches for which brand to buy.

"The report will help brands and businesses understand customers' changing habits and needs, as well as set guidelines for their business planning strategies this year," said Ms Saranee.

The report examines five key consumer highlights, namely "digital mainstreamed, live reexamined, bridging distances, truth seekers and growing inequality," she said.

Digital mainstreamed refers to the staying power of digital, said Ms Saranee.

Searches for "what to sell online" increased by 44%, while searches related to "new user code" grew by 50%, according to the report. Thai shoppers are increasingly interested in mega sale double-digit days, with search interest in 6.6, 7.7, 8.8 shopping festivals surging 110%.

Shoppers also want free and reliable delivery, with Thailand seeing growth of more than 60% in searches for "free delivery". Search interest in "see doctor online" also grew by more than 122%.

Live reexamined is a trend where the pandemic led people to be introspective and reevaluate their values and lifestyle choices, she said.

People are choosing new workplaces, with 1,600% growth in search interest in "work from hotel", according to the report.

Thais are also changing the way they look at their finances, curious about new investment types with search interest in cryptocurrency growing by 263%.

The bridging distances trend refers to people making use of technology for personal connection and expression of affection, said Ms Saranee.

Search interest in "anniversary greetings" and "send gifts" went up by 210% and 69%, respectively. Search interest in "order for friends" grew by 100%, found the report.

Truth seekers refers to customers being more careful and thorough when making decisions. Search interest in topics related to "fake news" grew by 200%, while search interest in "is it credible" grew by 72%.

Growing inequality refers to the trend where more people are going online to search for solutions to help themselves.

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