Google sees major shift in Thai searches

Google sees major shift in Thai searches

Key new consumer trends identified

Internet giant Google has identified Thailand's three main consumer trends, based on their web searches in 2022.

The three trends -- Thai people cherishing their own identities and lifestyles, paying attention to economic circumstances, and finding ways to create joy -- were identified in Google's "Year in Search 2022 – Thailand" report, which shared insights into consumers' behaviour.

"Millions of Thais use Google Search every day to find information they are looking for. We have noticed changes in consumer behaviours as we analyse billions of searches every year to identify key trends," said Saranee Boonritthongchai, country marketing manager of Google Thailand.

She said the report could help brands and marketers identify their marketing strategies for 2023.

According to the report, the first identified trend is called "soul searching".

After three years of changes and uncertainties brought on by the pandemic, Thais are embracing diverse identities without being limited by other factors, it said.

As a result, search interest in "equal marriage" surged by 800%, while search interest in "LGBTQ" shot up by 110%.

"Thais are also seeking a harmony between work and home life, as search interest in 'work-life balance' rose by 100%. They are also interested in global trends. Nostalgia saw the return of 'Y2K' globally, prompting 370% search growth of the trend in Thailand," the report said.

Brands must develop inclusive marketing and think of consumers as individuals with richly layered identities when crafting stories and conversations to engage them, it said.

As people increasingly search with images and text together, investing in compelling image assets can supercharge brands by creating new opportunities to respond to people's diverse identities and needs.

The second trend is called "value hunting". Amid economic uncertainty and rising inflation, Thais are reassessing what they consider to be of value and paying attention to economic trends and the rising cost of living, as search interest in "inflation" surged by 140%.

In addition, they are making decisions more carefully, as search interest in "pay later" rose by 100%.

The report said trust in a brand is another factor that consumers take into consideration, with search interest in "trustworthy" rising by 30%.

According to the report, the third trend is termed as "finding joy", in which Thais are finding ways to treat themselves and looking to make up for lost time by revenge spending to satisfy pent-up demand, leading to a 110% increase in search interest in "barbecue restaurant near me".

Search interest in "golf course near me" surged by 80% and intent to travel internationally has risen, as search interest in overseas tours grew by 100%.

People are also merging online with offline to make their lives easier, with search interest in "restaurant reservation" rising by 70%, while search interest in "reserving queue" climbed by 60%.

"As Thailand's digital economy approached US$35 billion in 2022, we see rising search interest for services like telehealth and instant delivery," the report said.

It indicated that live concerts and social experiences, such as group cooking and dining together, have returned.

"Thais are planning these activities online, suggesting their offline and online lives are now fully merged," the report said.

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