Google’s maiden “What is Pakistan searching for?” report has revealed what Pakistanis are looking for online.
According to the report, Pakistanis are looking for ways to connect with new communities, searching for high-quality products and how they can improve their lives and environment.
The data can be very useful for seasoned marketeers who’re trying to build businesses, or entrepreneurs looking for ways to engage with potential consumers.
In the past three years, Pakistan’s digital population has surged by 68 per cent, with over 78 million (seven crores and eight lakhs) users. Understanding the needs and expectations of this growing number of digital consumers is important for brands to remain agile and relevant, especially during these unprecedented times.
“Pakistanis and their smartphones are inseparable — always on the lookout for the best experiences and deals within their vicinity and at the same time seeking authoritative information during these trying times,” said Google Asia Pacific Industry Head for South Asia Faraz Azhar.
Google has highlighted five key areas that are shaping how Pakistani’s carry out an online search.
1. Increasingly sophisticated consumers
Consumers expect search engines to understand the intent behind what they need and deliver the best. They want high-quality products that are available with a convenient digital experience.
Four of five Pakistani consumers research products online before a purchase, and they switch between online search and video. They also want quick access to products and services.
As per the report, 138 per cent growth in “near me” searches and 1.5 per cent increase in “same-day delivery” queries was reported between the year 2018 to 2019. “Fast delivery” searches increased by a whopping 1300% and online grocery delivery searches increased by 300% since the coronavirus pandemic began.
2. Towards sustainability and conscious consumption
A combination of the state of the world and an overall rise in awareness has seen the rise of environmentally-conscious consumers. Over the past year, these searches have risen sharply across Pakistan: “climate change” by 1.5x, “electric cars” by 1.5x and “reusable” by 1.3x.
Users were also curious about the visible impact on air quality and pollution levels, with searches such as “clear skies” increasing by 300 per cent, “clean air” by 225 per cent and “clear water” by 217 per cent.
3. Digital video continues to boom
Video streaming and sharing platforms where Pakistanis get their fix of information, entertainment, news and sports. The primary drivers are a combination of affordable data combined with the proliferation of devices and new platforms.
Every seven in 10 Pakistanis use YouTube every month, with searches related to “with me” increasing by 150 per cent, “Teeli” by 108 per cent and “village food secrets” by 168%.
4. Healthy lifestyle choice
While Pakistan has a rich and diverse culinary tradition, there has been a rise in searches for alternate diets and meal plans predicated around well-being.
Searches for “daily exercise” are up by 1.6x. Searches for “vegetarian cuisine”, “healthy supplements” and “intermittent fasting” have risen by 1.5x. Meanwhile, searches for “superfood” are up by a whopping 767 per cent and “high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout” by 600 per cent.
5. COVID-19 implications
With COVID-19 restricting the movement of people outdoors, Pakistanis have started looking for ways to start (or continue) their usual physical routines indoors with “HIIT workout” YouTube search growing by 600 per cent, “gym at home” by 125 per cent and “home workouts” by 80 per cent. With more people confined indoors, interest in mental health and well-being has also become an important factor for Pakistanis, with a surge in searches for “meditation” (+56%) in March this year.
The information was gathered from a web conference organization by Syntax Communications with Google Asia Pacific team.