Search giant Google has aggregated and assembled the trends for its search service throughout 2017, and the data shows that consumers desire more than ever to be informed about decisions they make, and they're turning to Google searches to get that information. Consumers want to research everything from food to apparel, manifesting as an 80% jump in searches for the "best" items in certain categories, and in searches for reviews of specific items. Most of these searches are happening on mobile devices, which likely means that consumers are doing a lot of their research in these categories at the last minute, perhaps even comparing different products of the same type right there in the store.
To demonstrate this trend, Google aggregated search data running from 2015 to 2017, and found a number of growth trends across categories that back up the assertion that consumers are using Google searches to inform decisions and purchases. One category that saw a large amount of growth was comprised of searches for information on bras, which shot up about 400% during the time of the data being gathered. Areas that typically see at least some amount of consumer research are also growing; consumers turned to Google for help on deciding what games to buy or play about 75% more often over the course of the data gathering. Even the most mundane items were not safe from scrutiny; toothpaste, for example, got the search treatment 305% more often during the data collection period.
Searches for purchase decision purposes have seen massive growth lately, with subcategories of that type of search growing by leaps and bounds. More than ever, consumers are searching for where to buy stuff, what the best stuff is, what people think of given items, and are even figuring out more unique ways to search for that kind of purchase advice. Even established items that consumers often have pre-existing preferences for weren't safe in this data set, with consumers finding 355,000 new ways to ask Google for advice in regards to their soft drink purchasing habits. This trend is likely to continue as mobile devices of all sorts get more ubiquitous, connections get faster, and product competition in all categories gets more and more fierce.