According to a Google report, Filipinos connect with their identities and seek value and joy in their consumer activities. They also expect brands to have a better understanding of how their needs have changed over the last three years as a result of unprecedented events such as the pandemic.
Think With Google: Year in Search 2022 is an annual report for marketers that aims to help uncover audience insights and trends drawn from analyses based on billions of Google searches.
The previous year marks the third year since the world was plunged into a global pandemic. It also marks the year when Filipinos started to move out of the shadows of the uncertainties of COVID-19. Think With Google: Year in Search 2022 shows how Filipinos are reenvisioning who they can be, on their own terms.
From local traditions to making global connections, and only consuming products and services they deem essential to their lives, this was the year when people are looking to be their most full and authentic selves.
“When life hands out lemons, Filipinos no longer just search for ways to make lemonade. Having weathered three years of disruptive changes, they’re seeking to live life on their own terms and looking to be in control of their identities, lifestyles, and what they value,” said Gabby Roxas, Country Marketing Manager, Google Philippines and South Asia Frontier markets. “After analyzing search trends and data this year to help marketers uncover helpful insights, we saw how Filipinos used Google Search to stand their ground amid sustained waves of uncertainty. With open minds, quick thinking, and digital savvy, they’re seeking out authentic, fulfilling ways of living, working, and being that suit them, and not simply going with what life serves up.”
Here are the three consumer trends that will shape the year ahead:
Filipinos are soul-searching
Filipinos are looking for special interests–niche or otherwise–in order to find themselves and their community online. Filipinos desire to be part of the global culture, but also seek uniquely Filipino traditions. While search interest in “ppop” (Philippine pop) grew by over 20 percent and queries for “japanese restaurant” by over 40 percent, Filipinos are also looking for locally-relevant trends as search interest in “Filipiniana” grew by over 130 percent. This dynamic duality points to the increasing complexity of their identities as global citizens and proud denizens.
At the same time, Filipinos are now moving towards specificity–their searches are now more refined as they become aware of their distinctive identities and their evolving sense of self. Searches for “plus size dress” in particular increased by over 40 percent as did “anti-aging cream” which grew by 20 percent and “glasses for face shape” increased by over 15 percent, to name a few.
They are also taking better care of themselves as various searches for self-care are on the rise, along with embracing diverse lifestyles. Search interests that grew include mental health (over 20 percent), “anxiety meaning” (over 50 percent), “what is stress” (over 30 percent), “genderqueer” (over 40 percent), “solo parent” (over 80 percent), and “social equality” (over 50 percent).
Filipinos are looking for value and balance
During these times of early pandemic recovery and high inflation rates, Filipinos have learned a lot about value and balance. This is reflected through their searches about upskilling and striking out on their own–search terms such as “hybrid learning” which grew by over 210 percent, “freelance” by over 40 percent, and “business idea” by 20 percent.
They are also now seeking greater economic literacy and are looking for information to increase their financial and economic knowledge, from learning about the causes of rising prices to emerging investment trends to making decisions that count. “Cryptocurrency” searches grew by over 350 percent, while “when to sell” and “when to buy” both grew by over 40 percent. Search terms around “Philippines inflation” increased by 110 percent, while “inflation” rose by over 90%.
Their concern about rising prices also translates to looking for more environmentally-friendly alternatives as searches for “sustainable energy” increased by 80 percent.
But above all, what these consumers want is value. For instance, people are being more pragmatic and are focusing on the essentials, with 40 percent of consumers making fewer impulse purchases and prioritizing needs over wants. In fact, search interest in “which one” jumped by more than 160 percent, and “which is better” rose by over 20 percent. Meanwhile, search interest in “best deal” grew by more than 40 percent.
Trust in a brand also plays a significant part in people’s calculations and perception of value. Search interest in terms containing “most recommended” grew by over 40 percent and “original product” leaped by more than 55 percent. Search for “customer reviews” also rose by over 35 percent.
Filipinos are seeking joy
The year 2022 is the time when Filipinos decided that it was time to live their lives once again–albeit more carefully. While uncertainty persists, they are no longer letting it stop them from living their best lives, from booking long-awaited trips, dining out, going to live concerts, and more.
This is evident as search interest in “best buffets” climbed by over 130 percent and travel-related searches such as “staycation” jumped by over 25 percent, “cheapest flights” by over 320 percent, “affordable beach resort” by over 100 percent, and “passport requirements” by over 40 percent.
Beyond these, Filipinos are also leaning on digital services in bigger ways than ever before to make their lives easier, and use the time they save to enjoy the offline experiences that matter to them.
People searching for “doctor anywhere” jumped by over 35 percent, “online multiplayer games with friends” grew by over 40 percent, “e-wallet” grew by over 55 percent, “dress up” rose by over 210 percent, “cinema philippines” grew by over 280 percent, and “concert tickets” grew by more than 165 percent.
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These three consumer trends show what’s top of mind for Filipino consumers and how brands can address their needs as they search for value, trust, and ways to live life to its fullest in this new reality.
For more information about Google Search and marketing innovations, read the full Think With Google: Year in Search 2022 Philippines report.