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Social media and streaming effects on marketplace searches and consumer behavior

Social media and streaming effects on marketplace searches and consumer behavior

Did you know that the book and series “Bridgerton” by Julia Quinn has had the highest and steady growth search between December 2020 and January 2021, for almost all EU countries where Amazon operates except for the Netherlands? 

In Italy, Spain, UK, France and Germany the keywords “Bridgerton” and “Julia Quinn” were the common denominator in user queries, taking the lead with top exponential growth during New Year.

Thanks to our technology, Witailer Intelligence, we at Witailer constantly analyze marketplace search traffic data to understand new trends and the effect they could have on e-commerce and our clients’ brands. 

One of the undeniable key trends of 2020 is the growing importance of streaming services and social media on our lives and this is clearly reflected in the customers’ search behavior when shopping. We analyzed these trends to offer a deep dive and our insights below.

Reversible Octopus Plushies

It all started back in August, when the Reversible Octopus Plushies started as a TikTok trend to express -without words- good or bad moods. The toy gained its momentum not only during the summer, but throughout the following months. 

On TikTok, hashtags referring to this product have gained a huge popularity, with some of them resulting in over 7.4M views* (#octopusplush, #octopusplushie and #octoplushie):

tik-tok-octopus-plushie

(*info obtained from a Witailer employee private account)

amazon-reversible-octopus-plushie

With Witailer Intelligence tool, we were able to monitor the evolution of this trend on Amazon month by month, country by country, and analyze the average search term rank of “reversible octopus plushies” keywords.  As can be seen from the graph below, in the past year all EU 5 countries have recorded a significant increase peaking in popularity around the end of the summer. 

In Spain in particular the Reversible Octopus Plushies craze was pronounced: from its first appearance in July to the very end of December, the search rank of “pulpo reversible” showed an impressive growth rate of 677%, managing to be the most searched item at Christmas (week 51), ranking ahead of products like wireless headphones (ranking 2nd) and Alexa products (ranking 3rd).

The Queen’s Gambit

TikTok is not the only platform to influence user searches and consumer behavior. The hit Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit”, with 62M viewers in the first 28 days after its debut, has led to a significant rise in popularity of chess.

In the weeks following the release of the show, worldwide Google searches for chess have increased exponentially, just like the number of new players on online chess playing websites such as Chess.com. According to The Guardian, “the online retailer eBay said US sales of chess sets have soared by 60% since last year as more people spend time at home. And since the release of The Queen’s Gambit, sales of chess sets and accessories shot up by nearly 215%.”

queens-gambit-amazon-trends

We analyzed the evolution of the search rank for the term “chess set” (and its corresponding translations) and found that across all EU5 countries they followed roughly the same pattern. The surge in searches started concurrently with the show’s debut on October 23 (week 43) and the weekly growth rate for this term in the following weeks (up to week 52) fluctuated between a minimum of 11% in France, to a maximum of 28% in Italy. 

 

Once again, Spain was the country where the increase was most pronounced, with the search term “ajedrez” (chess) positioning as 136th during the month December. As a basis for comparison, search terms with a similar rank on Amazon.es, during the same period, were “star wars” (ranked 118th) and “Lego harry potter” (ranked 150th).

Amazon users’ searches related to chess accessories also increased substantially during the same period in all EU countries. Among the most searched terms were “chess clock” and “chess pieces”, while the most demanding enthusiasts focused on specific kinds of chess boards, resulting in a surge of search queries such as “luxury chess set”, “wooden chess set”, “marble chess set”, “glass chess set”, and the less conventional “harry potter chess set”. 

Fun fact: in the first episode of the show, the character of Mr. Shaibel gives nine-year-old Beth a copy of “Modern Chess Openings”, a real book on chess strategy originally published in 1911. In the aftermath of the series’ release, this book rose from obscurity to be one of the top sold products in the Books product category almost anywhere, rising from Best Seller Rank of 325,000th to 6,000th (Top 1% Sales Rank in its category on Amazon.co.uk). 

Conclusion

Having an understanding of how users search and buy on Amazon, helps us provide better advice to our clients when advertising their official brand stores, launching new products or even organizing paid advertising campaigns (both for Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products) not to miss search advertising trends.

A retail intelligence solution such as Witailer Intelligence is used daily in-company to have a comprehensive understanding of each stage of the sales funnel: from search to consideration to conversion. A discoverability function is also available within the tool to monitor search terms that are gaining attention and increasing search term average position.

If you’d like to receive advice or keep up with the latest trends, follow us to know more.

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