Yext, Inc. (NYSE: YEXT), the Search Experience Cloud company, today announced the release of its COVID-19 Global Search and Engagement Report to help illuminate the impact the COVID-19 epidemic has had on consumer search behavior across industries around the world. The report follows an 84% increase* in the number of updates clients have made in the Yext platform. The uptick indicates businesses are relying on their Yext Knowledge Graphs to provide their customers with accurate and timely information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drawing from a mix of Yext and third-party data spanning more than 100 publishers including Google and Bing, the report presents a comprehensive analysis of global search trends and consumer behavior in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, with detailed insights by date, region, industry vertical, subvertical, and more.
The report is accompanied by Yext’s interactive COVID-19 Search Data Hub, where users can apply custom country and industry filters to the dataset to further explore search volume and behavior recorded during the pandemic.
“In just a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed the world as we know it,” said Zahid Zakaria, Senior Director of Insights and Analytics at Yext. “Analyzing the search data we have from this period opens up a fascinating window into when, where, and why those changes manifest. From the swell in searches pertaining to grocery stores to the halt in travel queries, we hope that our data and findings will help businesses and consumers make sense of the current situation and what they might expect as the pandemic continues to unfold.”
Some key insights** from Yext’s COVID-19 Global Search and Engagement Report include:
- North America | Working from home creates a different kind of traffic. With more and more businesses temporarily shuttering their offices and directing their staff to work remotely, employees are increasingly looking for home office equipment. Search volume spiked 206% above expected levels in March for office supply stores, 76% for electronics retailers, and 56% for pet stores.
- North America | Telemedicine takes off. With doctors recommending phone appointments over in-person visits, clicks for directions to hospitals bottomed out at 70% below expected levels in March. Clicks to call emergency rooms and urgent care peaked at 57% and 54% above expected levels, respectively, as patients sought out medical advice and COVID-19 test availability.
- North America | Staycations are the new normal. Mirroring global trends for the hospitality industry, consumer actions around travel dipped significantly as restrictions and bans have been imposed. Search volume for hotels plunged to 54% below expected levels in March, while clicks for directions fell 95% below expected levels.
- North America | The market drops, but clicks soar. As economic uncertainty mounts and markets experience record drops, search volume for mortgage and investment services peaked at 71% and 52% above expected levels, respectively, in March. People are phoning their advisors for guidance on mortgages and investments, with clicks to call for mortgage services reaching up to 82% above expected levels.
- Germany | Luxury is put on hold. Unsurprisingly, search volume for luxury vendors dropped to 95% below expected levels in March as non-essential retailers closed their doors. All consumer actions — including clicks to call, clicks for directions, and clicks to websites — also plummeted to 95% below expected levels for this industry.
- Italy | People literally send their love and support. Mailing services are in high demand to send packages and stay connected with friends and family in the midst of extreme restrictions on travel or public gatherings. Not only did local search volume to mailing services peak at 114% above expected levels near the end of March, clicks to call these businesses reached 198% above expected levels.
- France and United Kingdom | Diners opt to eat at home. Reflecting trends around the world, local search volume for restaurants in both France and the UK plunged to 95% below expected levels in March, as restaurants temporarily closed or transitioned to takeout and delivery. Clicks for directions to restaurants in these countries saw the same precipitous drop to 95% below expected levels.
- Japan | People rush to stock their shelves. Following news of the outbreak in Japan, search volume in the region increased significantly for grocery stores, peaking at 307% above expected levels near the end of February. Clicks to call local supermarkets were particularly high, reaching up to 78% above expected levels.
*The 84% increase in fact updates in the Yext Knowledge Graph compares fact updates from March 10, 2020 to April 7, 2020 relative to the February 9, 2020 to March 9, 2020 period.
**Yext analyzed data from the 100+ publishers in the Yext Knowledge Network in order to understand how local search volume compares against expected levels following the COVID-19 pandemic. Our methodology calculates the daily percentage change by comparing consumer search and engagement volume within a specific industry for certain days in 2020 to the volume recorded on the same days of the year in 2019 after adjusting for annual growth, which are then averaged over a period of a few days.