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Online and hyperlocal services, E-learning related Searches See Massive Growth Due to the Pandemic: InMobi

The past year has been pivotal for digital marketing with digital growth leapfrogging across industries. According to the InMobi Report: Search in India – 2021 Trends Report, leveraging insights from the Microsoft Advertising team, search has been steadily growing as a digital medium as the demand for online services has significantly spiked in the last year. The report showcases insights on the shift in netizens’ online behaviour and their search preferences from the data analysed between April 2020 and June 2021.

Commenting on the search trends in India, Rohit Dosi, Director, Microsoft Advertising at InMobi, “In the last few years, digital content consumption has increased manifold. The pandemic has further accelerated digital adoption with people spending significant time on their PC, phones, and tablet screens. These behavioural changes have opened up newer avenues for search advertising and it will perhaps be one of the most effective mediums for brands to reach out to the right audience.”

Key Highlights

  • 125% increase in search for immunity and diet-related services
  • 10x Y-o-Y increase in vehicle insurance-related searches
  •  24x increase in branded searches in OTT & music
  •  52% increase in online games related searches
  •  25% of digital media spend accounted for search advertising
  • Physical Fitness and Financial Investments gain more focus amongst users

With people starting to spend more time indoors and restrictions on movement for the better part of the year, people increasingly opted for online consultations and nutritional guidance. During this period, there was a 125% increase in immunity related searches, while home-fitness related searches like online dance and home gym saw 28x and 14x increase respectively.

There has been a shift in investment preference from physical assets to financial instruments in the past year and an increased preference for using digital channels. Asset management-related searches increased by 13x while those related to digital payments continued to grow at 12%.

Hyperlocal, Entertainment, and E-learning searches witness significant increase

Staying at home also provided a significant boost to e-commerce platforms. As people continue to prefer staying indoors, the focus has shifted from supermarkets to local and online grocery stores, and there has been a spike in the demand for hyperlocal delivery services. For instance, a 15x increase was observed for searches related to cake delivery with people now celebrating more at home.

With theatres shut, concerts suspended, and people working remotely from their homes, there has been a massive increase in search volume for entertainment and music content. Branded searches in OTT & music shot up as people opted for online content streaming services at home. A 28x increase was observed for the keyword ‘most popular Netflix series’ and 381x for ‘cricket live score’. There has also been a significant increase in online gaming which is reflected in the 52% increase in online games related searches. Additionally, searches for education and e-learning related content also saw a massive spike. People have been investing a lot of effort in future-proofing their careers by learning skills that would either help them transition to a new career or progress in the existing one. ​There has been a 367% increase in searches related to ‘learning online’, while a 103% increase in those related to ‘training’.

“The massive shift in an individual’s online browsing and searching pattern has paved the way for brands looking to invest in search advertising. There has been a steady growth of search as a digital medium across PC and Mobile in India with approximately 25% of digital media spends accounting for search advertising. While some brands have already started leveraging this medium to achieve their larger business goals, others can leverage search advertising to create a smarter customer journey to reach the right audience, with the right message,” concluded Dosi.

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