With deeper internet penetration and accessibility, Indians today prefer to consume content in the language of their choice. In India, 90% of internet users prefer to use their local language to search and carry out tasks online, ‘Google’s Year in Search 2020: India for determined progress’ report stated. Last year, search queries for ‘translate’ increased by over 50%, while 50% of Google Discover users consumed content in Indian languages. There was a 42% increase of daily heavy internet users, as Indians leaned into their innate curiosity and inquisitiveness to heal, recuperate and find solutions to problems they never thought they would encounter. Furthermore, with rapid digitisation and new internet users growing, the “3Vs” voice, video and vernacular, have become essential to the way Indians interact with the internet.
According to the report, digital has become the preferred channel — not only for discovery, comparisons, and quotes — but also for sales. For instance, Google saw a year-over-year increase in search queries for second hand laptops (+60%) and second hand cars (+30%) as people searched for ways to be more frugal at home. Meanwhile, search interest for stock market and buy mutual funds grew by 120% year-on-year and 50% year-on-year respectively, as people sought a means to feel more financially secure. Further, on-demand services, such as online doctor consultations increased by 300%.
Moreover, with schools and colleges shut down, Indians turned toward the digital platform to learn and upskill their lives, the report stated. As Indians turned to the internet to make their present lives easier and their future lives more sustainable, the company saw over 70% year-on-year growth in search queries for ‘how to make an app’ and interest in YouTube searches for coding increased by 2.3 times year-on-year.
“The internet has become the go-to destination for Indians to satiate their curiosity; they are learning how to create apps and new skincare routines and are looking for certificated courses to future-proof their careers. But we must also acknowledge that not everyone has access to an electronic device or the internet yet. We must work to address this digital divide so that every Indian has equal access to the learning and opportunities that technology provides,” Sapna Chadha, senior country marketing director, Google Southeast Asia and India, said.