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Latest Microsoft COVID-19 User Insights: May 2020

May 28, 2020
written by Danielle Strouther
Product Marketing Expert
Microsoft COVID-19 May Trends Header Image

Discover what the latest search interests are during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Microsoft data shared exclusively with Adzooma.

At Adzooma, we’ve been sharing exclusive search data showing exactly how lockdown has affected consumer behaviour.

Our last update showed Google search increases for:

  • Information about unemployment and furlough during the lockdown
  • Vitamin D as people looked for ways to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy
  • Nature walks near people as they expanded their daily exercise routes 
  • Previous football games as the nation felt nostalgic for their old favourites

Today, we’re revealing what May in lockdown has brought with search data straight from Microsoft’s HQ.

A big increase in home & garden  

UK residents have faced another month in lockdown. As a result, interest in home & garden products and equipment have continued to soar with a 70% YoY (Year on Year) growth in search volumes. 

‘Garden & Patio’ also received a huge spike in search increase after the lockdown was announced, which aligned with the hot weather in the UK. Personally, I’m loving it. It’s the most tanned I’ve ever been at work.

Graph showing that indexed searches for 'Garden & Patio' increased after the UK lockdown was annouced.

For the home & garden subcategories:

  • Home furnishing had a 110% YoY increase
  • Garden & patio had a 57% YoY increase
  • Appliances had a 38% YoY increase
  • Bedding & linen had a 3% YoY increase

Interestingly enough, furniture had a 1% YoY decrease and kitchens had a massive 19% decrease. This shows us that customers are interested in improving their homes and spaces. But with restrictions in place, such as tradespeople not being allowed inside occupied homes, this focus has been on little facelifts rather than big transformations

The increased demand for home & garden has also improved CTR (Click-Through-Rate) for related terms across Microsoft Advertising. 

These are the biggest queries that have seen WoW (Week on Week) increase for both CTR and CPC (Cost Per Click):

Category  Query Phrase  WoW CTR  WoW CPC
Appliances Washers Dryers 106% 1094%
Bedding & Linen Deep fitted sheets 433% -27%
Furniture Cheap dining chairs 119% -15% 
Garden & Patio Metal garden ornaments  147% -6%
Home Furnishing Orange Curtains 575% -72% 
Kitchen  Shot glasses 299% -45% 

The takeaway? This is a great time to advertise your home & garden wares online.

Changing online behaviour for a senior audience

The pandemic has helped an entire generation get online, as UKOM data shows that those aged 65+ have increased their online usage by 12% this year. On the Microsoft Search Network alone, there was a 73% YoY increase in searches from those aged 65+. 

Those aged 65+ aren’t the only demographic to be online more, as those aged 18-24 have also increased their online usage by 12%. But what makes the senior searches more special is that they are the only age group to have also increased clicks YoY.

YoY searches broke down by age group, showing an increase in searches for those aged 65+.

As we’ve pointed out previously, the demographics that Microsoft advertising can reach are not to be ignored. Just to recap your memory:

  • Nearly three-quarters of Microsoft users are over 35.
  • 44% have graduated from college.  
  • A third have a household income of over $100,000. 12% are in the top-earning bracket. 
  • Microsoft users are likely to spend 52% more online.

If you’re thinking of targeting a senior audience, now’s the time to set up your Microsoft campaigns.

What do senior users search for? 

One of the most in-demand searches for those aged 65+ is real estate, which has more than doubled the YoY clicks for this industry.

One of the most interesting pieces of data is the top 10 search terms in this industry. 

Rank 65+ Under 65
1 sake sale
2 property property
3 Rightmove  house
4 UK homes 
5 bungalows houses
6 cottages land
7 prices UK
8 skyes estate
9 agents agents
10 council Rightmove 

Those who were 65+ tend to search more for smaller and more isolated accommodation, such as bungalows and cottages, while those under 65 would use terms like ‘homes’ or ‘houses’. In addition, those aged 65+ are more likely to use the term ‘price’ in their query.

The difference in terms can also be seen in the health care sector, where those aged 65+ are more likely to search for health supplements and ointments online, such as tablets, vitamins and cream. In contrast, under 65s are more likely to search for diseases, syndromes and glasses. 

Additionally, those aged under 65 were also more likely to compare brands by using terms such as ‘best’.

Rank 65+ Under 65
2 symptoms hospital
3 tablets symptoms 
4 vitamin care
5 treatment online
6 mobility disease
7 blood syndrome
8 online glasses
9 pain best
10 cream NHS

Keep updated

We’ll be posting more insights and data as they happen. Stay in the loop by following us on Twitter or signing up to our newsletter today.

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