Year in Search 2020: Insights for brands in Malaysia

This post is done in partnership with Google Malaysia.

Malaysians expect the internet to play many different roles, including being a personal entertainer, local restaurant guide, and an all-round source of truth. This continues to remain true, especially as physical movements and contact have become restricted, spurring an increased interest and reliance on the internet.

In order to deliver relevant and tailored information that consumers need, marketers first need to understand when and what Malaysians are looking for when they go online – whether they’re shopping for a new device, binge-watching Setelah Terlafaznya Akad, or craving the best nasi lemak nearby.

In the “Year in Search 2020: Malaysia” summary report, we’ll reveal some major trends emerging across the country and offer guidance to brands looking to better serve their consumers in the moments that matter most.

Tailored to me

With so much information at their fingertips, Malaysians are now looking for more than just the highest quality product. “Near me” searches have grown 2.3X in the past two years (2.2X for “best” + “near me” and 1.2X for “terdekat”, or “close by”), while searches for “open now” have grown 1.8X — they clearly want options that are convenient, easy to buy, and on their terms.

This is especially apparent for bigger ticket items such as tech devices and travel plans, where Malaysians turn to Search to make sure they’re getting the best device available or making the most of their vacation days. They’re equally demanding when it comes to finding personal products that meet their individual needs, as illustrated by a jump in searches for “best serum for ...” (+65%) and “best laptop for ...” (+70%).

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Consumers’ quest for the best shows they want results that are tailored to their specific needs. And while “best” will mean different things to different people – be it best value, most efficient, or most beautifully designed – consumers will nonetheless expect brands to understand their intent and deliver precisely what they’re looking for.

Offline starts online

With the ability to do online research ahead of time, Malaysians are more informed than ever by the time they enter a store. The growth of the mobile web has triggered more on-the-go searches from people in their moments of need, whether they want to satisfy a craving (+420% for “durian near me” searches), get a tune-up en route to their destination (+130% for “car service near me”), or indulge in a little self-care (+140% for “massage near me”).

In an increasingly digital-first country, online and offline experiences are often one and the same. Whether they’re spending time with friends or shopping in-store with a smartphone in-hand, every moment is a new opportunity for brands to show up and connect.

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Eco-friendly economy

Fuelled by recent government initiatives and local environmental NGOs and brands, the sustainability movement has influenced Malaysians’ way of life and how businesses operate. Malaysians are increasingly looking for brands that take the lead on promoting products and services with low environmental impact, such as biodegradable plastic (+95%), second hand furniture (+70%), and used cars (+25%).

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Malaysians are also educating themselves on their impact on the environment, from limiting waste or water usage in their everyday lives (+75% in searches for “zero waste” and +34% in searches for “carbon footprint”) to purchasing products that have a sustainable and ethical supply/production chain (+110% growth in searches for “sustainable fashion”).

For more trends and detailed insights, read the full article at Think with Google APAC and download the full Year in Search: Malaysia report HERE.