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Online Trends

Published December 9th 2020

The Products That Won in 2020

It’s been a tough year for so many businesses, but some products saw more demand than anyone could have expected at the beginning of 2020.

In a recent blog we covered products which had fallen out of popularity, despite the fact that they were hugely popular pre-pandemic.

In this blog, we’re doing the opposite. We’re taking a look at the social data around products that were under-appreciated before the pandemic, but that became hugely popular this year.

Let’s hear it for soap and hand sanitizer

Soap, hand sanitizer, and other hand washing aids have been the real hero products in 2020.

In the before times, talking about soap, hand sanitizer, or hand washing online was relatively niche. This year, mentions of them increased 157% compared to the average number in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

In terms of public awareness of what’s needed to help stop the spread of the virus, this is a win for everyone.

Working from home essentials

Perhaps the quickest and most dramatic change of 2020 was home working.

Within days, the pandemic had uprooted many of us from our (often gross) offices and dropped us into our home offices — or, at least, onto our couches.

In fact, mentions of home working increased 505% in 2020 compared to the average number across 2017, 2018, and 2019.

But what were people talking about in home working conversations? In the last eleven months we found people were discussing equipment and asking for recommendations for making working from home a little more comfortable:

  • Chairs – 292k mentions
  • Computers – 389k mentions
  • Desks and tables – 481k mentions

Perhaps worryingly, we also found 907k mentions of back, neck, and eye pain within work from home conversation. These are key drivers for people investing in more suitable desks, chairs, and computer equipment. A recent Brandwatch study found that 64% of consumers who work from home have either made a purchase to improve their home-working experience or plan to soon.

Triumph in tech

Mentions of technology products — from TVs to smartphones to games consoles — increased 32% in the last eleven months compared to the same period in 2019.

Conversation about laptops and PCs were up 27% in the last eleven months compared to the same period in 2019. People relied on social media for recommendations about products, and also asked for advice on finding a computer after demand soared and many went out of stock.

Phone mentions increased 17% in the last eleven months compared to the same period in 2019, emphasizing how much consumers prioritized connection in 2020.

Meanwhile, conversation about TVs and games consoles increased 34% and 66% respectively, an indication of how vital entertainment has become this year while staying home. Games console interest was driven by lockdown hits like Animal Crossing, as well as next-gen console releases.

Find out more about how consumer’s tech needs changed in 2020 in our new, free report.

Home comforts

With lockdowns and stay-home orders in place at various points around the world, people took to social media this year to discuss how they were making their home environments as functional and as pleasant as possible.

This has unexpectedly made house plants the unsung pick-me-up of 2020. House plant conversation has remained high throughout the pandemic. If you want to know which plant has been most popular, check out our research here.

Online conversations about home DIY, gardening, and home organization have fallen since the beginning of the outbreak, but mentions have remained above pre-pandemic levels.

Surprising and flammable

Is there anything cheaper or easier than a candle to restore some zen?

Consumers don’t think so. We found that, unlike many products on this list that saw a rise and decline, candle conversation has continued to increase by an average of 34% each month in 2020.

And, according to Google Trends data, worldwide search interest in candles just reached a five year high, coinciding with end of the year celebrations.

Want to know more about this data? Find us @BW_React or drop us an email at [email protected]

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