As the old saying goes, pets are family. And Google's search data clearly shows that consumers in the U.S. put their furry friends first when searching for car accessories.
Dogs and pet-related search queries continue to rise, particularly in the U.S., according to Google's Auto Trends Report. Some of the top trending terms include "dog car seat," "dog car seat covers," "car seats for dogs," "pet car hammock," "small dog car seat," "dog car seat belt," and "dog steps for car."
Google identified several major search trends by pulling top volume queries related to the automotive category and looking at their monthly volume from September 2015 to August 2017. Analysts also looked beyond Google Search to YouTube data, analyzing the language within top related videos to reveal how trends are talked about and implications for brands. Those gathering the data also spoke with 1,000 consumers across the three markets to better understand how the trends emerge.
Americans are outfitting their cars for pets. I drive a convertible, and a few years ago I purchased a harness for my Wheaten Terrier, so when I drive with the top down and she sees a furry friend in the car next to her she doesn't try to jump out.
Consumers in Germany and Japan also search for pet-related vehicle equipment and accessories, but Americans were 36 times more likely than the average person in Germany and 10 times more likely than the average person in Japan to do so.
German consumers love their pets, but they also love digital music and entertainment. In Germany, DAB, or Digital Audio Broadcasting, is a top trending search term, according to the report. Interest is likely driven by a move to convert all radio and television services to digital in the coming years.
Top rising searches in Japan skew toward customizing car interiors with seat covers to fridges and humidifiers, all geared toward comfort and aesthetics when away from home.
Overall, consumers are interested in onboard cameras, from dash cams to back-up cameras. After market searches for “mirror” and “hidden” onboard cameras are gaining in popularity in the U.S., which is seeing a growth rate of 303% year over year, and Japan at a growth rate of 28%.
Cameras provide safety, another pair of eyes. Across the top 100 dash cam review videos on YouTube, influencers continue to highlight onboard features that bring improvements in security, from nighttime vision to motion detection.
As consumers look to protect their personal property, popular keywords rising in the top 100 review videos for dash cams include automatic at 54%, video quality at 43%, detection at 39% and nighttime at 36%.
It's a shame, but we now live in a world where consumers believe they must use security systems to protect their homes and now their cars with surveillance systems, which suggests the car alarm is no longer enough.
Perhaps leave the worries behind for a few hours and enjoy the weekend with your furry four-legged friends, but make sure to keep them safe.