The Skinny on Anxiety eCommerce: What are the Anxious, the Stressed, and the Burnt Out Searching for?

 In Browsing, Shopping

In the midst of America’s mental health crisis, the anxiety economy is on the rise with promises to help you feel better.

While there are medications that market to cure and treat anxiety and stress-related ailments, consumers continue to look towards unconventional avenues to remedy their health woes.

Several products are hitting the mainstream market with claims to momentarily mitigate or distract the nagging voice of your anxiety. And those hold power.

As a result, anxiety consumerism is growing too, with successful products such as the weighted blanket and the fidget spinner taking over for more costly and time-consuming self-care options like therapy, regular exercise, meditation and lowering caffeine intake.

Additionally, consumers are drifting away from pharmaceutical companies and gravitating towards more holistic approaches for anxiety and stress treatment. Although scientists still don’t know much about it, the promise of cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders is good news for those who suffer from them and encouraging many to think outside the box about ways to help.

Applying data from Jumpshot, we tried to understand what that encouragement looks like in the behavior of shoppers. We measured growth from 2017 to 2018 for products surrounding specific keywords, conversions and search volumes on Amazon and other leading eCommerce retailers to get an idea of what anxious and stressed consumers are scouting.

Google Search Terms for Anxiety Products

Our analysts studied the keyword “anxiety” and terms surrounding the condition, including “anxiety treatment,” “anxiety medication,” “anxiety CBD oil,” “products for anxiety,” and “natural remedies for anxiety” to determine what change has occurred year-over-year.

The data indicated YoY, anxiety related google searches remained relatively steady. We counted about 3.1 million searches on Google in 2017 and 3 million in 2018.

The data reflects strong seasonality, with October and March steadily showing higher than average searches for anxiety products and key terms.

So far in 2019, we’ve seen a bit of growth. March alone showed a 15% increase YoY in search volumes.

Search Volume for CBD, Hemp, and Anxiety Products

To evaluate product search volume surrounding anxiety, CBD and hemp products, and keywords, we looked at the following five domains: amazon.com, etsy.com, google.com, target.com, walmart.com.

Jumpshot’s data reveals Google dominates search surrounding key items, including “weighted blankets,” “CBD Oil,” “GABA medication,” “essential oils,” and “fidget spinners.” For these terms, the data show an upward trend in searches over the last two years.

In 2017, Google outpaced Amazon in search volumes with a count 3x that of Amazon’s. Google had 124M vs. Amazon at 34M searches. Unsurprisingly, Google continued to drive high volumes in 2018, garnering search volumes that reached 4x Amazon’s count—157M (Google) vs. 39M (Amazon) searches.

Across the five domains, most showed growth YoY. But Walmart was not a destination for the anxious, as anxiety searches saw negative 5% growth.

Here too, seasonality trends surface across the board. November and December 2018 proved to be strong months. November and December in 2018 represented between 22% and 71% of total yearly search volume across the five domains. Perhaps the seasonally intense growth can be attributed to temperature changes during the winter and increased stress with the end of the year quickly approaching.

Anxiety Related Product Views and Conversions YoY

Anxiety related product views increased annually with almost 40% growth from 2017 to 2018, growing from 76.5M to 105.6M views. Continuing the pattern we have been seeing, views also have a strong seasonality. Product views in November and December, like searches, tend to be higher than the average. Although views are growing YoY, Q1 2019 numbers dipped 5% below numbers for the same quarter in 2018.

YoY, conversion rates (CR) for anxiety products stayed steady at 7-8%. Conversions for these products peaked to over 9% in Q1 2019.

CBD and Hemp Product Views and Conversions YoY

As we explored in a previous article, there’s currently a lot of curiosity in the CBD market.  As anticipated, we saw a strong upward trend in consumer interest, as product views in 2018 (659,751) grew 5x higher than total views in 2017 (126,703).

In Q1 of 2019 alone, that count surpassed the total count for 2017 at 160,863. While impressive, this is lower than the 2018 Q4 peak at 172,579 views, though holiday shopping in Q4 likely contributed. That’s when conversion rates peak for CBD products.

While 2017 had fewer views, buyers converted more regularly. January and September in both 2017 and 2018 interestingly see surges in conversion rates. More than a fifth of product viewers ended up converting in those months in 2017, and in 2018 those months were strong again.

March has become a dependably strong month for conversions—this might be due to more rain in spring triggering those with seasonal depression or mood fluctuations. In March 2019, 10.7% of views of a CBD products lead to a purchase, consistent with 2018’s 10.5% rate.

Clicking, Spinning and Coloring Towards Calmness

These results suggest eCommerce consumers are consistently interested in fast remedies for anxiety conditions. They are willing to take a gamble on clicking, flipping, spinning, coloring, squeezing squishy toys, sleeping under weighted blankets, and trying anything else the anxiety economy promises will bring calmness. We will continue to follow this story throughout 2019.

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