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World Map: Christmas-21 vs Covid-19

Which topic do people care more about?

Christmas is usually at the top of people’s minds when December comes. However, since Covid-19 stormed in, everything has changed. This year, a world war between Christmas and Covid-19 has exploded to answer a question: Who is better at grabbing people’s attention? Let’s dig deeper to find out the answer and how retailers can prepare for these changes before and after Christmas 2021 comes.

This interactive map below shows the search volume in percentage (%) of two search terms “christmas” and “covid” to compare which topic was preferably searched in 167 countries. The green color indicates that the search term “christmas” has a higher search volume in a few countries. On the other hand, the red color reflects how the term “covid” dominates the search volume in most countries. These data were collected from Google Trends in 30 days, from 2nd to 29th November 2021 by Magestore.

*Please use your mouse cursor to interact with the map.

Made by Magestore

Search volume for Christmas and Covid in the last 30 days

Search volume Chrismas vs Covid

According to the data collected from 6th November to 3rd December, the search demand for topics about Christmas and Covid-19 is on a rise. However, it can be seen that the search volume for Coronavirus-related topics is sometimes twice as much as the search volume for Christmas. This might indicate that people around the world are concerning more about the complexity of the new Covid variant rather than thinking of celebrating this Christmas.

Top countries that search for Christmas and Covid

Top countries search for Christmas
  • More than 50% of US and UK citizens are searching for news about Christmas rather than about Covid-19.
  • About 2 in 5 people living in Norway and Ireland are more optimistic about this Christmas than those in other European countries.
  • The Philippines is considered the top Asian country that has high search demand for Christmas.
Top countries search for Covid
  • Vietnam is the top country whose residents are concerned about Covid-19 rather than thinking of enjoying this Christmas.
  • Italy, despite being the first nation to celebrate Christmas, is among the top European countries that care more about the Covid than Christmas 2021.
  • Brazil is the top South American country whose citizens search more about the Covid-19 than Christmas holidays.

Top related search terms


top search terms related to Chritstmas topics


search terms related to Covid
  • When the new Covid-19 variant — Omicron spreads out, global citizens seem to pay more attention to the risk of participating in social activities in the upcoming holidays. That’s why topics related to the Covid vaccine, Covid test, and Covid cases are now on top of mind.

Will the new variant — Omicron ruin this Christmas 2021?

We can easily see the red color covers almost all of the world map above. People worldwide are worried about how they are going to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

To cancel or not to cancel is the top concern among US travelers who have booked their holiday trip this Christmas. And now they’re anxious that the Omicron variant may destroy their travel plans.

Europe is seeing how Omicron affects Christmas with:

  • Many companies are scaling back their Christmas party plans.
  • Bars and restaurants are seeing more and more cancellations.

However, the biblical birthplace of Jesus — Bethlehem still hopes the new variant won’t wreck Christmas 2021.

What do you think about this question? Let us know your thoughts on the comment below.

If you have planned to enjoy this Christmas in public places, make sure you follow the CDC guidelines for safer ways to enjoy happy holidays.


Natural History Museum in London

How this affects consumer shopping behaviors towards Christmas 2021

2021 may be a tough year for the retail industry when supply chain disruptions, shipping delays, labor shortages due to Covid 19 have become top challenges facing any retailer. Christmas is right around the corner. How will the U.S. consumers celebrate this Christmas?

What will consumers plan to gift and prefer to receive?

(The data is from Christmas gift plans and preferences of Statista.)

Plan to gift


vouchers/gift cards


clothing, textiles, shoes


money (cash or transfer)


beauty products


food, drinks

Prefer to receive


money (cash or transfer)


vouchers/gift cards


clothing, textiles, shoes


food, drinks


smartphones and tablets

Where will they buy food and drinks for Christmas?

96% of household celebrates Christmas. Most of them expect to purchase their Christmas food and drinks from grocery stores, followed by mass and club/wholesale retailers.

How much will consumers spend on food and drinks for Christmas?

Nearly two-fifths of consumers say, they’ll spend more than $100 on their Christmas food and drinks in a typical year. This year, over two-thirds, expect to spend roughly the same amount as they have in the past, with one-fifth expecting to spend more.

Where will they buy their Christmas gifts?

More than two-thirds of consumers say they’ll refer to mass retailers and online channels for Christmas gifts. Club/wholesale ranks top 3 for gift shopping and is expected to be the only channel with sales increase.

How will consumers react to the new Omicron variant?

Consumers may change their spending patterns and opt for electronics, toys, apparel, and other items instead of vacations and movie tickets this holiday season. This actually can bring more sales to the retailers, said Matt Shay — CEO of National Retail Federation last Tuesday.

What does it mean for retailers? It’s is high time for you to “stoke the Christmas spirit to hit lofty holiday sales targets”, said CNBC.

The new coronavirus variant could direct more dollars toward electronics, toys, apparel and other items instead of vacations and movie tickets.

Matt ShayCEO, National Retail Federation

What should retailers do to capture more sales on Christmas 2021?

We’ve been through one of the busiest sales seasons of the year with Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Super Saturday, Cyber Monday. And now is Christmas. As 36% of consumers still shop for Christmas gifts during December, you’d better take your time to convert more sales.

Offer buy now, pay later option

This is the way how the winners of Black Friday 2021 made it easier for customers to shop from them. Customers can browse their favorite items and put them on layaway which will be paid overtime.

This option helps customers deal with higher prices — especially in the electronics industry, and boost the buy-now-pay-later spending this November up to 422% and order volume up 438%, compared to a similar period in 2019, according to Adobe.

Consumers have chosen this payment option on 8% of their Cyber Week orders so far, up 31% from last year, said Salesforce.

Let’s give customers more choices to shop from you and help bring them a merry Christmas.

Adapt to the new habit — curbside pickup or click and collect

Curbside pickup remains a popular shopping habit during the pandemic. Adobe found in November so far, the curbside pickup has increased up to 70% compared to 2020, 2019. And last November 26th, curbside pickup accounted for 20% of online orders.

Let’s provide safety for customers and drive more sales.

Optimize sites for mobile to win customers faster

Black Friday witnessed mobile shopping contributing 44.4% of online sales, showing an increase of 10.6% year-over-year, revealed Adobe. Notably, a majority of customers like to search for deals on their phones before buying on desktop. In detail, smartphone visits accounted for 62.2% compared to desktop, increased by 2.2% from 2020.

When speed means more customer visits, mobile optimization is worth your investment.

Expand customer choices with gift cards

36% of consumers will look for vouchers or gift cards this Christmas. As this holiday season witnessed the significant influence of stockouts, you should prepare gift cards as an alternative to your unavailable inventory.

Prepare for returns, no jokes

Why returns? We guess that you don’t want it to take place in your stores, especially in such a difficult year like 2021. But retailers experienced a 41% increase in returns of online orders for the 2020 holiday season, according to Loop Returns. Who can ensure this won’t happen this year.

Better safe than sorry. You should be aware and get prepared for the situation. We all want to keep long-lasting relationships with customers, why don’t we give them reward points or store credits in exchange for the returned items?

What to look at for retail in 2022?

The retail industry over two years has revolved around the Covid-19. We can’t indicate that all the current retail trends are due to the pandemic. However, Covid has accelerated many changes in the industry.

We are coming to the end of 2021 and it’s time to see which retail trends are going to shape the industry in 2022.

Go omnichannel or go home

Seamless integration of online and offline shopping will be critical to the success of retail next year. The pandemic pushed retailers to be present online in order to survive and consumers are getting more and more used to online shopping. They expect to have consistent and engaging experiences across channels including websites, social media platforms where they can browse and purchase products easily.

Moreover, personalization now becomes a must-have, when 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And 76% share they get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. 

How can we provide customized experiences in all touchpoints? First thing first, let’s make sure you can collect all customer data from their buying journey, analyze it, and design a tailored end-to-end shopping experience for them.

Buy now pay later will be a major factor to boost sales

2021 holiday season has seen a massive increase in the number of sales with the buy now, pay later (BNPL). This option has been popular for years and exploded in 2021 when big retailers like Walmart has joined the loop. 

As consumers all want convenience and young consumers are captivated by this new payment solution, it signals a great chance for retailers to increase sales.

Fast delivery and fulfillment help retailers to stand out

Customers can change their shopping behaviors and habits but their expectation to have their products right after making a purchase may never change. And this actually brings about an ideal opportunity for small and mid-sized retailers to compete with larger counterparts.

Two-day delivery is becoming the standard. Shoppers got used to having fast, same-day, and sometimes even overnight delivery options during Covid and it’s been an expectation. Alternatives like BOPIS and curbside delivery also rose in demand. Retailers can design pleasant shipping and delivery experiences to foster customer brand loyalty.

Methodology and use statement


To conduct this study, we collected search term data from Google Trends in 30 days, from 2nd November 2021 to 29th November 2021.

Besides, we referred to many reliable sources for retail data, researches including National Retail Federation, Adobe Insights, McKinsey & Company, Numerator, CNBC, etc. to strengthen our work.

Fair use statement

Feel free to share our project with those in need, so long as it’s for non-commercial purposes. Just make sure that you insert a link back to this page so that your readers can access our full research.

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