What Can Google Trends Tell Managers About Predicting Sales?

By some estimates, Google processes over 40,000 searches every second! Can managers use this torrent of search data, often free and fine-grained, to predict the sales of their products? The premise is that a search for certain terms signals an intent to buy specific products.

My research says the answer is yes! Based on working with multiple retailers, managers can expect anywhere from a 3-8% reduction in prediction errors when search information is included in forecasting models.

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