Aussies Prepare for “Killer Flu” Season

Aussies Prepare for “Killer Flu” Season

The number of reported flu cases in Australia has already tripled since last year, gearing the country up for a “killer flu” season. But Aussies aren’t sitting idle as the virus spreads across the nation.

Searches surge for flu shots

They are going online to seek methods that can help prevent or combat the flu. Online searches for “flu shot” grew +64% year on year during the first week of winter 2019. This was closely followed by growth in “vitamin b12” (+62%) and “cold & flu” (+48%) searches.

Since flu season typically runs from June to August, health professionals urged Aussies to get the vaccination in early April. Queries for the flu shot first peaked in mid-April but saw their highest volume during the week ending 25 May.

Hitwise AU, Searches for “flu shot” 2019

National pharmacy chains like Chemist Warehouse and Priceline are among some of the most common search term variations for the flu shot, with 7% and 3.3% of search clicks, respectively.

Traffic differs by treatment

Depending on the treatment, different retailers were preferred. When looking at downstream traffic for 4 weeks ending 8th June 2019, Priceline received the lion’s share of search clicks from “flu shot” at 8.6%. While Chemist Warehouse was the most popular for “cold &flu” searches, the online supplement retailer, iHerb, was the top site for“vitamin b12” searches. 

Source: Hitwise, AU. Downstream from searches, 2019. 

When it came to seeking health information online, searchers tended to rely on the government-run site Healthdirect for flu shots and cold& flu treatments. Meanwhile, Healthline received 2x more traffic from“vitamin b12” searches.

Codral leads Cold & Flu on Chemist Warehouse

Looking at product pages on Chemist Warehouse, Codral takes the top two pages for their 48 capsule packs, with over 4,000 views in the two weeks to 9 June. This largely overtook other top medicine brands, Lemsip, Sambucol and, Demazin.

Chemist Warehouse Top Cold & Flu Product Views
2 weeks ending 9-6-19

Views (‘k)
1Codral cold & flu cough day & night 48 capsules2.2
2Codral cold & flu tablets 48 pack codeine free1.8
3Ease a Cold cough cold & flu day & night 24 capsules1.3
4Lemsip max cold & flu hot drink with decongestant 10 lemon1.3
5Sambucol cold flu kids liquid 120ml1.3
6Durotuss children’s cold & flu liquid 200ml1.2
7Sambucol cold & flu 24 capsules1.2
8Demazin multi action cold flu relief day night 48 tablets1.0
9Demazin multi action day night cold flu relief 72 tablets
10Mendeleev cold & flu day night 48 tablets0.9

Source: Hitwise, AU. Chemist Warehouse product page views. 2019

National warnings of the “killer flu” season have sentAussies looking for health information, vaccinations and medicines online. Perhaps with so many people preparing themselves, we can hope for a milder season than anticipated.

For more information about Hitwise search and product data, contact us here.

To learn how search data can help you enhance your media strategies, read more about search and channel optimization here.

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