Coronavirus: Americas Price and Availability Insights, 17th May-7th June 2020

This is the last article in our series looking at the short-term impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). In a few weeks, we will transition to a longer-term view of how different countries, categories and retailers have coped with the consumer switch to e-commerce.

Coronavirus: Americas Price and Availability Insights, 17th May-7th June 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having an unprecedented impact on consumer markets around the world, due to the number of individuals working from home or unable to leave their homes. This has placed a tremendous burden on the infrastructure of e-commerce retailers as consumers look to purchase necessary goods from their home and remain dependent on their country’s delivery infrastructure and supply chains.

With Euromonitor International’s new global e-commerce product and price monitoring platform, Via, extracting millions of data points every day for standardised cross-comparison quickly reveals what product categories are selling out during key periods of the coronavirus outbreak as well as the dramatic implications these demand drivers are having on online retail pricing for select categories.

View our latest report to see how COVID-19 is affecting pricing and product availability in Argentina, Chile and the US.

Using Via, we were able to quickly and easily examine nearly a million daily data observations for a three-week period across leading ecommerce retailers in the chosen markets. Moreover, the data clearly shows how the availability of selected categories and their pricing dynamics has changed during this period.

For this report, a select basket of daily goods has been chosen for observation based on Euromonitor International’s industry knowledge of fast-moving consumers goods alongside local knowledge from research analysts on the ground in each market reporting on local market supply chain issues and COVID-19 impacted product categories.

Alongside category scope, the million daily data observations used for this analysis are pulled from key online retailers across each market and represent a significant portion of e-commerce availability in each country.

Key findings from this report

In Argentina, home care is one of the FMCG industries that has continued to grow during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many home care products are synonymous with disinfection, an attribute that is currently highly valued by consumers to protect their homes from any possible viral threat. This relevance has also sustained demand for some home care categories sold through online channels, leading to some volatility in online product prices and availability.

In Chile, despite a sustained consumer focus on preventative healthcare and higher levels of personal hygiene, essential beauty and personal care goods such as liquid soap and bar soap are returning to normal stock levels compared to earlier in the pandemic. Meanwhile, baby wipes which also offer a cleaning alternative to soap and water are also becoming more readily available through online retailers. Looking ahead, Chileans may migrate to online shopping in even greater numbers to avoid physical contact, with lockdowns likely to continue for a few more weeks.

While in the US, price fluctuations and shortages are beginning to ease as the American economy begins to reopen. Pre COVID-19 sales of soft drinks through e-commerce were low in comparison to other product categories, but even as the high influx of sales starts to level out, online soft drinks demand is expected to see a sustained boost as consumers have become more accustomed to online purchasing.

Authors:

• US: Aga Jarzabek
• Chile: Jorge Zúñiga
• Argentina: Jorge Araya