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This article is part of a series on COVID-19 focusing on how the outbreak is affecting industries.
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.
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.
Concerns over COVID-19 has made many Brazilians increase their home and personal hygiene standards. Higher and more frequent usage of products that can help kill the virus and keep families safe has been observed, despite more volatile online prices and product availability seen recently. In addition, products that aim to boost immune system function, such as vitamin C, are also in vogue as consumers actively look for products that can potentially increase their body’s resistance to COVID-19.
In Mexico, online prices of COVID-19-related beauty and personal care products such as liquid soap, bar soap and hand care have shown some median price fluctuations. However, online out-of-stock levels have not increased significantly for these selected product categories, and this is mainly due to the relatively low penetration of e-commerce in the country for beauty and personal care items. However, it is expected that the pandemic will accelerate the development of the e-commerce channel over the medium term, as more Mexicans shop online.
In the US, after the initial significant spike in demand for disposable hygiene products as the onset of COVID-19 induced panic buying during the middle of Q1 2020, online price and product availability trends have been largely normalising. Pricing trends in Q2 and Q3 will likely reflect the consumer shift towards more cost-efficient options, including more bulk purchases with a higher price per SKU but lower price per unit volume, and a greater shift towards private label offerings.
• Brazil: Elton Morimitsu
• Mexico: Fatima Linares and Evelyn Rodriguez
• US: Svetlana Uduslivaia