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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.
Despite Japan going into the third month of a national emergency, with consumers staying at home and avoiding crowded areas like supermarkets, e-commerce out-of-stock rates for a large amount of categories remain persistently high. As a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, a large number of Japanese shoppers are still migrating towards shopping online in a more frequent and consistent manner, with many online retailers struggling to keep up with rising demand.
In Singapore, off-trade demand for alcoholic drinks is still strong as bars and pubs remain closed as a result of COVID-19 lockdown measures. Instead of going out for drinks, more and more consumers are enjoying virtual happy hours at home with family, friends and work colleagues. Elsewhere, health awareness and rising self-care amongst Singaporeans continues to drive demand for multivitamins, while online median SKU prices for pet food have seen significant day-to-day variations as pet stores remain closed and online retailers have increased their promotional activity.
While in South Korea, soft drinks categories, including bottled water, 100% juice, juice drinks and sports drinks, all remain in high demand through online retailers. Despite strong demand, e-commerce prices and product availability remained stable thanks to sufficient supplies and a notable absence of panic buying or stockpiling among shoppers. With the daily number of new COVID-19 cases stabilising and consumer concerns starting to ease, South Koreans are now turning their online shopping attention from food and other household essentials to tech products and other higher ticket items in a phenomenon known as “revenge spending.”
• Japan: Jared Conway
• Singapore: Sahiba Puri
• South Korea: Oryoon Lee