Coronavirus: Changes in Alcoholic Drinks E-commerce Availability, January – October 2020

Countries around the world have all been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the implications that it is having on various industries have been profound.

Many consumers turned to online shopping as the best way to minimise the risk of infection, but the pandemic also saw many consumers engaging in stockpiling behaviour which led to extreme product shortages. In turn, this placed a tremendous burden on e-commerce retailers’ supply chains and logistical infrastructure.

Some markets were more resilient than others or already had more robust e-commerce networks in place. Examining out-of-stock rates and SKU availability by industry gives you a view of how different markets handled the challenges that the pandemic brought to online retailing.

Key findings from the report

There is a high correlation between lockdown measures and product availability during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a fluctuation of out-of-stock (OOS%) rates and the number of available SKUs recorded for alcoholic drinks, as countries like India, South Africa and various European countries announced upcoming lockdowns during the year to October.

Beer has witnessed the highest OOS%, at 10%, while non-grape wine is seeing the highest growth in OOS% between January 2020 and October 2020, a significant growth of 14%.

As the new wave of confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew in the UK towards the end of September, so did OOS% rate fluctuation. Wine based RTDs, non-grape wine, sparkling wine and beer are seeing high growth in OOS% rates.  This is likely the response of shoppers knowing that they would be under lockdown for the month of November into early December.

Spirits focused brands, like Suntory Holdings, Bacardi & Co and Campari Milano struggled to meet supplies in UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, private label players like Waitrose and J Sainsbury, managed to keep OOS% rates very low, while increasing SKU availability significantly, or maintaining stability in supplies and benefiting from the situation.

Read our latest report to see how COVID-19 affected the alcoholic drinks industry from January to October 2020.

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 more than 20 million daily SKU observations across leading e-commerce retailers in 40 countries. Moreover, the data clearly shows how the availability of selected categories and their pricing dynamics has changed during this period. Use our Coronavirus: Pricing and Availability Tracker to learn more.