Coronavirus: Changes in Beauty and Personal Care E-Commerce Availability, March 2020 – February 2021

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.

Click here to read our report: Coronavirus: Changes in Beauty and Personal Care E-commerce Availability, March 2020 – February 2021

Key findings from the report

The global average out of stock (OOS%) rate for beauty and personal care products sold online was 7.4% for the 12-month period. However, countries such as Israel, South Korea, Turkey, New Zealand, and Thailand were significantly lower with OOS% rates below 2%.

Monitoring changes in the number of available SKUs sold online shows that global beauty and personal care product availability increased by 24% in the 12-month period since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. While much of that increase is due to South Korea’s large e-commerce presence, even excluding the country from the global sample, the number of available SKUs increased by 6% in the same time period.

Among the most demanded products during the COVID-19 outbreak in beauty and personal care were colour cosmetics. Globally, the category had one of the highest OOS% rates and has the highest decline in available SKUs. Despite people not going out as much due to the pandemic, consumers still wanted to look their best online as virtual meetings and social activities increased.

Within the UK, suppliers such as Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and L’Oréal were able to provide stronger online product availability compared to other leading UK suppliers.

Meanwhile, Estée Lauder, Henkel, and Shiseido saw their products have higher-than-average OOS% rates and declines in available SKUs across a variety of UK e-commerce retailers from March to February.

Click here to read our latest report to see how COVID-19 affected the beauty and personal care industry from March 2020 – February 2021.

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.