Western Europe Price and Availability Insights, 19th April-10th May 2020
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 e-commerce 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 France, hot drinks are currently seeing high online demand due to the significant shift from on-trade and institutional channels like offices to at-home consumption as a result of lockdown restrictions and more people working from home. In turn, this is translating into notable price variations and elevated out-of-stock levels for hot drinks across French online retailers.
Following Germany’s opening of smaller shops under 800 sq m on 20 April, more stores have now been allowed to reopen as long as they stick to government regulations. Additionally, some restaurants have reopened for the first time since mid-March. Although lockdown restrictions are loosening, online demand for essentials and shelf-stable food and drinks remains high due to people staying at home for longer than usual as a result of ongoing work and school closures.
As Spain slowly plans to reopen, the easing of lockdown measures is proving to be confusing for many. The pandemic has meant many are unable to work, with some not knowing if they still have jobs. This is forcing many Spanish consumers to adapt to a difficult and unknown economic future, including searching for better deals and more affordable products on e-commerce channels. This is proving to be especially true for staple food items like dried pasta and noodles.
As the lockdown continues in the UK due to a persistently high infection rate and death toll, consumers are stocking up on cleaning products which help them feel reassured that they are not bringing the virus into their homes. All-purpose cleaning wipes have seen especially high demand and online out-of-stock levels.
• France: Nina Tiquet
• Germany: Iselie Iglesias and Linda Lichtmess
• Spain: Marc Alonso
• UK: Amir Ali