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.
Key findings from this report
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Brazil was recorded on 26 February. Since then, many Brazilians have adapted to the new reality, adjusting their routines to fit social distancing and lockdown measures. After an initial rush of panic buying and stockpiling essential household goods, demand appears to be returning to normal and this is also reflected in stabilising online prices and out-of-stock rates for many categories. However, demand for hygiene and health-related products remains strong due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.
After holding fairly steady for several weeks, online out-of-stock rates for many coffee categories in Mexico increased sharply in the middle of May. This was particularly true for regular instant coffee mixes and fresh ground coffee pods, and to a lesser extent regular instant standard coffee. Despite rising online out-of-stock levels as COVID-19 lockdowns drove more coffee consumption into the home, online median prices have remained comparatively stable for most - but not all - coffee categories.
Online availability of personal care products declined as more US consumers moved their purchases from brick-and-mortar channels such as drugstores, supermarkets and hypermarkets to e-commerce. With continued angst over social distancing, consumers are putting pressure on online retailers to supply essential goods such as soap and hand care as shopper demand shifts more and more towards the internet. This trend will likely persist even as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are eased and more physical stores begin to reopen.
• Brazil: Elton Morimitsu
• Mexico: Matthew Barry
• US: Kayla Villena and Andrew Stablein