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
The global average out-of-stock % rate for beauty and personal care products sold online was 7.2% for the first six months of 2020. However, countries such as Israel, South Korea and Turkey were significantly lower with out-of-stock % rates below 1%.
Monitoring changes in the number of available SKUs sold online shows that beauty and personal care product availability has declined drastically due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Only recently in June have online supplies begun to recover. Saudi Arabia, China and Argentina saw the largest declines in available SKUs from January to June, leading to frustrated or confused online shoppers.
One of the most in-demand products during the COVID-19 outbreak was liquid soap (including hand sanitiser), as health officials around the world recommended people thoroughly wash their hands to eliminate contagion. As a result, bath and shower products, which includes liquid soap and hand sanitiser, saw higher than average rates of out-of-stock % and changes in available SKUs worldwide.
Within the US, suppliers such as Avon, Revlon, Markwins and Coty were able to provide stronger online product availability compared to other leading US beauty and personal care suppliers. Conversely, Shiseido, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever saw their products have higher than average out-of-stock % rates and declines in available SKUs across a variety of US e-commerce retailers from January to June.
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.