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
An accelerated move towards the online availability of home care products, as is the case for many other FMCG products, was clearly a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost all home care categories experienced very strong growth in available SKUs through e-commerce. Globally, available SKUs increased by nearly 50%.
Global online out-of-stock rates (OOS%) for home care products grew marginally, in the 13-month period to end-January 2021, despite wide country variations. Globally products available online oscillated and are currently on a downward trajectory to pre-pandemic levels.
The online availability of home care products made for a frustrated shopping experience in many developed markets, from the US to Japan to the Western European markets, due to higher-than-average OOS% rates. South Korean and Russian consumers likely experienced the opposite.
All UK home care categories experienced declines in available SKUs, averaging 34% contraction in SKUs. Dishwashing, laundry and air care all saw a reduction of available SKUs online above 40%.
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.