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 consumer 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
Italian pet owners have been paying closer attention to their pets as they have been spending more time with them during the lockdown. This initially led to high price fluctuations and out-of-stock levels for pet care on online platforms, but things have stabilised as "phase two" of the nationwide lockdown is expected to begin in May. Moreover, online pet specialists should continue to benefit from the general rise of e-commerce prompted by COVID-19 after the lockdown ends.
In Germany, home care products such as dishwashing and surface care remain among the most in-demand products online as home hygiene moves to the fore as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. After more than a month in lockdown, online demand for fresh ground coffee pods and RTDs has also increased as consumers actively seek out alternatives to cafés and bars.
As COVID-19 fears continue, Spanish consumers’ cleaning habits have become more frequent and thorough. A month into the nationwide state of emergency, many businesses have had to quickly reorganise and update their e-commerce logistics in order to maintain a steady supply of basic home-hygiene products. While the initial phase of panic buying has passed, online prices and out-of-stock levels remain volatile for many essential home and personal care categories.
With the UK’s closure of pubs, bars and restaurants as part of a nationwide lockdown in place since 21 March to curb the spread of COVID-19, some UK consumers have stockpiled alcoholic drinks for home consumption, with an associated rise in out-of-stock products sold through e-commerce channels. Despite rising demand for off-trade alcoholic drinks in general, and through e-commerce channels specifically, online median prices for alcoholic drinks have remained stable.
• Germany: Iselie Iglesias and Linda Lichtmess
• Italy: Stefano Botter
• Spain: Marc Alonso
• UK: Amir Ali