For a long time in 2020, as the COVID-19 epidemic in countries around the world changed, shopping trends will continue to evolve, and further changes in demand are expected to depend on the evolution of the coronavirus crisis. Earlier March 2020, the WHO escalated the outbreak of the 19th World Health Assembly from a global emergency to a global epidemic. Since then, the spread of this virus and the control of countries around the world have meant that our daily lives some major changes. If you are dropshipper you should also know how to adjust your business to adapt the changes.
Impact of the epidemic on the economy in 2020
As the epidemic mainly affects China, Euro and USA, the Amazon brand purchases products from major producing countries, which is expected to have the greatest economic impact on supply.
Because countless factories in the affected areas are completely closed, Amazon and eBay sellers have reason to worry that this blow to the supply chain may mean insufficient inventory and eventually lead to product sold out. On Amazon, sold out is a very bad thing.
As of the end of February, reports showed that Chinese factories were slowly returning to production. But as the global situation changes, the concerns of Amazon’s visionary sellers and our call to action as global citizens also change.
Focus on the impact of the outbreak on demand
So what do these changes ultimately mean for the dropshippers and ecommerce sellers.
May be an increase in demand. Some people speculate that these changes may push habitual brick-and-mortar shoppers to switch to the Internet when necessary, thereby pushing e-commerce into the future.
After all, consumers who are accustomed to buying essentials online are unlikely to switch to physical stores after spending has returned to normal. Online shopping may become the new normal for most consumers.
However, facing the changing realities of the economy, the risks facing Amazon’s business are not so obvious now.
Although consumers have time and need to shop online, the need for home isolation in the foreseeable future will naturally limit demand for certain product categories.
In addition, as the economic situation remains uncertain and may continue to decline (at least in the short term), concerns have shifted to demand. In a recent survey of Sellics users, 48% said that demand has declined.
Whether potential customers buy more or less generally depends on whether the surge in online shopping can make up for the general decline in purchasing power.
We can’t help but guess what the future will bring, and how the current environment will transform e-commerce as we know it. Now that we can’t predict, we turn to a good method: data.
With the epidemic raging, are consumers shopping more or less online?
To find out, let’s look at Italy, one of the Amazon sites hardest hit by the epidemic, and see how online shopping demand there has grown.
In contrast, the decline at the beginning of the chart in January was normal. After a wave of consumption before the end of the year, purchases in the first month tend to stabilize. It is worth noting that the recent one-third of the population has tilted.
If we can use Italy’s development trajectory as an indicator, serious calls for action to alienate social relations and shut down government officials could lead to a relatively steep decline in Amazon sales.
In fact, this growth rate seems to coincide with these changes. On February 23, Italy began a limited segregation, and on March 9, confinement extended nationwide.
Of course, more data is needed to determine anything statistically.
Although it is too early to draw conclusions, these early data do indicate the possibility of increased market demand, which is currently facing similar social alienation measures.
But people shopping online are only half the problem. To better understand the business situation on Amazon and what suppliers and sellers should expect, we must have a deep understanding of what people are buying online which is important for the dropshippers.
Online shopping trends during the outbreak: What did people buy?
The current situation in Italy may have profoundly affected shopping behavior on Amazon, both in terms of demand and product selection.
However, in the United States and Germany, there is a strong awareness of the threat of the epidemic, and we can already observe significant changes in demand for certain products.
To highlight the strongest trends, Sellics has identified five major categories for each market.
In Italy, in addition to significant market growth, the percentage increase in trend categories is also the most significant.
It is worth noting that Sports & Outdoors at German and Italian sites saw significant growth, but Italy’s growth rate was 674% higher than Germany’s.
This implies that as the United States and Germany are now facing more and more domestic isolation, the established trends may continue.
Current shopping trends in the US, Germany, and Italy include:
● Groceries & Home Basics
● Survival Shopping
● Backyard Betterment
● Entertainment & Activities
● Indoor Fitness & (Solo) Outdoor Sports
● Home Office
Online Shopping Trend # 1: Grocery and Household Essentials
There are two ways to understand the surge in online shopping:
● As an alternative to shopping, it is likely to be purchased in a physical store before the need for home isolation is urgent;
● To store essentials, especially non-perishable items, both for safety reasons and to limit the frequency or necessity of future shopping.
● Food and home lakes (47% increase in Italy)
● Groceries and food (26% increase in the United States and 34% increase in Germany)
Online Shopping Trend # 2: Survival Supplies
Survival items are items that have an intuitive connection between viruses and product requirements. More generally, medical supplies, and more specifically, air purifiers:
● Health and Family (13% increase in the US)
● Health and personal care (19% increase in Germany)
● Household appliances (14% increase in the United States), mainly air purifiers (74% increase)
● Industry and science (39% increase in Italy, health and safety products sub-category + 98% increase)
Online Shopping Trend # 3: Backyard Improvement
Many people may be inspired to transfer funds that are usually spent on out-of-home care. Especially with the cancellation of the Spring Holiday Program, there is no doubt that Amazon customers are coming up with creative ways to make the most of the time they spend at home.
By purchasing garden supplies, consumers have shown a willingness to invest in their homes and backyards:
● Terraces, lawns and gardens (44% increase in Italy, 35% increase in Germany, 9% increase in the United States)
This trend is expected to intensify as travel restrictions tighten.
Online Shopping Trend # 4: Entertainment and Events
Perhaps the least surprising of all the trends, people are certainly looking for ways to entertain themselves in the way they do.
● Video games (31% increase in Germany)
● Toys and games (10% increase in the United States, 36% increase in Germany, 30% increase in Italy)
Looking at the fastest-growing subcategory in each site, consumers are also looking to create and create connections.
Online Shopping Trend # 5: Indoor Fitness and Sports
There is no doubt that one thing consumers in all three sites have in common is their love of sports.
This, and the understanding that social distance does not strictly mean staying indoors, means that buying outdoor sports that can be done alone or with limited contact is a popular choice.
● Sports and outdoor (236% increase in Italy, 35% increase in Germany)
Indoor fitness equipment is of course also popular, as consumers are forced to give up going to the gym.
This trend is expected to continue as sports events in the United States and Germany are cancelled.
Online Shopping Trend # 6: Home Office
In the United States, although state orders and regulations vary widely, major initiatives such as (mandatory) school closures and closures have been announced, and the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued recommendations to cancel activities for more than 10 people.
School closures in Germany followed roughly the same timeline, with closure dates on March 13 and March 16, respectively.
At these two sites, companies appeared shortly after the closure of the business, followed closely by time urgency, which led to business closures, with early and voluntary shutdowns and home office requirements.
Apart from that, few of these markets feel the urgency of working from home before the 13th. Of course, these dates have not been reflected in this data set (the data set has been tracking purchase trends until March 9th).
Having said that, it is clear that in Italy, those who are capable have to bring work to their homes due to isolation, so furnishing this space would be a natural investment point:
● Home office (43% increase in Italy)
We have now identified this trend because we have good reasons to expect that Germany and the United States will soon follow suit.
Best selling sub-categories
In fact, a closer look at these subcategories can verify the identified trends. At the same time, this more detailed perspective reveals differences between the spread of coronavirus and preventive measures, and some cultural differences. Therefore, we will introduce by site.
Top 10 best-selling sub-categories in the U.S.
In the U.S. market, there is a clear online shopping trend for groceries for perishable and fresh food (# 1):
● Meat and seafood (+ 173%)
● Canned and bagged food (+ 101%)
● Agricultural products (+ 40%)
● Breakfast food (+ 36%)
● Snacks (+ 36%)
● Dairy products, cheese and eggs (+ 36%)
We have also seen a significant increase in air purifier purchases (ranked second) with a 74% increase. With more and more serious attention to health and the air we breathe, this makes sense.
Outdoor sports is the top choice for American shoppers who are considering spending more time near home (# 5):
● Sports and outdoor games (+ 54%)
Finally, in order to have a good time indoors, perhaps considering children, some consumers invest in creative and educational activities (# 4):
● Arts and Crafts (+ 44%)
● Learning and education (+ 38%)
Germany top ten best seller subcategories
Obviously, Germans focus on fitness and entertainment, while Germans seem to be involved in the grocery shopping trend, and their participation is lower than that of Americans. Also, depending on the food they buy (rice and legumes + 160%), they may have been “hoarding” food all the time.
This fact may be due to the large number of grocery stores in Germany. Although the population of the United States is approximately four times that of Germany, both countries have approximately 35,000 to 40,000 grocery stores.
There is a grocery store in every corner of Germany, so while German consumers hoard food locally (at least for now), they may not have to take public transport or drive too far away from home.
Table tennis (+ 209%) is a national sport in Germany. As table tennis tables are increasingly appearing in public places, people have a new need to take this hobby home (# 7).
Other notable outdoor sports (# 5) include:
● Sports and outdoor (+ 160%)
● Basketball (+ 86%)
● Inline skates and roller skates (+ 72%)
● Fitness (+ 796%)
● Skateboard (+ 53%)
Similar to the growth in Arts & Crafts in the United States, German consumers’ interest in Crafts & Painting has also increased (+ 92%), ranking fourth.
Finally, people look for a “heaven” in their backyard (# 3):
● Pool, garden sauna and whirlpool (+ 88%)
● Barbecue stove and equipment (+ 55%)
Top 10 best seller subcategories in Italy
Since the strictest requirement for Italian consumers is to stay indoors, they should want to invest in fitness (+ 347%, # 5) for basic exercise, which makes sense.
And, just like the German obsession with table tennis, the growth in martial arts (+ 82%) reflects the widespread popularity and tradition of Italian martial arts, as well as the desire to bring once-public events indoors (# 7).
All three sites are interested in crafts (# 4)), and creative and hobby materials have grown by 119% in Italy, as well as paper and notebooks (+ 134%).
As more and more Italian citizens have to deal with the outbreak of e-commerce infections, it is not surprising that health and safety products continue to grow (+ 98%, # 2).
For some, ordering groceries online may already be a necessity, and toast may be a pastime (# 1 and # 4):
● Food and nutrition (+ 48%)
● Kitchen and baking materials (37%)
Finally, household necessities (# 1) and courtyard necessities (# 3), and the possibility of loving gardening (# 4):
● Garden (+ 71%)
● House cleaning and care (+ 50%)
● Garden decoration (+ 19%)
In all, the demand for e-commerce appears to increase during the pandemic—at least in many product areas. What we cannot determine now is how changes in the global economy will affect this factor.
Of course, these changes are a short-term blow for most sellers and sellers, but in the long run, they may bring greater benefits to health and economic growth, and are expected to encourage the country’s socioeconomics to move faster from the epidemic Recovery from the destruction.
For now, the trends observed to date are expected to continue. Consumers are expected to continue:
● Go to Amazon to buy in place of physical stores to get essentials;
● Reserve commodities to help fight the spread of the epidemic;
● Drive the outside world by investing in their home space in home improvement and entertainment.
Of course, for a long time, as the world’s countries change, shopping trends will continue to evolve, and further changes in demand are expected to depend on the evolution of the coronavirus crisis.
If you do not know which products to dropship in 2020, you may take a look at the Top 10 best seller subcategories in USA, Germany and Italy, it may help you easily to find the best seller products for dropshipping business.