Coronavirus drives up e-commerce sales in beauty

The Coronavirus outbreak has seen a dramatic re-shaping of shopping habits, according to a new report, with e-commerce sales in the health and beauty industry outstripping other categories.

According to an analysis of data from Forter’s global merchant network - which covers more than 100 global business and $150 billion in global commerce transactions - customers with more time to fill at home bought up to 50 to 100 per cent more in purchase volume on beauty and skincare in the week beginning 22 March.

This was matched by a 30 per cent decrease in physical goods purchases, as Coronavirus restrictions forced non-essential retailers to close their doors. The e-commerce fraud prevention company's data also indicated a 30 per cent drop in sales in physical goods related to the apparel and accessories industry.

However, as consumers switch their habits to comply with government restrictions on daily exercise, items such as shoes and footwear are becoming more popular, with retailers able to offer promotions periods seeing an uptick in sales - and some seeing as many three times the normal rate of transactions.

Furthermore, the increase in online shopping activity has had a major impact on demand for food, beverage and delivery services. The data showed a 100 per cent spike in site traffic to businesses within these industries, coupled with a 150 per cent increase in online purchases as shoppers look to buy and stock up on groceries via online grocery platforms.

The desire to stock up on essentials has also driven a 20 per cent increase in average order value.

The Forter report stated: “The outbreak of Coronavirus is indeed a health concern that is and will continue to impact buying patterns and business execution in the coming weeks and months - the spread of the virus does mean that particular industries will see their transaction volumes decrease.”

However, it added: “Merchants should anticipate that fraud attempts will persist and may even escalate, they must ensure that their systems are properly prepared to deal with increased fraud attempts and more sophisticated methods of attack.”

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