Covid-19 creates new essentials on online platform

A range of “new essentials” is now becoming an integral part of online buyers’ shopping lists in India. According to e-commerce firm Snapdeal, every third shopper s buying products relating to safety & immunity. These include masks, sanitizers, traditional immunity boosters like Chyawanprash, vitamins, herbal health supplements etc.

 Masks are the single largest purchased item in this category of new essentials, accounting for nearly 70% of the order volumes. The sale of masks has more than tripled in the last 30 days as greater awareness, easy availability and reduced prices have prompted more users to buy masks. Users have a strong preference for 3-ply masks that have a middle filter layer of meltblown fabric. With a lot of supply being added in the recent weeks, the price for such masks has dropped nearly 25% from Rs 16 per mask to Rs 10-12 per mask. Sanitizers are the other large category, accounting for nearly 20% of the volumes. The sale of hand sanitizers has increased by 60% in the last 30 days due to improved availability and increased awareness. Bottles of 500 ml and small bottle multi-packs of 50-60 ml score high on buyer preference.

Immunity boosters are the third-largest item in the category of new essentials and are rapidly growing in both volume & value. Users are mainly buying Vitamins C, E B6 & Zinc supplements as immunity boosters. Amidst traditional products, Chayanprash is the clear favourite, with sales of the same growing week on week as more users hear of the same through word of mouth and place orders.

Herbal products based on Turmeric, Tulsi, Neem, Fish Oil, Moringa and Amla are also popular for those shopping for health supplements. Herbal teas, Brahmi tablets, Karela & Jamun juices, Clove powder, and Ashwagandha are also popular.

According to Snapdeal, the “new essentials” is the top-selling category on its platform right now and they are part of every third shopper’s list  as Indians prepare to return to work amidst safety concerns. About 60% of the sales of this category is coming from India’s top 10 cities, while non-metros account for the balance.  


 Photo Courtesy: Tai’s Captures on Unsplash

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