online sales: essentials fly off ecomm’s shelves, online sales see 15% jump in one week


Sales of daily necessities including packaged foods, soaps and hygiene products have surged across e-commerce platforms over the past seven days as states imposed several restrictions to control Covid-19 infections. 19.

Limited opening hours at stores and consumers staying indoors following the spike in cases also contributed to a surge in online sales, executives said. There was a 10-15% increase across all categories, while online sales doubled for items such as chocolates and beverages.

Businesses said they were ready to meet the increased demand.

“E-commerce platform sales were up about 15% week-over-week,” said Mayank Shah, senior category manager at Parle Products, India’s largest biscuit maker. “We expect this momentum to continue until the third wave is launched.”

Pandemic Pantry

  • Online sales of packaged food, disinfectants, hygiene products and N95 masks are increasing
  • The demand for chocolates and drinks has doubled
  • The online momentum will continue until the third wave
  • Consumers preferring to stay indoors are starting to stock up


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Consumers who supply themselves can also contribute to demand.

“E-commerce channels for our categories are growing ahead of general commerce as consumers continue to be cautious and avoid unnecessary retailer visits,” said Anil Chugh, President, Consumer Care Business, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, which manufactures Santoor soap and Maxkleen household disinfectants.

The number of Covid in India has increased over the past fortnight. States have responded with nightly curfews, restrictions on markets and restrictions on gatherings. Demand for hygiene products such as hand washes, sanitizers, face masks, disinfectant sprays and immunity boosters has also rebounded as infections rise across the country, online retailers said. .

“Sales of packaged food and hygiene products have more than doubled over the past week. In particular, sales of N95 masks have increased fivefold over the past week,” a carrier said. word of online grocery platform Blinkit.

“There is some leap in e-commerce, mainly on grocery formats,” said Sunil Kataria, managing director, India and Saarc, Godrej Consumer Products, maker of Cinthol soap and Protekt sanitizers.

Makers of impulse category items such as chocolates and soft drinks said they saw their e-commerce business double. “We’ve seen e-commerce disrupt the distribution playbook; we have robust processes in place to respond to any changing demand patterns,” said Anirban Nandi, director, emerging business and strategy at chocolate maker Mars Wrigley.

Executives said they were increasing both supplies and consumer promotions for e-commerce platforms in response to the surge in consumer demand.

Companies that had relaxed disinfectants and other hygiene products after the second wave ended said they were now stepping up supplies and consumer awareness.

Dabur chief Mohit Malhotra said the company was launching digital initiatives on its own website with deals on health and immunity products.

Emami Director Harsha Agarwal said the company is working to harness the opportunities of e-commerce in the current situation by building the right partnerships. “With the rise of the Omicron variant, we expect people to stay indoors more and use soaps for hand sanitizing purposes, indicating good growth potential for the category,” a- he declared.

Wipro Consumer’s Chugh said the company’s supply chains and distribution partners are ready to meet the demands of e-commerce platforms should demand increase again.

A spokesperson for e-commerce platform Amazon India said, “Along with thousands of sellers and associates, we continue to serve customers while following strict security measures and government guidelines.”

Others said they were pushing deliveries through their own apps while continuing to increase inventory on platforms to meet increased at-home demand.

“We are now also engaging with smaller online hyperlocal delivery providers, in addition to focusing more on our own app and established delivery platforms, in the event of supply and delivery related disruptions” , said the general manager of the mineral water company Bisleri International, George Angelo.

The third wave is likely to negatively impact modern business channels which had seen sales return to pre-Covid levels after the second wave of the pandemic subsided and higher vaccination enabled the reopening of stores. “Sales in e-commerce channels are now having a direct impact on those in modern shopping stores, as consumers prefer to shop for essentials online instead of going out,” Parle’s Shah said.


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David A. Albanese