E-Commerce: Changes in what people are buying & how much they are paying

By Burak Kansu, Senior Data Analyst at PiWheel

Amazon UAE Subcategory Overview: Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene products have been flying off the shelves across the UAE. Now with isolation and social distancing in place residents are turning to digital stores, like Amazon, to purchase these products. Coronavirus is not only changing how consumers shop, but also what brands they are choosing. Amazon.ae data is showing Dettol is dominating the market across the three significant personal hygiene subcategories – hand sanitiser, hand wash (liquid), and soap (bars).

Below we take a closer look at what has been happening on amazon.ae in these subcategories, comparing the last week of February (24th – 29th) to the first week of March (2nd – 7th).

Subcategory hand sanitisers

Overall, amazon.ae retail sales in the hand sanitiser category is up a huge 148% vs prior week.  Purell was the dominant market leader claiming 65% market share; but in March they lost over 30% of their lead to challengers Dettol and 5 other newcomers. BAC-D is the best performing newcomer to this category, gaining 13% market share in one week.Subcategory hand wash

As a result of communication over the importance of handwashing from health authorities, it’s unsurprising to see an uplift in handwash sales too. The category is up 85% compared to prior week, with Dettol claiming 61% of all sales. Most handwash brands increased market share week-on-week, but Johnson and Johnson, a leading subcategory brand, lost market share. 

Subcategory soap

The soap subcategory has seen a pickup amid the coronavirus outbreak – especially in this region. While on amazon.com soap sales are up 16%, amazon.ae has seen a 50% increase week-on-week. Dr Bronner’s was the market leader but this week dropped to 3rd in the category because it became out of stock. Now, unsurprisingly, Dettol has become the leading brand, followed by Dove.

Average selling price

While Amazon has said they are cracking down on price gouging, all three subcategories have seen an average retail price increase compared to the previous week. Hand sanitisers increased the most by an average of 57%, hand wash average 15% increase on sales price , and soap 50% increase.

Product numbers

In response to demand, you could walk through brick-and-mortar stores and notice an explosion of new hygiene and cleaning products available; and this is no different online. The hand sanitiser category had just over 30 SKU’s at the end of Feb, which has now grown by 54%. Hand wash and soap have also seen more products enter the category, up by 70% and 32%, respectively.

Burak Kansu, Senior Data Analyst at PiWheel