The number of products bought online during the coronavirus pandemic has been record-breaking. An industry already experiencing massive growth suddenly saw its sales figures accelerate to a level it was not expected to reach for another two years.
This was mainly due to the breadth of items that were bought because of customers being either unable or unwilling to go shopping in person. While it would be incorrect to suggest that customers now buy everything online, however, certain product ranges constantly top the lists of products that are bought over the internet.
This list does not contain any ‘information’ type products like online courses, or things like holiday or concert tickets. It only includes physical products that need to be delivered, and while some of the entries on this list might seem obvious, the first couple could come as a bit of a surprise.
#1 Films, TV and music
The recent mass adoption of streaming services like Netflix and Spotify has led to the belief that nobody buys DVDs, BluRays, CDs, or records anymore. Yet, customers wanting to own the ‘hard copy’ of what is being heard or watched online are keeping sales strong, and this is given a further boost by the revival of vinyl.
It should be mentioned, though, that included in those purchases are a massive amount of second-hand sales, so the number of new releases being bought is clearly on the decline.
While it is true that Mr. Bezos started off selling books, it seems like reading a paperback or hardback volume might have become a relic of the 20 th century. However, physical books have not been replaced by their Kindle versions (or the recent popularity of audiobooks) and still outsell their digital competitors.
#3 Speciality medical products
Given the current Covid-19 crisis, this one probably comes as no surprise. However, before the pandemic, the need for specialist medical supplies for practices, care homes, and even hospitals was poorly served by more general online retail platforms. Dedicated brands like UK online retailer medical-supermarket.com have provided the volume and depth of range to fill this crucial gap.
#4 Tech products
With the advances in mobile technology, computers, and gaming consoles, the urge to replace everything every two years makes this an online winner. This goes for hard copies of games as well, although these are being replaced by downloadable versions of the bestselling games. Even with the constant demand for these products all year round, this is one range where the holiday season spike is very high.
#5 Fashion items
Despite the fact that customers are unable to try on their purchases, in 2019 nearly 40% of apparel purchases were made online. This is an excellent example of an industry adapting to a changing market with an enhanced returns policy giving customers more confidence to purchase. The idea of buying an item in three different sizes and returning two of them is now considered the norm by both retailers and customers alike.