DHL eCommerce Solutions analyzed what’s been shipping domestically and internationally among its online retailers who ship lightweight packets and parcels, and it identified five categories with the greatest volume growth since late February.
It also reported that online purchases pushed volume to holiday peak levels during the past five weeks, and both domestic and cross-border volume are up: it saw volume growth of over 36% in domestic volume and 28% in cross border volume compared to the daily averages seen in February.
DHL eCommerce Solutions identified the fastest-growing online lightweight product categories as follows:
- Nutraceuticals: People are putting a premium on staying healthy and as a result pharmaceutical alternatives, vitamins particularly C and D to improve the immune system are popular, along with dietary, nutritional supplements and whey proteins for exercise enthusiasts.
- Health & beauty: As beauty, nail and barber shops remain closed in many states there have been significant increases in skincare and custom skincare products for acne, hair dyes, nail polish and removers, artificial nails, face masks and grooming items including clippers and hair accessories.
- Apparel: With gyms and public spaces closed, workout wear sales have increased with many Americans exercising from home. Additionally, online apparel companies have expanded their product lines to include non-medical grade face shields and cloth masks, an item that will continue to be in demand in the foreseeable future.
- Pharmaceuticals: Many consumers are uneasy to visit physical retail stores, and as a result there has been a significant surge in mail order pharmaceuticals with monthly or quarterly subscriptions, including high-blood pressure and diabetes medications.
- Home office accessories and supplies: With many non-essential companies adapting to a remote work model and students attending virtual classrooms, sale of items such as ink and toner, paper, pens, headsets, conference speakers, laptops and associated accessories have spiked.
A spokesperson for DHL eCommerce Solutions told EcommerceBytes, “Although there’s uncertainty as to how long these particular buying trends will last, it looks as though we are ushering in a new era for e-commerce.”
Company CEO Lee Spratt expects more online retailers to expand their existing online product portfolios to include personal protective equipment.
“We have seen holiday peak-level types of volume increases in the last few weeks as China opened once again, but we are also seeing our customers’ volumes as representative of various consumer buying trends as a result of the general public’s interest in staying healthy and taking on new roles as remote employees and students,” Spratt said.