Four tech giants, Alibaba, Amazon, JD.com and Pinduoduo will account for 65% of all health and beauty online sales added globally between 2020 and 2025, according to new research.
The study, from analysts at Edge by Ascential’s research and data insight arm, Retail Insight found that the online share of sales made in the health and beauty sector is expected to rise to 16.5% globally by the end of 2020, increasing to 23.3% by 2025.
The health and beauty sector will see the the second-fastest ecommerce growth rate after the Household and Petcare category, largely driven by emerging participation from pure play retailers, with Amazon investing heavily in healthcare provision, while Alibaba and JD.com continue to add more third party health and beauty brands to their marketplaces.
Retail Insight has forecast that Alibaba is expected to achieve the greatest share of health and beauty online sales this year, with sales of $43.2bn. This is closely followed by Amazon, with sales growing to $28.8bn, and Pinduoduo, which will increase its sales to $16.8bn by the end of 2020.
According to Edge by Ascential’s Market Share, which helps businesses drive growth and performance on Amazon, the health and beauty category on Amazon has been experiencing rapid growth over the past year, accelerated recently by the pandemic. In May 2020, sales of beauty and personal care products and health and household items listed on Amazon.com saw a 141% and 115% year-on-year increase respectively.
Retail Insight analysts have the following additional predictions for the health and beauty sector post-COVID-19:
• Health and beauty sales in the UK will see the biggest uplift following COVID-19 in 2020, with sales growth accelerating by 5.0% from Retail Insight’s pre COVID-19 to post COVID-19 forecasts. This will exceed the average uplift of 1.8% across all markets worldwide. The UK is closely followed by China in terms of sales growth uplift (+3.6%). • Walgreens Boots Alliance will continue to dominate as the leading health and beauty retailer in 2020, with total store-based and ecommerce sales rising to $130.5bn by the end of 2020, from $124bn in 2019, as it pivots its strategy towards digital transformation and online fulfilment to reflect the acceleration of ecommerce following COVID-19. • Health products will continue to see increased demand with health-conscious consumers, but cosmetics will experience more subdued growth in 2020, following the realities of home working, social distancing, and mask wearing, particularly in H1. However, skincare, haircare, and bath and body products will benefit from self-care and pampering trends throughout 2020.
Florence Wright, Senior Retail Analyst at Edge by Ascential, said: “With COVID-19 driving increased demand for health and beauty products, many retailers are planning further inroads into the category via enhanced online services and product lines. However, as department stores experience a -10.9% fall in growth in 2020, more beauty brands will be forced to diversify and focus on investing in online to expand reach and boost growth.
“The rapidly developing digital outlook, coupled with the growing dominance of online players like Amazon and Alibaba, highlights how crucial it is to enhance omnichannel offerings and online capabilities. This includes strong search optimisation, as well as powerful online visual merchandising as a means to recreate the in-store experience and to better engage with shoppers.”
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