Economy & Business

Shopping trends during Covid-19

24 April, 2020

By ECCT staff writers & Mike Jewell


As you can read in our latest Feature article, retail purchases have not registered much change in total spending during the pandemic, but the shift in product demand has changed the profile of channel use quite significantly.


According to a survey cited in the article, 42% of consumers reduced their household purchasing in bricks-and-mortar stores in favour of online, e-commerce stores, which have greatly benefitted e-commerce retailers. Right after Chinese New Year, PChome 24h saw a doubling of its sales of food ingredients and products, while Buy123 recorded a 30% increase. Conversely, department stores, the bedrock of Taiwan’s modern consumer shopping spree, bore the brunt of consumers not going out and not spending on luxury items, on clothing or on beauty products. The MOEA’s published figures show department store revenues down by 25% in February 2020 from the year before, while individual stores in Taipei’s high profile Hsinyi district saw massive declines in customers and sales drops of 40-70%.

Despite the growing trend towards e-commerce, trade through established grocery stores is also holding up, with supermarkets particularly enjoying better sales, notably for food and fresh produce, as well as for the health, hygiene and household cleaning lines, according to a survey cited in the article.


The Kantar Worldpanel survey, which was conducted from 11-13 March, saw big jumps in demand for home cleaning products (+55%), personal hygiene products (+54%), laundry and dishwash products (+39% and +31% respectively), health and nutrition lines (+39%) and fruit and vegetables (+25%). However, the same survey showed significant declines in the desire to buy luxury goods (-38%), alcohol and other beverages (-28% and -18% respectively), make-up and beauty products (-16%) and meat and seafood (-11%).


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