Online purchases may have increased as a result of the coronavirus health crisis, but not all sectors have benefited. While cosmetics transactions were up, those of luxury goods have seen double-digit declines in the past two weeks.
Compared to the reference period (January 6-February 16, based on 4.8 billion sessions), cosmetics transactions were up by 29.7% in the week ending March 22, and increased by 50.8% in the following week (based on 5.2 billion sessions), according to ContentSquare, which tracked 22 industries across 26 countries. The analytics provider highlights that many cosmetics companies have decided to refocus their offering on essential products like hand soaps and hand cleaning products.
Luxury-goods transactions, meanwhile, declined 35.3% in the week ending March 22 and were down 30.6% in the week ending March 29, as compared to the reference period. Traffic-wise, in the week ending March 22, cosmetics was down 19.9%, while the week after it fell by a lesser 8.1% compared to the reference period.
Traffic on luxury-goods sites, meanwhile, was down 33.1% in the week ending March 29 after a decline of 32% in the previous seven-day period.
Contentsquare highlights that some brands have closed their e-boutiques, while others, such as Gucci and Kenzo, have stopped delivering in Europe, but continue to ship to the US market. Meanwhile, online luxury retailer Yoox Net-à-Porter said on March 27 that it is temporarily shutting down distribution centers and halting e-commerce operations in the US, Europe and the Middle East.
It remains to be seen how the situation will play out: whether tensions in supply chains will lead to online shortages (Italy and Spain have ordered a temporary shutdown in non-essential production), and if retailers deemed non-essential will bow to increasing pressure over workers’ safety.