The COVID-19 pandemic could significantly strengthen internet sales channels. The development of e-commerce will also take place in the case of over-the-counter products, according to PMR’s latest report entitled “OTC product market in Poland 2020. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2020-2025”.
The pharmacy channel will remain the main place of purchase for OTC products
Although pharmacies remained open, some people, due to e.g. switching to remote work or restricting other exits, were shopping in the e-commerce channel instead of in traditional channels. The impact of the pandemic was also visible in public shops and at petrol stations. The introduced restrictions resulted in a smaller number of visitors and, consequently, a reduction in shopping, especially impulse shopping, including OTC products. Also some of such people could make purchases in e-commerce channels.
A survey conducted by PMR among companies operating on the Polish market in April 2020 shows that among the sectors surveyed, the coronavirus pandemic is the most beneficial for online sales in the retail and pharmaceutical/healthcare sectors. At the same time, it should be noted that the pharmacy channel will remain the main place of purchase of OTC products, but its share may fall in favour of online sales.
Dermocosmetics most at risk from the coronavirus pandemic
Dermocosmetics are the products most dependent on the economic situation of households among all OTC products. Most often, they are not classified by consumers as first-needed goods. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the dynamics of sales of such products may slow down most. Deterioration of the economic outlook in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, and consequently a decrease in consumer purchasing power, may significantly affect the best-selling products in this category. These are often luxury products on which consumers are willing to save first.