With more countries implementing either shelter in place or stay at home orders due to COVID-19, it is not surprising there is a spike in online ordering. Society today is simply better equipped than ever to living “life as normal” from home: working from home, shopping from home, and socializing from home— thanks to the internet.
While some people are only ordering the essentials to limit grocery store and pharmacy runs, others are taking to their favorite online retailer for a healthy dose of retail therapy. But what exactly are people ordering online, now more than ever? Here are a few of our predictions on what product categories are likely to see an uptick in volume in the coming weeks, while we find ourselves stuck indoors…
1. Home Office Accessories and Electronics
From one day to the next, millions of people find themselves working from home. And for some, that means putting together a comfy home office or tidy work space. Lap-tables, webcams, monitors, wireless keyboards, and portable laptop stands, once an afterthought, have become vital in the #WFH (work from home) atmosphere. People are customizing their home offices to accommodate a full-time work from home situation.
2. Children's Toys and Play Forts
Of course, the kids are home from school, too. They have plenty of homework to do but still have hours of stir-crazy time driving newly at-home parents up the wall. The solution? More toys, of course! Many parents bought a stack of new toys and puzzles as the stay-at-home orders began. Now, stuck inside with the whole family, you can bet a few new play-forts and Lego kits will be hitting delivery trucks soon.
3. Pet Supplies and Accessories
One group who presumably could not be more thrilled for the home stay is our furry companions. Pet owners now have more time to play with their “fur babies”, and many will discover that there just aren't enough pet toys in the house to satisfy the increased need for indoor play. New toys, beds, and cat-trees are already filling virtual carts. Not to mention stocking up for an extra two weeks of pet food and treats.
4. Drones and Remote-Control Toys
Social distancing is one thing. But drones make it possible to do all sorts of things standing very far apart. If you haven't seen the "Sharing a beer with my neighbor" stories filling social media right now, check it out. Neighbors are figuring out how to share drinks, deliver messages, and play Backgammon with mechanically-assisted distance. Flying drones and RC cars are all the rage and their orders are only going to rise as others are inspired to do the same.
5. Home Fitness Equipment
Athletes and self-proclaimed fitness junkies alike are being kept from their usual workout equipment at the local gyms. Yoga classes aren't being held, and bodybuilders can't reach their weight machines. Every type of athlete is now facing the task of maintaining their physical fitness inside the house. And you know what that means— an influx of orders for home fitness equipment, ranging from The Mirror to the Bowflex to Pilates bands.
6. At-Home Beauty Treatments
Regulars at spas and salons can't get to their usual sauna and weekly facials either. It is no longer feasible to enjoy a little luxury or depend on professionals for regular upkeep and grooming to gather in boutique sand salons. At-home beauty treatments, such as manicure kits, hair dyes, and DIY waxing products are sure to see an uptick. As people take their relaxation and skincare into their own hands, orders are on the up.
7. Kitchen Utensils and Small Appliances
Home chefs are also experiencing a renaissance… What better time to refine your cooking skills than now? With restaurants closing, it's become necessary for everyone to cook from home more often than usual. Many people are discovering that they might not have enough pots, pans, or even dinnerware to enjoy their favorite meals at home. Specialty coffee makers and fancy countertop appliances may also see a boost.
8. Adult Toys and Products
With more time on their hands, and in the privacy of their own home, adults are likely to get more creative and adventurous on passing the time. The adult toy industry is sure to see an increase in online orders for the latest in entertainment and accessories.
No one knows how long the shelter in place or stay at home orders will remain in effect. What we do know is that life is quickly changing to adapt to this new “normal”. It is no surprise that the internet is the way of the future, but no one could have anticipated that a global pandemic would be the catalyst for eCommerce retailers. Let’s hope that COVID-19 is quickly contained and we can all soon return to our everyday lives. Until then, stay home and stay safe and count on your favorite online retailers to deliver a little piece of "normal".
Rakuten Super Logistics is a leading eCommerce order fulfillment company that provides the scalability, flexibility, and cost savings retailers demand.
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