Amazon, Alibaba, JD and Pinduoduo To Dominate Online Health & Beauty Sales, Study Finds

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Amazon, Alibaba, JD and Pinduoduo To Dominate Online Health & Beauty Sales, Study Finds

Major online players including Amazon, Alibaba, and Pinduoduo will account for two thirds (65%) of the global e-commerce market for health and beauty between 2020 and 2025, a new study has found.

The study, by Edge by Ascential’s research and data insight arm, Retail Insight, found that online's share of sales in the health and beauty sector is expected to rise to 16.5% globally by the end of the year.

E-Commerce Growth

By 2025, online is expected to account for just under a quarter (23.5%) of health and beauty sales, showing the second-fastest e-commerce growth rate after the Household and Petcare categories.

Alibaba is expected to record around $43.2 billion worth of health and beauty online sales this year, making it the world's largest e-commerce market for health and beauty.

Amazon will post around $28.8 billion worth of sales, the study estimates, with Pinduoduo recording $16.8 billon in sales.


Coronavirus Effect

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on e-commerce sales of health and beauty products – in May 2020 alone, sales of beauty and personal care products and health and household items listed on saw a 141% and 115% year-on-year increase respectively.

“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," commented Florence Wright, senior retail analysts at Edge by Ascential.

"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 study found that Walgreens Boots Alliance will continue to be the world's leading health and beauty retailer, with expected sales (both through stores and online) of $130.5 billion by the end of this year, up from $124 billion last year.


While health products are expected to gain traction this year, cosmetics are expected to see subdued growth, due to consumers working from home, and the need for health and safety measures such as the wearing of masks.

Preparing For Digital

“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," Wright added.

"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.”

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine

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