It’s a no-brainer that there are several shifts in Filipinos’ consumer behavior during the COVID-19 lockdown. Prior to Duterte’s lockdown announcement on the evening of March 12, 2020, the Philippines, especially Metro Manila, was at its usual hustle-and-bustle state despite the rising cases of COVID-19 worldwide. With sudden strict restrictions on physical mobility and consequently, purchasing freedom, Filipinos are left to look for alternative ways of shopping.
Therefore, iPrice Group took a look at the products that are gaining popularity on E-commerce during this dire period. The meta-search E-commerce aggregator compared the impressions of products on their platform between March 2020 (month of lockdown) and November 2019 (a month before the start of any COVID-19 cases in China).
1. Outdoor Swimming Pools
Interestingly enough, kids’ outdoor pools are becoming really popular these days. Impressions on these products increased by about 518% between the months being compared. Thousands of Filipinos may be interested to look for alternative ways to keep their kids active and under the sun during the quarantine.
2. Face Masks (Skincare)
The necessity of wearing a medical face mask amidst this pandemic has been over-communicated, so much so that some groceries wouldn’t even let you in if you’re not wearing one. That said, it’s a given that demand for this product is higher than ever (which we’ll discuss more later on). Surprisingly, however, who knew that skincare face masks’ demand would also increase? According to iPrice Group’s data, impressions on skincare face masks grew by 236%. These are consumers looking at face masks in the skincare category. Filipinos may be letting loose and pampering themselves more at home during this lockdown period.
3. Bicycles and Dumbells
Similar to BBC’s report, interest in bicycles also increased during the lockdown period. Its impression increased by about 97%. Moreover, Filipinos are definitely looking for ways to keep active and fit at home, which explains why impressions on gym dumbells also increased by 80%.
4. Wifi Adapters and LAN Cables
Internet at home is no longer just a luxury, but a necessity these days. Therefore, Filipinos are looking for ways to make their Internet connections faster, reachable, and more stable. According to the data, impressions on wifi adapters grew about 597% while LAN cables grew about 150%.
Now that going to the groceries means actually risking your life, it’s not a surprise that people look for alternative ways to purchase these essentials. Impressions on canned food alone grew by 412%, and the most searched for are the likes of Delimondo, Purefoods, 555, and Century Tuna. Impression on biscuits increased by 310% as well. Filipinos are practical enough to stock up on food with a long shelf-life.
Filipinos also seem to be searching Domex now more than ever, which is a disinfecting multipurpose cleaner. Impressions on this product immensely grew by 1,097%. Furthermore, impressions on disinfectant spray, Lysol, grew by 721% while products with bleach, such as Clorox, Ariel, and Tide, grew by 172%. This goes to show how people could really be taking extra-precautionary measures to disinfect surfaces, clothes, and goods.
Impressions on Corona beer immensely grew by 2,084% as well. However, iPrice Group concludes this to have something to do with searches on the coronavirus instead of the beer brand itself.
6. COVID-19 Essentials
It’s not surprising how Filipinos and the rest of the world search products that prevent COVID-19 now more than ever. Before this pandemic, not many would think to search these items online. For instance, there was no interest in buying medical face masks in the iPrice platform before COVID-19, aside from the time when Taal volcano erupted which caused heavy ashfall. Hence, it comes to no surprise that medical face masks’ impressions immensely grew from 0% in November to 100% in March. Moreover, iPrice Group data shows that as the demand for it increases, so does its price. Comparing prices between January and March, iPrice found that the average price of medical face masks (both 3ply surgical and n95 masks) rose by nearly 86%.
Thermometers and vitamins each had notable growth in impressions in March. Impressions on thermometers grew by a large 1,295%, indicating how vigilant Filipinos are in monitoring fever during this period, which is one of the most common symptoms of the virus. During this pandemic, it is advised for people to keep their bodies and immune systems at tip-top shape, which explains why vitamins’ impressions grew by about 123%.
As health organizations such as WHO and CDC send messages on hand cleansing as a way to prevent the virus, it’s inevitable for hand sanitizers and hand soaps to gain more demand. Impressions on hand sanitizers alone increased by 2,207% while impressions on hand soaps increase by 989%.
Data featured in this study were obtained by aggregating thousands of product pages of more than 100 online merchants through https://iprice.ph/ on Google Analytics. Data on the increase in searches were analyzed by comparing the impressions data recorded from March 13 to March 30, 2020, as compared to November 13 to November 30, 2019. The price increase of medical face masks was also obtained from the product’s average price on the product pages of the iPrice platform.
About iPrice Group
iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely; MalaysiaSingapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and HongKong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogues more than 1.5 billion and receives about 20 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.