The pandemic caused by Covid-19 has led to emergence of varied categories that had a negligible online presence before this ongoing crisis, changing the dynamics of the e-commerce retail industry.
FMCG is one segment that started making news right from the beginning of lockdown in March 2020. The FMCG e-commerce sector saw a major spike at the beginning of lockdown and it was considered as a temporary phenomenon given the conventional nature of the industry, and consumers were expected to go back to old ways of shopping after some time. The changing consumer behavior supported with increasing e-commerce adoption across the country has led to an exorbitant order volume growth of 74% for the FMCG segment for the period of January-August 2021, over the corresponding period a year ago. The Food and beverages segment reported 72% order volume growth in January-August 2021 as compared to the same period last year, while the organic food segment reported a 74% rise in order volume during the same period.
The beauty and personal care segment was growing rapidly even before the pandemic. The pandemic further accelerated the growth of the industry and the new age digital companies were able to efficiently meet the rising consumer demand. An increasing number of consumers are now buying beauty and personal care products online, the segment reported 143% order volume growth, highest amongst all the emerging segments. The segment can be broadly divided into three key segments: The first one is Face care is the real growth driver for the segment with 179% order volume growth in January-August 2021 as compared to the same period last year. The second segment is Haircare, which has reported a strong order volume growth of 91% during the above-mentioned time frame. The third segment is Body care, while it’s an important segment it reported a slower order volume growth of 48% in January-August 2021 vs January-August 2020. Beauty and personal care is an interesting category where marketplaces are the real growth drivers with 163% order volume growth for the period of January-August 2021 as compared to the same period last year.
Health and pharma sector continues to grow and reported 119% order volume growth in Jan-Aug 2021 as compared to the same period last year.
Nutraceutical is a sub-segment in Health and Pharma that has garnered a lot of attention with its strong growth in the last one year. The nutraceutical segment reported 143% order volume growth from January-August 2021 as compared to the same period last year.
The home decor industry growth reported an order volume growth of 51% with a significant GMV growth of 108% leading to the highest average order value growth of 38%.
Sports goods is a small industry and at a nascent stage of the e-commerce business and it holds immense growth potential with 66% order volume growth, along with muted GMV growth of 18%.
The findings are part of an industry trends report, unveiled by supply-chain SaaS technology platform Unicommerce, titled ‘Emerging e-commerce segments 2021’.
Speaking on the launch of the report, Kapil Makhija, CEO, Unicommerce, said, “The pandemic has altered consumer buying patterns and accelerated the adoption of technology amongst brands at a faster pace. Rising e-commerce adoption has led to the birth of many new segments in the e-commerce industry that were insignificant until last year. Our aim with this report is to showcase the evolving trends in these emerging categories along with detailing the growth trends of sub-segments under each category. An important finding from the report is the phenomenal growth of brand websites and marketplaces and how it's impacting all these emerging segments. We received an overwhelming response to our previous reports and we are confident that this report will also help e-tailers in understanding the emerging segments and adapt well to the changing dynamics of the e-commerce industry. We are committed to helping e-tailers in their e-commerce journey and this report helps in furthering our mission.”
Furthermore, the report also maintained that in the first eight months of 2020, tier-I cities contributed 39% market share, followed by 38% share of tier-III cities and 23% of tier-II cities. However, the market shares changed significantly in 2021, with 161% growth of tier-I cities contributing 52% of the overall market share of the emerging segments, followed by 85% growth of tier-II cities contributing 19% of the market share and 75% growth of tier-III cities with 29% market share.