The world is taken by storm by the Covid-19 pandemic. People are affected on a personal level, being advised or in some cases, forced to stay indoors for weeks or months to come. More and more countries are on lockdown or may decide to take sure drastic measures in the coming weeks. Businesses around the world had to close their doors to their customers and sent employees home. The benefit of running an e-commerce store however is that you can continue your business as long as your supply chain remains reliable. But does it? And what if it does not? Before we dive in to our shipping alternative, lets see what products are trending now.
Trending Product Categories during Covid-19 Home Isolation
Let’s first have a look at what is trending. While lots of products see a decline in sales, E-commerce orders for other products are in high demand. What do people do when they have to stay home all day? They find distractions. Can’t go to the gym anymore? Work out at home. Are you bored sitting at home doing nothing? Play some board games or videogames with your family members. People who are lucky enough to be able to take their work home may require a laptop, microphone and webcam for conferencing. Others may decide its time to start gardening or to make good use of time and learn a new language.
Google Trends is a tool by, you guessed it, Google, that compiles data on search query trends. Put in a keyword and it tells you how popular a certain search term is. As such, here are a few graphs to make this article flashier and give you some insights in what currently sells.
As you can see from this graph, home fitness is more popular than ever, and it’s not even the first of January, so it’s not about New Year resolutions! Worldwide, people are looking to stay fit at home, since gyms closed their doors or people just avoid them as a precaution. Especially consumers in the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand are eager to get sweating with some home fitness equipment according to the data.
Of course, the search query is in English, so expect countries that are used to speak English to top the lists. Just to prove a point, here is the same search query but in Dutch – of all languages, yep, Dutch.
We see the same trend in other languages. This also goes for individual products related to this category, such as dumbbells, kettle bells, yoga mats, pull-up bars, resistance bands and them fancy TRX suspension bands. Look at the following few graphs or give it a go yourself by going to Google Trends and have a look at the products you’re selling. Simply type in a keyword related to something you’re selling, press enter and voilà, data appears.
It’s not just fitness related products that sell well. Unsurprisingly, Personal Hygiene goods are doing well also. Face masks, hygiene swipes, soaps, and portable bidets! Brands like Brondell and BioBidet are doing great.
For those of you who like to attend martial arts classes but currently can’t, there are always punching bags you could order online. Products like these are apparently also seeing an increase in demand. This is the graph for the Dutch word for “punching bag” for example. The English word is also seeing a rising trend but not as steep as the Dutch do.
Board games have become increasingly popular over the years. Having had a splendid holiday season already, the board games are again on the rise.
Card games, PS4 games, Nintendo Switch games, they are all product categories that people seek in times when distraction is needed.
Webcams and Microphones
You would think that most people these days got a webcam in their laptop or MacBook, but orders for webcams are rocketing like never before. Webcams see a massive rise in demand over the past month. Especially Canada is looking for these little gems that allow us to continue our conference calls and meetings from the comfort of our homes. We are seeing the same trend for microphones. They’re selling like hot cakes in Australia, The Phillipines, New Zealand, the United States and Singapore, among other countries.
Other Trending Products
There are far more examples to give, but you may want to just find some up-to-date graphs yourself for the keywords that are particularly interesting to you. Other categories that we noticed doing well selling through e-commerce channels are for instance:
- Knitting supplies
- Art supplies
- eReaders, digital books
- Pet Care
- Kids Toys
- Yoga Clothes
- Gardening products
- DIY Kits
- Language books and courses
- Home Manicure sets
- Baking products
There are likely more trending product categories, but these stood out to us. If you’re selling any of the above or need a shipping alternative ASAP, keep reading.
Fulfillment by Amazon to Limited Shipments Of Non-Essential Items
Let’s face it. Your number one concern right now, outside of taking care of your family and your own health, is your supply chain. Can you still guarantee timely delivery? E-commerce orders for certain categories are increasing, but fulfillment and delivery takes increasingly more time due to precautions taken by couriers, lack of staff and the increase of online orders. Warehousing personnel has to work slower and keep the recommended 1.5+ meters distance to avoid the possibility of unknowingly passing on the CoronaVirus to one another.
Amazon has announced to limit shipments to essential goods. Goods fulfilled through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program are set to be strictly limited up to at least April 4th. Amazon will be giving priority to receiving, stocking and delivery of only those goods that are essential and currently in highest demand. The creation of new inbound shipments has been temporarily turned off for vendors on the marketplace.
This may come as rather unfortunate news in already unfortunate times. As a small to medium sized business, you are doing all you can to keep your business afloat but may now have difficulties delivering goods to your customers. Needless to say, it is crucial that you find a shipping alternative ASAP. You may be wondering what to do now that Amazon may be unable to ship
your goods as usual. Luckily we can help you out.
Alternative E-Commerce Order Fulfillment Solution
Have your order fulfillment taken care of in Hong Kong. Hear us out. Chances are that many of the goods you are selling are sourced or manufactured in China. Hong Kong is right next to China, officially part of it, but with its own set of regulations with regards to trade. It has an excellent infrastructure and business continues as usual since the city has managed to control the spread of Covid-19 extremely well. Warehouses are fully operational and goods can be sent from Hong Kong to the US, Europe, Australia and elsewhere in less than 3 days by Express couriers.
Besides that, remember the good old trade wars that were going on? While it’s not in the news as much right now, it is still very much going on. Trade tariffs on goods manufactured in China have been cutting in on profit margins for a significant group of American online sellers. Shipping through Hong Kong allows you to avoid trade wars tariffs as well. Ship through Hong Kong and kill two birds with one stone.
Floship Order Fulfillment
What we do
Floship is an e-commerce order fulfillment provider based in Hong Kong. While we do have warehouses and fulfillment options in mainland China and Europe as well, Hong Kong is where our headquarters are and the core of our daily operations take place.
We work with existing and emerging e-commerce brands that primarily sell B2C consumer goods, such as consumer electronics, IoT (Internet of Things) devices, apparel, gadgets, toys, board games, home fitness- and sport equipment, protein powders, sex toys and much more. We also work with entrepreneurs running crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Campfire, handling the order fulfillment of their backer rewards.
Our Fulfillment Software and Services
Our proprietary software integrates seamlessly with over 65 different e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Amazon and Newegg. The entire fulfillment process is fully automated because of our system. Once orders come in through your shopping cart, Floship warehouses are notified and start the order picking process within 24 hours. We handle everything. With Floship, you got over 30 choices in couriers, be it by air or ocean freight, standard or Express delivery; we have a custom solution to meet your needs and to ship your orders worldwide.
Our dashboard provides full transparency in your orders. It is there where you can track the status of each individual order, your stock and costs. Setting up is easy and straightforward. Each new client will be assigned a dedicated account manager when on boarded and will continue to be available to you during the entirety of our business relationship. Having your own account manager means that you always know who to go to in case you do run into any issues or have any questions on how to grow your business. No more back and forward between parties that refuse to take responsibility.
Our solution experts would love to talk about your business and go over a solid strategy to help you deliver products even during the ongoing covid-19 crisis. Your customers expect to receive their orders on time, and we expect to deliver.
While we are all currently facing difficult times because of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially small to medium-sized brands like your own, there are ways to keep delivering the same level of service your customers are used to. Even when Amazon limits its fulfillment services to essential goods only, there is no need for panic. If you manufacture in or near China, you can ship through Hong Kong and continue growing your business. Reach out today by filling out our Get Global Solutions form and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours. For now, we hope you stay healthy, positive and take all necessary precautions.