The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted consumer shopping trends and behaviors. According to sales data across major Amazon marketplaces, the top selling items on Amazon during COVID-19 reflect people‘s changing priorities and needs during quarantine.
In this comprehensive expert guide, I‘ll highlight the most in-demand categories and top selling products we‘ve seen arise since the pandemic began in early 2020. I‘ve compiled insights as an experienced Amazon seller and account management specialist to help fellow ecommerce businesses understand the latest market opportunities.
Surging Demand for Grocery Essentials
The current global health crisis triggered a massive surge for grocery and household essentials on Amazon as consumers stockpiled supplies.
Italy saw grocery sales increase 47%, Germany experienced a 34% jump, and the US Amazon marketplace saw 26% higher demand in its Grocery sector according to sales data.
The most in-demand grocery products included:
- Shelf-stable foods with long expiration like pasta, rice, oats, canned goods
- Household supplies like toilet paper, paper towels, tissues
- Cleaning and sanitizing products such as disinfecting wipes, sprays, and soaps
- OTC medicine and pain relief products
Italian consumers showed the highest urgency around stocking up on emergency food supplies. Germany focused more on beverages and vitamin supplements for health. Americans sought more variety across the board in their grocery purchases.
All markets saw spikes in demand for familiar comfort foods and staples to last for weeks of quarantine. Online grocery delivery services also became far more popular.
Surge in Health & Safety Supplies
Another core product category that saw major growth was health and safety products for protection against the virus.
- In the US, the Health & Household category increased 13%
- Germany saw 19% higher demand for Health & Personal Care
- Italy experienced a 98% surge for Health & Safety items specifically
The most sought-after products globally included:
- Face masks – N95, surgical, reusable cloth masks
- Hand sanitizer – Anti-bacterial gels, wipes, sprays
- Gloves – Latex, nitrile, and other disposable gloves
- Emergency kits – Pre-packed kits with protective items
- Immunity boosters – Vitamin C, herbal supplements, elderberry gummies
- Thermometers – Infrared no-contact thermometers
According to sales data, Italy‘s consumers were most urgent in seeking health protections while Germans focused more steadily on preventative self-care through nutrition, sanitation, and monitoring.
Across all markets, these new health and safety essentials became must-have items.
Backyard & Outdoor Living Products See Growth
With people confined to their homes more, consumers invested heavily in improving their living spaces. The Patio, Lawn & Garden category saw major increases across Amazon marketplaces:
- Italy: 44% increase
- Germany: 35% increase
- United States: 9% increase
The most popular products included:
- Outdoor furniture – Patio sets, hammocks, Adirondack chairs
- Grills & accessories – Premium grills, barbecue utensils
- Gardening tools – Seed starters, rakes, tillers, gloves
- Plants & seeds – Vegetable plants, herb seeds, flower bulbs
- Outdoor toys – Trampolines, playsets, water slides
Consumers eagerly sought products to create relaxing backyard oases and enhance their home environments. Gardening and outdoor cooking allowed safer recreation. Premium grills and outdoor living furniture saw big gains as people prioritized upgrading their spaces.
Work-from-Home & Fitness Products See Rising Demand
Beyond the top 3 categories, work-from-home and fitness products took off in popularity as well:
- Laptops – For remote offices, laptop sales spiked, especially in the UK where some companies bought entire batches for employees. Webcams, desks, monitors, and productivity software also saw sharp gains.
Home workout equipment – With gyms closed, yoga mats, dumbbells, resistance bands, and cardio machines for home use became best sellers. Streaming workout services also grew popular.
Additional Popular Pandemic Products
Here are some other specific products that secured spots among Amazon‘s top sellers during COVID-19:
- Books – Educational workbooks for kids home from school as well as escapist fiction and non-fiction
- Hair clippers – For self haircuts and grooming during salon closures
- Bread machines – To bake fresh bread conveniently at home
- Air purifiers – To filter and circulate cleaner indoor air
- Freezers – For extra food storage as people stocked up
- Televisions – Larger TVs for at-home movie watching and gaming
- Gaming consoles – Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation for indoor entertainment
- Puzzles & board games – Classic games saw a nostalgic comeback
Optimizing for Pandemic Shopping Trends
As an Amazon seller, you can capitalize on these COVID-driven shopping trends by taking the following steps:
- Review your product catalog and ensure listings are optimized for pandemic-related search terms and buyer needs. Update copy and keywords.
Run sponsored product promotions centered around high-demand search terms in order to rank for relevant traffic.
Check inventory for top sellers in your categories and stock up to meet buyer demand if possible. Prioritize fast shipping.
Create special landing pages or promotions that highlight products matching customer needs under lockdown.
If selling cross-border, pay close attention to geographic differences in top sellers and tailor listings and inventory accordingly.
Convey compassion in your brand messaging and focus on helping customers adapt to difficult times.
As the pandemic continues reshaping consumer behaviors in 2020 and beyond, following the data and optimizing your Amazon presence will be key to continued growth and connecting with people. Please reach out if you need any assistance leveraging these trends or managing your Amazon account during COVID-19. Stay healthy and keep thriving!