Wednesday , September 30 2020

Online marketplaces are tanking worldwide – except for Amazon

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Last week, Amazon announced it’ll open 100,000 new roles to “support people relying on Amazon’s service in this stressful time.” The new hires are set to bring the company’s workforce to over 900,000 worldwide. While Amazon is thriving in the coronavirus crisis, though, the situation looks grim for competitors like AliExpress, eBay, and Etsy.

Over the past few weeks, Amazon has raked in a record number of orders from customers looking for essentials like hygiene products and household staples. The increased demand is supported by Google Trends data, which shows the company is enjoying a bump in traffic unusual for this time of the year.

Amazon traffic traditionally peaks at the end of November as users start preparing for the Christmas season; there’s also another smaller bump in traffic at the start of summer. Now, a new peak is forming in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, as can be seen below.

But what about other large, globally operating, online marketplaces? How are they coping in wake of corona?

[Read: Robinhood traders are loading up on these stocks while markets are plunging]

Let’s look at the global, 5-year search data for these global players — AliExpress, Asos, eBay, Etsy, and Zalando — and check if their recent data breaks with the usual trend.

The declines in interest shouldn’t come as a surprise at a time when people are uncertain about their jobs and financial prospects due to lockdowns to combat the spread of the virus.

Unlike Amazon, its main competitors don’t focus on essential products like sanitizers, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and non-perishable foods. This is important as people tend to minimize spending on non-essential products during economic downfalls. A Tally poll among 2,000 US adults shows 44% of millennials are already taking such measures.

Published March 24, 2020 — 14:41 UTC

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