COVID-19 Effect on Amazon

Countries are locked down, people are working from home and shops are closed. These are some effects of the COVID-19 virus, that is currently running through the world. The pandemic affects businesses as well. For Amazon, it means changes in sales and prioritise certain categories.


These effects result in a change of the customer behaviour, which is occurring during this pandemic. People are buying panicky groceries from the supermarkets, pasta, rice, eggs etc. People are wearing masks outside their houses and have the fear of getting infected. Italy is in lockdown and in other countries serious measurements have been implemented.

Moreover, the pandemic has an impact on all the countries in Europe. The economies of countries are taking serious damage. With businesses, schools, restaurants closing, the revenue stream for the countries is decreasing. Already mentioned in paragraph 2, but customers behave differently.  The reason for this is the limitation of the facilities in the society of the countries. Moreover, with the high demand of groceries, supermarkets are having trouble to restock those products, which can lead to scarcity.

On the other side, a platform like Amazon is increasing in sales. Several categories are extremely popular. The reason for it is, people are staying at home to reduce the risks of getting infected. Therefore, ordering the needed products online has become a common habit. During the pandemic, several products/ categories are showing increasing in search terms on Amazon. Below are examples given:

  • Face masks and all other health care products. People are scared of infection and want protection when they are outside. Face masks, hand gel, hand soap etc. are very popular by the public
  • School are closed, home school games are for parents handy. Therefore, they are still able to teach their children at home.
  • Nintendo’s and PS4’s. Children are staying at home and want to stay occupied while being in quarantine.
  • Pet supplies, baby products and beauty personal care products are also highly demanded in Europe.

Moreover, we have researched the top 10 search terms on Amazon in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The Netherlands:

With the launch of Amazon in the Netherlands a new door was opened. In the beginning electronic were most search. On March 16 the top three consisted of Hue, Philips Hue and the Nintendo Switch. But three days later it changed to face masks, thermometers, toilet paper etc.

Top 10 – March 16

Top 10 – March 18


The pandemic in Europe started in Italy. Nowadays, it is the country where the most casualties are compared to other countries. Looking to the search terms of the Italians, they started from February 16th already with searching for health care products. However, with the regulations in Italy, the public is slowly changing to the normal circumstances. The two tables below will show the changes.

Top 10 – February 16

Top 10 – March 15


From March 1, the top 10 in Spain was a combination of electronica and health care products. iPhones and air pods were still popular products. A week later, the entire top 10 switched to only health care products.


February 23, from this date the French people were already searching for the health care products. Especially, for ffp2- and ffp3 masks. The week before this, the top 10 was filled with only electronica (same as Spain). Now, masks are named nine times and hydro alcoholic gel is only named ones.


The search terms in Germany are more diverse compared to the other countries. The change in search was also on February 23. Also, multiple health care products are search on Amazon, but the difference is that Germany does not have a top 10. Number 19, is the first product which is not a health care product, but a Bluetooth headphone.

United Kingdom:

From February until March 24, the top ten of the United Kingdom has barely changed, except for one product. In the week of March 15, pasta has entered the top 10 search terms of Amazon in the United Kingdom. Compared to the other countries, this was the only food named in the top ten.

From February 16 until March 24, the top 10 in the named countries are all focused on the health care products. However, we found an unusual product that has already existed but was not interesting for the public. Baby shower games, in the graph below, it is shown that in the last 13 months, the products were not trending with an average of 42.278 searches per 3 months. However, last month those searches were sky-high. Over 1.2 million searches, in the last month.

Even on Pinterest are people sharing their baby shower games.

The increased demand for all the health care products and other categories resulted in Amazon making the following decision. Because, medical supplies and other highly-demanded products are often out of stock, the company has decided to cancel any new shipments by April 5th 2020. Excluding the following categories:

  • Baby products
  • Health & Household
  • Beauty & Personal Care (including personal care appliances)
  • Grocery
  • Industrial & Scientific
  • Pet Supplies

The company prioritises these categories, therefore Amazon can restock. They use the fulfilment centers to quickly receive and restock the products and deliver those products to the customer. Amazon is temporarily doing this new approach until the company will announce when they will return to regular operations.

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