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Toilet Paper to Condoms and Hair Dye: The World Has 'New Necessities' After Weeks of Lockdown

Toilet Paper to Condoms and Hair Dye: The World Has 'New Necessities' After Weeks of Lockdown

Now that we've all stocked up on what we need, what are people buying online these days during lockdown?

A week after the World Health Organisation (WHO) called the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, toilet paper went out of stock. After nearly a month of lockdown, the needs have changed. It's hair dyes and condoms.

The focus has shifted - an example of how people are desperately trying to make the most of their time at home as the whole world deals with the coronavirus pandemic and the collateral damage that comes with it.

In the early weeks, when coronavirus has just declared a pandemic, people rushed to stock up on the essentials - food items, canned goods, medicines, toilet paper, sanitizer, hand wash and so on.

In India when Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, there were countless reports of people resorting to panic buying in order to make sure they had enough stock to last the 21 day period.

However, a report by CNN shows that people have moved on from just stocking essentials to other items which can keep them occupied as they stay indoors during the lockdown.

The report, which studies buying patterns of consumers at Walmart, shows that people are now more interested in buying things like puzzles and games which can keep families entertained. Moreover, since beauty salons are shut, people are hoarding beard trimmers, hair colour and such products!

A retail firm, Stackline, carried out an analysis to understand buyer behaviour during the pandemic. And the results are definitely what you'd expect.

Here's what we need to understand - the current living conditions, where we're barely stepping out of our homes, are new. Consequently, people around the world are slowly getting accustomed to the present scenario and doing their best to adapt to it.

In some countries, panic buying is still a predominant trend as people rush to hoard essential goods. In other countries, people are shifting their focus to other aspects - like self care, health, spending quality time with family, honing their cooking skills and working on daily chores. And for that, they need certain items which they might not have required earlier.

Their buying pattern reflects this change in attitude. Stackline shows that the fastest growing category in e-commerce during the coronavirus outbreak is disposable gloves. That's understandable. Bread making machines come second. Yes, people are making their own bread instead of risking going outdoors! In fact, the CNN report too showed that three weeks into lockdown, people were buying yeast and other baking goods!

In fact, weight training equipment has also seen an increase in demand since lockdown was imposed in most countries around the world. Simultaneously, there has been an increase in demand of self grooming equipment as well - like hair dye, trimmers and so on. After all, the quarantine is no excuse to look shaggy and people still want to look their best when they finally step out after the pandemic is over!

While some categories have indeed seen an increase, others have seen a sharp decline in terms of demand. For instance, briefcases and suitcases. At present, a majority of organisations around the world have shifted to remote working with employees working from home. What would they need briefcases for anymore?

Similarly, most countries have suspended travel, either domestic or international thus affecting sales of suitcases.

On the other hand, Indians have found a more enjoyable way of spending time during quarantine - sex.

A report shared by delivery app Dunzo showed that while hand wash was the top priority for users in Jaipur and Chennai, the most ordered product in Mumbai was condoms. Not just Mumbai, residents of other cities like Bengaluru, Pune, and Hyderabad also seem to be having a lot of sex. The most ordered product in both Bengaluru and Pune was a home pregnancy test kit while the contraceptive tablet iPill was the most ordered commodity from Hyderabad.