Nearly 3 Months Into Pandemic, Consumers Still Stocking Up on Disinfectants

Amazon sales reflect that safety measures remain a priority

disinfectant products
As consumers venture outdoors, they're remaining cautious about cleanliness. Allie F/Unsplash
Headshot of Kaila Mathis

Key insights:

Consumers are slowly returning to public spaces as stay-at-home restrictions ease throughout the country, but safety remains a priority, according to a new report from ecommerce performance analytics platform Profitero. 

The report, shared exclusively with Adweek, shows that demand for and sales of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer on Amazon remain steady at peak numbers, even as most pantry products that saw record sales over the past few months inch their way back to normal rates.

When the Covid-19 pandemic began spreading through the U.S. in March, consumers immediately began stocking up on the essentials: toilet paper, bottled water, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, baby diapers, cereal, coffee and salty snacks. Amazon sales of these items skyrocketed between February and April, most notably hand sanitizer (up by 96%), toilet paper (84%), disinfectant wipes (70%), baby diapers (61%), salty snacks (39%) and cereal (38%).

Nearly three months into the pandemic, as cities and stores begin to reopen across the nation, many of these sales numbers are creeping back to normal. Since mid-April, toilet paper and cereal are both down 26%, diapers are down 36%, and salty snacks by 35%.

But demand for hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes has stayed constant. These items are standing firm in sales rates on Amazon at 100% and 97%, respectively. These numbers may also reflect purchasing from both consumers and newly reopened businesses, many of which are enacting new cleaning protocols.

Even as people return to public spaces, the rates at which they are buying disinfectant products perhaps speaks to a desire to maintain an overall level of caution. A new study from the University of Connecticut surveyed respondents on their hygiene practices, and found that 75% were still following CDC guidelines around personal hygiene, such as frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

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Kaila is a graduating senior at Villanova University pursuing a degree in PR & Advertising and Journalism. She is currently working as the Social Media Manager for CLLCTVE, and covers brand marketing and retail stories as a contributor for Adweek.