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News Article

Quarantine Boosts Internet Traffic and Online Services

By Alessa Flores | Wed, 04/01/2020 - 13:38

Consumption of cleaning supplies and non-perishable foods has increased considerably since the second week of March, mostly because of panic purchases stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico and the world. Digital platforms such as Mercado Libre increased their sales of pharmacy products by 114 percent, mass consumption products by 120 percent and household and laundry products by up to 403 percent, according to an interview by Millenio. In addition, it is estimated that the average ticket per purchase is around MX$600 (US$24.6).

According to Nielsen, changes in consumer behavior in times of pandemic take place in six phases: proactive health purchases, reactive health management, pantry preparation, quarantine life preparation, life restriction and new living standards. In general, Nielsen has observed that consumption has not only changed in relation to panic purchases of products, but there has also been a spike in emergency sales, such as antibacterial soap, oral masks and safety goods.

Due to the extended quarantine to April 30, it would be expected that Mexico switches from phase four to phase five of Nielsen’s consumer behavior chart. This means a rise in purchases and storage of food and health items to remain under quarantine until April 30. Moreover, as Mexico advances from one stage to another, it is expected that e-commerce and online purchases increase.
At the beginning of March, Rappi reported a 25 percent increase in pharmacy orders in Mexico and a 6 percent further increase after the first week of the month, which leads us to think that in the face of quarantine and according to Nielsen stages, apps like this will continue to grow in use and revenue during the month of April.

Internet use has also increased for work, academic and entertainment purposes. Moreover, a study calculated that Netflix accounted for 12.6 percent of global Internet data traffic, which was expected to increase since confinement measures have been imposed in several countries around the world. Other applications such as Amazon, Youtube, Spotify, Zoom and other services have also seen an increase in use, in addition to online video games.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
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Alessa Flores Alessa Flores Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst