Procter & Gamble’s Digital Sales Strengthen During Pandemic

Consumer goods titan Procter & Gamble has been enjoying a substantial surge in its e-commerce business amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as the delta variant continues to spread. To meet increased demand, the company may be instituting a price hike for certain hot-ticket items.

P&G's Chief Financial Officer Andre Schulten reports that consumers are still requiring higher amounts of day-to-day household products due to being confined to their homes. Paper towels sales are up by 10%, while toilet paper is being purchased at a rate 5% higher than in pre-pandemic times. Digital transactions are likewise hitting record numbers for the company; those sales are up 16% year-over-year between July and September—and 66% in comparison to 2019. U.S. e-commerce specifically is riding an 11% wave of heightened business when set side by side with 2020 metrics.

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Accounting for both direct-to-consumer and omnichannel partner (Target, Walmart) offerings, P&G's digital pursuits make up around 14% of its sales enterprise. Concentrating on the health, hygiene, and home cleaning products currently in vogue due to COVID-19 has undoubtedly helped the company double down on its digital business. “We believe that a focus on strong brands, as driven by COVID, is benefitting us specifically in an eComm environment where we show up in search on the first page,” CFO Schulten said.

The company is not, however, impervious to the supply chain woes beleaguering most industries. Price increases on select items such as toilet paper, diapers, and feminine care products have been put in place to balance revenue lost through those issues. P&G can at least bank on its friendly relationship with suppliers to achieve some flexibility in addressing the problem going forward.