This was the most out-of-stock product on websites in May

As states issued stay-at-home orders in March, scared and panicked Americans rushed to stock-up on households essentials which quickly emptied out and created national shortages. Snagging toilet paper was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Now even as states ease those stay-at-home orders, many households essentials continue to be out-of-stock online, according to a recent report by Euromonitor International, which analyzed e-commerce data from more than 1,000 online retailers.

Among the items measured by Euromonitor International, liquid soap is in shortest supply in the U.S. as of May, showing up as out-of-stock on 21.9% of e-commerce sites. That was followed by baby wipes (13.7%), hand care* (9.8%), and soap (8.5%).


And as the economy starts to recover, some of the shortages have actually worsened. Soap, hand care, and liquid soap all saw increased shortages online between April 26 to May 17. Essential items online have also increased in term of prices, but crackdowns from companies like Amazon have prevented huge spikes.

“Compared to other countries, U.S. e-commerce price fluctuations have experienced smaller swings, due in part to stricter enforcement,” the Euromonitor International researchers wrote. “As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to worsen, U.S. consumers’ online retailer dependency to provide necessities and daily luxuries will only grow.”

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