Flu Season is Here, and Health Products Are Flying Off Digital Shelves

As e-commerce sellers execute on their 2021 holiday plans, many are now looking toward Q1 2022 strategy to ensure a solid start to next year. With new Covid variants like Omicron emerging, as well as the beginning of the traditional cold and flu season, online health care buyers are stocking up and savvy marketers can capture that demand.

On November 25th, South African scientists announced the discovery of a new covid variant, Omicron, and Dec 1st was the first reported case in the US. The individual in the US was fully vaccinated, only suffered mild symptoms, and is recovering at home while self-quarantining. While their prospects for recovery are good, the timing couldn’t be worse for retailers in the US, as we enter the high seasons for both holiday shopping and the regular flu, which according to CDC data, peaks in one of four months: December, January, February, or March.

Before the discovery of this new COVID variant, Quartile started watching the sales figures for one category of sellers closely: Health Care (which includes products ranging from cold and cough medicine to medical devices). As consumers stock up for the winter cold and flu season, conversion rates across the category peaked at 20.8% in October, increasing 5% over September.*

At the same time, costs per click (CPC) and costs per acquisition (CPA) dipped slightly, while return on ad spend (ROAS) and ads cost of sale (ACoS) remained steady, indicating that health care shoppers are buying more to prepare for the winter. For savvy marketers, this represents an opportunity to capture that demand with more ads.

amazon ads metrics

In October 2021, conversion rates for the health care category peaked at 20.8% while CPC & CPA dipped and ACoS & ROAS remained steady

What Should Sellers Do?

As they close out the year and holiday season, health care vendors and sellers with health product inventories can do their part to help keep everyone safe. Consumers will still rely heavily on e-commerce to keep themselves and their families healthy. Compared to traditional holiday categories like toys, clothing, and hobbies, the health care category spend has remained relatively steady, meaning that there is an opportunity to invest in more advertising to meet the new need for these remedies.

Are you a pharma or health care advertiser still manually managing your ads across Amazon Ads and other retail media investments? Quartile’s artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered platform can help find new search terms that uncover net new demand for your products. Our clients see order volumes increased by up to 20% while ACoS is lowered by as much as 40% with the help of new features like hourly optimization and margin-based targeting. Schedule a demo today to find out more about how Quartile can improve your retail marketplace sales across Amazon, Instacart, Google Shopping, and more.

*Quartile data via our Category research tool

Michael Froggatt
Michael Froggatt

Senior Director, Marketing Programs