The global e-pharmacy beauty and personal care market is expected to reach US$ 20.20 billion by 2027, witnessing significant growth over the forecast period (2019-2027). This is owing to increasing internet penetration coupled with growing demand for beauty and personal care products. According to a report by Internet World Stats published in December 2018, the number of internet users reached 4,208 million in June 2018 (with 55.1% penetration), up from 3,270 million in 2015 (with 45.0% penetration) across the globe.
E-pharmacy (BPC) market is majorly driven by changing lifestyles, increasing number of youth and working population, along with increasing awareness about personal care and beauty products is contributing to high demand for personal care products. Furthermore, this is leading to high sales of these products through e-pharmacy channels and others. Authenticity and comparative low prices attract consumers towards online pharmacy channels over other e-commerce websites.
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E-pharmacy can be used to order products online, which aids to reduce cash transactions and promotes cashless economy. The government of India is taking efforts to promote digital payment systems through the launch of ‘Digital India Initiative’ in July 2015. This initiative aims to offer internet access and mobile phone coverage across India, which in turn is expected to help several people to receive online access and utilize digital payment technique.
Moreover, in order to encourage poor and illiterate people in rural areas to make digital payments, the government of India launched ‘Aadhaar Pay’ in March 2019, which ensures financial transactions online. It is expected to help people in rural areas to order personal care products at a single click, where pharmacy stores are not available nearby. Therefore, increasing government initiatives to promote cashless economy is expected to boost growth of the market over the forecast period.
The global e-pharmacy beauty and personal care market was estimated to be worth US$ 7.69 billion in 2018, and is expected to register a CAGR of 11.4% in terms of revenue, over the forecast period (2019 – 2027).
In 2017, North America is accounted for the largest revenue share and contributed 43.3% in the global e-pharmacy beauty and personal care (BPC) market. Increasing consumer spending in healthcare care and personal care products is expected to drive growth of the e-pharmacy (BPC) market in the region. According to the U.S. National Health Expenditures 2016 highlights, the U.S. health care spending was US$ 3.3 trillion, accounting to an average spending of around US$ 10,348 per person in 2016. Moreover, overall share of gross domestic product (GDP) related to healthcare spending increased to 17.9 % in 2016 from 17.7 % in 2015.
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Furthermore, Asia Pacific is expected to record the fastest growth in the market over the forecast period. The regional growth is attributed to increasing demand for beauty & personal care products and growth of e-commerce industry in emerging economies such as China and India. For instance, according to a report on e-commerce published by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian e-commerce market is expected to reach US$ 200 billion by 2026, from US$ 38.5 billion in 2017. In 2018, India e-commerce market was estimated to be US$ 50 million, of which baby, beauty, and personal care products segment accounted for 8% by value.
Players operating in the global e-pharmacy market are focusing on different strategies in order to enhance their market share. For instance, in March 2018, Medlife (India-based e-pharmacy company) announced plan for partnership with Aditya Birla Health Insurance (ABHIC). This partnership is expected to offer cashless medicine delivery to ABHIC customers. This will support customers of ABHIC to have paperless and cashless medicine delivery experience at their homes.
Few of the major companies operating in the global e-pharmacy (BPC) market include, LLOYDS Pharmacy Limited, Pharmacy2u Ltd., Gordons Direct, Shop Apotheke, CVS Health, Walgreen Company, Familymeds, Inc., The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, Cardinal Health, and Rite Aid Corporation.
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The e-pharmacy companies are focusing on customer convenience by offering services such as online consultation by doctors, physicians, beauty specialist through videos, and chatting services. For instance, Medlife was previously offering telephonic consultation and is planning to have video-based doctor consultation through its acquisition of EClinic24/7 firm in November 2018. EClinic24/7 is a telemedicine platform that connects its users with doctors for video consult, voice call, chat, or email/web-based consultation. Patients will be able to avail this facility through Medlife app, and website.
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