Durex on demand: how China's Covid-19 lockdown drove the sales of sex products on JD.com
JD.com, one of China's biggest e-commerce players, has released research on consumer purchasing habits around sex toys and related products after it noticed people's habits changed due to Covid-19.
Lingerie, other adult toys and simulation dolls ranked top three in terms of traffic.
According to JD.com, it saw dramatic changes in related search keywords when people in China went into lockdown as it drove a huge increase in demand for contraceptives and stimulated long-distance partners’ desire to make purchases for their counterparts from afar.
The aircraft cup, also known as the masturbation cup (飞机杯) and vibrator (震动棒) ranked as the top men’s and women’s adult products respectively, followed by simulation dolls (仿真娃娃) and egg vibrators (跳蛋). Lingerie, other adult toys and simulation dolls ranked top three in terms of traffic.
For men’s products, it so happens that the largest “doll” merchants are from Wuhan, explaining some of the impact on inflatable dolls this year.
What are the findings?
- From January to June, demand for family planning products increased over 30% YOY, and was roughly equivalent to every person who has bought related products on JD buying 44 condoms and two boxes of emergency contraceptives each.
- In February, the growth of condoms alone increased by nearly 50% YOY. Impacted by the pandemic, adult products growth in Hubei province, the epicentre of the pandemic, fell sharply in February this year compared with that of last year, after which it gradually approached the national average and then slowed a tad in June.
- “Remote” orders for condoms and contraceptives demonstrated a significant upward trend since April, with the number of emergency contraceptives purchased reaching 150% in May, compared with the same period last year. This perhaps suggests the reuniting of long-distance lovers following lockdowns and road closures. Overall, emergency contraceptives have increased by 53% YOY.
- The tropical Hainan province, dubbed “China’s Hawaii”, saw the fastest year-on-year turnover of adult products on JD in June, increasing 111% YOY and 208% month-on-month. According to Trip.com’s “Interprovincial Travel Recovery Half Month Report”, Hainan’s Sanya firmly topped the list of the most popular destination cities in June, with the number of tourists growing by 210% month-on-month.
- In 2020, the purchase of products for the opposite sex by women consumers has increased by about 30%. Intercity orders increased by about 120%, perhaps suggesting an attempt to ensure their partners’ needs are taken care of even when they are not together. There is a significant increase in purchases by women with higher education backgrounds.
- The top 10 brands on JD in terms of turnover in 2020 are: Durex, Okamoto, Wanaike, Jinge, Bililing, Jissbon, Cialis, Mizz zee, Duzihate and Skvakom.