The oral care market is projected to reach USD 53.27 billion by 2025 from USD 44.51 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 3.0% during the forecast period. The growth in this market is driven by rising awareness about oral hygiene, growing incidences of dental diseases, and technological advancements in oral care products. Online purchases of products are a key trend in this market due to the emergence of e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and the high accessibility they offer. Conversely, the dependency on retail/consumer stores affects the business of manufacturers to a considerable degree.
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Increasing online purchase of Oral Care Products
There has been a marked shift in the retailing of oral care products across the globe in recent years. Online retailers are gradually being preferred over traditional distributors, retailers, and pharmacies. These online retailers provide a wide range of oral care products at attractive prices. The growing trend of online purchasing is supported by the increasing number of Internet users, which has reached 4.42 billion, globally (Source: Internet World Stats, June 2019). The same source reported that oral care products accounted for 13% of the personal care products ordered by online portals.
Moreover, purchasing oral care products through e-commerce portals offers several advantages, such as the availability of multi-brand oral care products at relatively lower prices, ease of purchasing, and free shipping. Online purchases are convenient as one can place the order from the comfort of their home and ensure product delivery to their doorstep. Moreover, a wide selection of oral care products is available online, and the oral care products bought online are cheaper as compared to retail stores.
The most common online portals through which oral care products are frequently ordered are Amazon, Flipkart, Drug Store, Sephora, Indimart, nykaa, eBay, SnapDeal, MedPlus Mart, BigBasket, and Moon Oral Care. Their success has prompted some key players to work toward launching their own online purchasing portals. Such investments towards e-commerce channels are indicative of the opportunities in this market.
High Dependency on Retail/Consumer Stores
Prominent players in the oral care/oral hygiene market are highly dependent on retail stores as they are the immediate customers for manufacturers. Large stores/supermarkets such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Costco have high bargaining strength; the continued trend of consolidation among retailers could thus create a cost and margin pressure on manufacturers. Furthermore, the high bargaining power of buyers may negatively impact the business of manufacturers. To promote the oral care business of leading manufacturers, these supermarkets demand higher trade discounts, allowances, or slotting fees from manufacturers. For instance, almost every year, oral care product manufacturers such as Colgate, P&G, Unilever, and GSK offer trade discounts to dental supermarkets to promote their brand in the market. Similarly, in 2015, Wal-Mart stores charged almost all vendors for stocking their items in new stores and for warehousing inventory. This may lead to reduced profitability for market players.
Although most major players have adopted various strategies to combat this, increasing consolidation among retail stores is one of the major challenges in the oral care market. Promoting sales through online distribution (e-commerce) is one of the major strategies followed by global players to combat this challenge and maintain their position.
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