The Future Looks Bright for Direct-to-Consumer Personal Tests

These days, the word “testing” tends to be associated with COVID-19. Yet, even beyond COVID-19 tests, personal tests are an incredibly expansive and important field, ranging from vital medical tests to DNA tests that help us understand our heritage, to ovulation and pregnancy tests that help us plan our families. 

As the type of personal tests available to consumers continues to grow, the fledgling field of at-home testing grows as well. On Amazon alone, direct-to-consumer personal tests have grossed $362 MM during the last 12 months.

  • Falling prices. As the number of active brands in this category continues to rise, we are seeing competition push down prices for some tests. In the category as a whole, prices are down 16% YoY, while the number of units sold has increased over the same period.
  • Demand for some tests is shrinking. Namely, demand for DNA tests has fallen 30% YoY. DNA test sales are highly seasonal, with December sales being nearly 4x that of earlier months. While December 2019 sales were nearly unchanged from December 2018, demand since then has fallen below last year’s levels. The COVID-19 pandemic may be to blame — a typical summer spike in sales did not occur this year.
  • For other tests, demand is growing. Notably, blood type test revenues are up 286% YoY. Why? Widely reported news linking some blood types to increased COVID severity could potentially play a role. Additionally, the relatively low price of blood type tests ($16.79 on average) means the product is accessible to many consumers. Demand for pregnancy-related tests is also increasing. Ovulation tests, glucose level tests, and milkscreens are up 26% YoY, 46% YoY, and 285% YoY respectively.
  • New types of at-home tests are emerging. Amongst others, Lyme tests, nicotine tests, UTI tests, and alcohol tests have all seen rapid e-commerce growth over the past 12 months. There are now 51 types of personal tests available on Amazon, and we expect this number to rise in the coming months.

While demand for some types of personal tests has fallen, the future still looks bright for at-home testing. Looking forward, we also see the possibility of at-home COVID-19 tests and antibody tests soon being available on e-commerce platforms. The future of testing will be one of speed and convenience.

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