The age of social media and technological advancements affected the retail industry in ways that are highly apparent.
Remember how people used to look up catalogs of products on magazines or leaflets for products they wish to purchase?
Given that we were born in that era, of course.
But today, everyone can sit on their computers or phones for a few minutes and you wouldn’t know that they have already shopped a month’s worth of food and house supplies.
While the days of going to malls and markets still exist, the presence of online shoppers is something much more constant compared to traditional shopping.
In a few clicks, you have the ability to reduce the amount of time and work you have to do thanks to eCommerce.
Without getting too technical with you, commerce is an umbrella term for buy-and-sell of goods and services.
Adding an ‘e’ before the word gives it a whole new perspective; the ‘e’ is short for electronic. So, “electronic commerce.” Like the words ‘mail’ and ‘email’.
The difference would be the performance of the activity is no longer done conventionally or physically, but rather over a digital platform like a handheld device connected to the internet.
This term is more well known as “online shopping” in layman.
In an international study conducted by the World Bank, stated that the Philippine market has improved the most in ranking in the ASEAN region. Starting a business in the country is shown to have become easier and potentially ideal for the growing trade in the future. Keep on reading to see how, because we’ll show you the 2020 eCommerce Trends in the Philippines at the end of this blog.
What makes eCommerce the bee’s knees in this flourishing market fall under the following reasons:
Convenience – The need to spend time and money to travel is reduced to a few clicks on your device, without having to leave where you are. You can avoid the heavy traffic congestion that the Philippines is known for and the tedious search for a parking space. Simultaneously, online shopping has no closing hours. They operate 24/7 so while maybe shops are closed for the holidays, there’s nothing stopping you from adding something to your cart and proceed to checkout.
Swift & Smooth Transaction – Speaking of a few clicks, your push cart is fully digital. You’re not pushing any items around a shopping mall, and searching every aisle for an item on your list. You could be ordering fresh produce on one tab, and a new smartphone on the next.
A Platform For Everything – Since there’s no need to move around, everything is done and made available on your device. Popular platforms like Shopee and Lazada are used by many businesses, regardless of their size, providing opportunities for the local market to compete with big companies.
With eCommerce becoming part of our daily lives, there are new habits that consumers have. Understanding the things that they do before deciding to purchase anything online, helps to identify which practices are obsolete for businesses. Before being able to sell anything, marketing is an important aspect to reach and engage with potential clients.
- Filipinos are heavy gadget users.
We have discussed in our previous blogs just how much Filipinos engage online, that we manage to top the world in terms of social media usage. The study showed the average that we spend up to 10 hours daily on the Internet, 4 hours dedicated to social media.
- Affected by Influencer Marketing
Since we spend so much time online, most of the information that we acquire are determined by the people we follow or subscribe to. Filipinos are very much involved with celebrities and other influential figures like musicians, YouTubers and the like. So the content that their “idols” share tend to entice them into buying products they own or doing the same things they do.
- Reliant on customer reviews and feedback
With eCommerce removing the need to see products or experience services before paying, there is a risk of dissatisfaction for clients who don’t know what they’re about to acquire. So, a lot of online buyers have made it into a habit to leave product and service reviews to provide insight for future clients or business owners about what they thought of the purchase.
ECOMMERCE TRENDS FOR THE YEAR 2020
After assessing consumer behavior, making predictions or presumptions about the market is the next step to help pre-existing online businesses flourish or those looking to integrate eCommerce into their current business model.
Here are 5 eCommerce trends in the Philippines that we can anticipate:
1. Fully Cashless Transactions
While cashless payments are already available in the Philippines, COD (cash on delivery) remains to be a popular mode of payment. However, the introduction of flexible payments and cashless no-collateral loans like Home Credit makes it possible for Filipinos to make expensive purchases without having to pay in full right away, as COD tends to impose. With platforms like Paypal, Dragonpay, Paymaya and GCash, it’s much safer because you’re not releasing any hard cash and easier for paying bills that tend to be expensive; or when you’re a tourist holding foreign currency, you can still make purchases in the country.
2. Social Commerce
All the time we spend on the internet has allowed for the integration of eCommerce into search engines and social media. Directly, we can view products and services in-app to make purchases. Just take a look at Facebook Marketplace and Instagram shopping as examples. Furthermore, digital assistants will be taking over the internet and social media for shopping transactions using AI and chatbots to automate the process for both buyers and sellers.
3. Customized Products and Personalized Services
Filipinos love to maximize the value for the least amount of money, that you would only want to buy a specific amount for products like toiletries, household products or food, to reduce the amount needed to spend. Traditionally, this is apparent in Philippine pharmacies where you can buy the exact amount of pills that were prescribed to you. Other than amount, you can also formulate or design the product to your needs, like for fashion, perfume, makeup and skincare products.
4. Eco-Friendly eCommerce Businesses
Out of all the eCommerce Trends in the Philippines, this is perhaps the most beneficial for small-to-medium sized businesses because they tend to cater to a niche of consumers that are smaller in numbers. They market their products in such a way that are eco-friendly (formulation, packaging and production process) for consumers to support local businesses and promote organic or homemade goods; something that Filipinos are well-known for, rich in natural resources. There is also the concept of the second-hand market, in an effort to be more sustainable; also known as recommerce or resale of pre-owned products. Most businesses sell second-hand items like clothes and household items for less.
5. Extended Reality (XR) Technology
It’s only a matter of time before we become fully immersed in the virtual world. We spend most of our time online on social media, playing digital games and interacting continuously without having to meet anybody physically. Technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) is bound to become relevant in eCommerce. From the way we can test products virtually before making the purchases, to give a sense of feel on what it may look like or experience. With or without a headset, advancements in this field will eventually play a role in the future of selling products like clothes, gadgets, home appliances, etc.
READY FOR WHAT’S NEXT?
In the technology revolution of the Philippines, different industries are all undergoing their own digital transformation and eCommerce happens to fall perfectly in the midst of it all. Curious to know how your commercial business can become a successful part of the eCommerce industry? Book a FREE DEMO with Prosperna and we’ll show you how we can help you get there.
Technology Evangelist super passionate about helping the industries of eCommerce, SMEs and real estate in the Philippines reach new levels of success.