The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of Southeast Asia’s digital economy, with an increasing number of consumers turning to e-commerce platforms for convenience and safety.
In the Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched several programs to support this shift to a digital-first world, including Innovation Hubs where industry experts can share their knowledge with small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) on how to run their businesses in today’s digital landscape.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), these new digital programs have led to areas like CALABARZON and Central Luzon becoming emerging business hubs in 2021, with 27.5% of local businesses opening in those regions.
Martin Yu, Director of Shopee Philippines, stated that as more local businesses digitize, the platform is continuing to improve and innovate to provide a better experience for digital buyers. Shopee aims to help Filipino sellers optimize the use of e-commerce in the Philippines.
As e-commerce becomes increasingly popular in the Philippines, there are several consumer trends that are helping Filipino businesses gain online visibility:
Adoption of Digital Services In Other Regions Outside Metro Manila
During the 12.12 Mega Pasko Sale last year, Rizal, Cebu, Bulacan, and Davao were the regions with the most orders. To support the growth of e-commerce in these regions, Shopee has held seller-centric events such as the Shopee University Roadshow which provides classes promoting the use of e-commerce to local sellers and the Shopee Kumustahan where the platform’s delegates have a discussion with local businesses.
Growing number of buyers with intent
Buyers are now making purchases with purpose, where their buying decision is aligned with their beliefs and values. To support this trend, Shopee has the Bayanihan Program as part of their CSR. Last year, Shopee partnered with World Vision and Whisper for the #ShareTheConfidence Campaign, which resulted in 130,000 women receiving sanitary products and other benefits. On last year’s 12.12 Pamaskong Pambata, Shopee sold donation vouchers to help charities for underprivileged children, with the aim of helping as many Filipino citizens as possible benefit from digitization.
Increasing use of digital services
More sellers and consumers are turning to e-commerce because of the ease and savings it offers. On double day sales, shoppers can save a lot of money, with last December’s savings totaling P64 million collectively. Citizens are also taking advantage of cashless in-app payments like ShopeePay, as it becomes increasingly popular in the Philippines.
Businesses should adapt with the shift to digital and cater to the needs of the consumers to stay competitive in today’s digital landscape.