Key online shopping trends in the Philippines that retailers are going to want to know

The Philippines is holding court as one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia, therefore it comes as little surprise as to why online shopping is currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts here in the Philippines. Recent studies have even gone as far as to project that the local e-commerce market will be seeing a compounded annual growth rate of 101.4 percent between 2013 until 2018 due to the high penetration rate of internet and social media amongst Filipinos.

We speak to Rosanne Hortensius - the General Manager of successful European deals platform Saleduck with presence in five ASEAN countries - to identify and understand the online shopping trends of shoppers in the Philippines.

Shoppers rely on social media for reviews and ratings

Filipinos are some of the world’s greatest consumers of social media, spending at average of four hours a day engaging in various social media activities. It is only natural for them to rely on these channels to get information on products, retail websites and etc. Because of this, it is essential for online retailers to maintain a strong social media presence to interact and connect with their customer base. Your social media pages are almost like your resume, potential shoppers will use it to gauge your trustworthiness, credibility, level of customer service and etc.

Filipino shoppers lead the way in terms of brand engagement

As of 2014, a study by Waggener Edstrom showed that 98% of digital consumers in the Philippines follow brands online, leading the way by virtue of online brand engagement. This means that by default, retailers looking to strengthen their brand presence can already expect higher audience engagement with their online campaigns which in turn, results in higher conversions. The same study also revealed that Filipino consumers are more likely to recommend brands they follow online and this can be extremely beneficial to up-and-coming brands looking to establish and strengthen their online presence.

Mobile phones shopping is rising in the ranks

According to a recent TNS study, 20% of the Filipino market made online purchases in 2015 and out of that group, 11% of purchases were made via mobile devices. With more Filipinos using their mobile phones to shop, it’s become crucial for online retailers to ensure that their websites are mobile optimised or they might risk losing out on potential customers. When you can give users a good mobile experience, it helps to foster trust and credibility for your site. On the flipside, if your mobile site is hard to navigate, you may risk losing customers to competition. Functionality and ease of navigation is key when it comes to mobile optimisation and in the off chance that you can’t provide users with what they need when they need it, there’s a high chance they're going to explore other platforms that can.

There in an increase in buying power amongst Filipinos

The recent economic growth in the Philippines has positively impacted the retail market, resulting in distinct changes in consumer behavior. Once more likely to look at price points above all else, Filipino shoppers are becoming more discerning over quality and branding which means that they are now investing more money into high-quality consumer products. With buying power comes demand and online retailers are now in a position to take advantage of this opportunity more than ever. Newer retailers can take their cue from more established e-commerce platforms who are tapping into these markets with additional features such as greater brand variety, increased product categories, VIP memberships and more as incentives to fuel demand.