Filipino online shoppers are estimated to reach up to 42 million by 2025 and will spend about P918-B in purchases online. This is as forecasted by a study conducted by Google and Temasek in 2017, proving the continuous development of the country’s e-commerce market.
As this happens, it opens many opportunities for local merchants, especially since it is not saturated yet. In fact, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing for more developments in the online retail scene through its Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap. By 2020, it aims to contribute at least 25 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
DTI also revealed that with the country holding the fastest internet users growth, a young population, and a growing purchasing power in Manila and other cities in the country, e-commerce now holds a great potential to become bigger than ever.
Today, merchants reach out to customers not only from the country’s major e-tailers, like Lazada, Zalora, and Shopee, but also through social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram.
According to OfriKadosh, CEO and founder of Payo, today’s Filipino consumers have the ability to shop anything at any given time. It has provided them the convenience of being able to browse through items while at the comfort of their own homes or even when traveling.
However, despite the booming e-commerce industry, many merchants are still far from fully leveraging on the opportunities to meet the demands of the country’s online shoppers. Kadosh noted that “this is due to the low credit card penetration in the country, where only eight percent of Filipinos are credit card holders while 72 percent still do not have bank accounts—a challenge that merchants in the Philippines have to face.”
In the Philippines, stories of online shopping scare like not receiving what they ordered or getting something that looks different from what they wanted veers potential customers away from using other payment methods besides COD. In fact, 93 percent of online shoppers in the country today still prefer paying in cash, says Kadosh.
“Fifty percent of the world’s population is unbanked and merchants miss out on customers and billions of dollars, especially in developing markets such as the Philippines, where cash on delivery is still preferred,” said Kadosh, further putting emphasis on the importance of a COD gateway system in opening the e-commerce market to the Filipinos even if they do not have bank accounts.
“It is understandable why online shoppers are not willing to risk their money when shopping online. However, merchants also find it hard to integrate COD into their payment system due to high cancellation rates and unsuccessful deliveries,” added Kadosh. “This is exactly why we are also trying to build consumer trust by providing a COD gateway system that merchants can use in their respective e-commerce platforms. It is a win-win situation. The merchants get to earn more and consumers get to shop online without any worries.”
Today, PAYO has taken a major step to help merchants and their consumers to experience better COD transactions through its gateway system. Once the consumers place their orders, a pool of data scientists will then process every sale, all the while recording and analyzing the client’s order history to identify potentially problematic accounts to help minimize cancellation rates and increase revenues.