eCommerce in the Philippines – What everyone should know?

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Did you know that the number of online shoppers is expected to amount to 54.7m by 2024?

Whether you are thinking of buying something or sell online, this article will be helpful for you.

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce or electronic commerce is the process of selling or buying items or services online. The eCommerce industry is exploding with the rise of modern technologies and the convenience that it offers to the sellers and buyers.

Types of eCommerce

As in traditional commerce, eCommerce can also be classified as business to business, business to consumers, consumers to business and consumers to consumers.

Is it safe to buy online?

It is safe to buy online if you are aware of the terms and conditions, specifications of the product or service.

Google is your best friend to find out the scammers. Often you might be interested in the advertisements that you see on FaceBook or any other social media, but perform a quick search about the brand before you pay for it.

Things to consider before making a purchase

Online shopping should not be a bad experience these days. You can get a return and claim a refund if you are unhappy with the items. However, some sellers may have hidden costs or marketing gimmicks to get a sale. As a result, you might be a victim of their intriguing advertisement strategy.

Refund and returns

As a customer, it is your responsibility to read the returns and refund policy of a seller or a store. In some cases, the returns policy differs from product to product.

If you are not happy with the product or the received item is in damaged condition or you find that the product does not fulfill the promises made by the seller, you are eligible for a refund. However, refunds and returns policy solely depend on the seller and the marketplace.

Before you buy an item, take note of their returns and refund policies.

Shipping and handling

As we all know that shipping rates depend on the weight versus distance matrix. For an archipelagic country like the Philippines, shipping and transportation is always a challenge.

Having said, you should check the shipping rates and handling charges (if any). In case of returning the product, you might have to pay the shipping charges.

The popular eCommerce giant Lazada, allows buyers to compute the shipping rates and the estimated time of delivery. As we mentioned earlier due to the challenges in transportation, expect the delays in the delivery.

If you are ordering a gift for your loved ones’ birthdays or anniversaries, please place your order in advance, just to receive them ahead of time.

Be vigilant

Review the people behind the company and their social media profiles, physical address, phone numbers, etc. In the modern chatbot era, it is good to contact the seller before you order.

Testimonials

Every seller and product will have some positive reviews from their friends, colleagues or fake profiles.

Look for real testimonials from real customers. Many marketplaces distinguish the reviews from the verified purchases and the rest.

Customer support

Whether you buy a toy for your child or a gadget for yourself, you will need some sort of support from the seller.

As a buyer, it is your right to expect support from the seller and the marketplace.

Check if they have good customer support. The best way to find the quality of their support is to ask some pre-purchase questions that you may have. At least you should get some automated response then followed by a seller or a support staff.

Social proof

Try looking for the seller on social media. Check their reviews, ratings and the way they treat their customers. Many companies respond to tweets, Facebook comments, and Instagram direct messages. Also check what the real customers say about the product, service, and experience with the seller. This helps you to filter the scammers from legitimate sellers.

Is it safe to pay online?

The Philippines had over one million phishing incidents in the first half of 2019, says a report from the Russian cybersecurity company, Kaspersky. This does not mean that you should never use online payments.

We recommend enabling multi-factor authentication for your payments. That is using one time passwords (OTP) through email or mobile. In this way, you will get notified for every transaction that you make.

Make sure that the website you are going to pay, uses standard security measures like SSL (HTTPS with a green padlock on the browser).

If it is your first time purchase with the seller and there are other payment options like cash on delivery (COD), then go for it. Always be on the safer side, every centavo counts!

How to sell online?

You can sell your services or products through online marketplaces or your online store.

You should have a bank account that is connected to an online payment gateway like PayPal or Payoneer to receive payments.

You can also accept payments via bank transfer and other methods that you are comfortable with, like GCash or PayMaya, etc.

List your items, set a price with a profit margin, promote them among the potential buyers, offer discounts and get sales.

What can I sell online?

You can sell almost anything when it comes to eCommerce. Physical goods, digital goods, services, events, courses – anything under the sun can be sold online.

Make sure that you have copyrights or give credits to the original owners for the items.

Do I need an online store?

You have to be present everywhere, you don’t know from which channel your next sale will be from. You can start by listing your goods or services on the Facebook marketplace.

There are specific marketplaces for items, like Etsy for arts and crafts, iStock for photos, etc.

For the Philippines, Lazada, and Shopee are good marketplaces to start with. Once you master the art of talking to customers, delivering goods or services in time, and have repeated orders, you can start your own online store.

Having your online store allows you to customize the storefront, sell without rent or commissions to the marketplaces.

What is the future of eCommerce?

In the Philippines, you can buy almost everything from your nearby malls.

The challenges like shipping costs, slow delivery times, slow or fluctuating internet and payment options cannot hinder the growth of eCommerce.

According to the latest statistics, the revenue in the Philippine eCommerce market amounts to US$1,091M in 2020.

In the following articles, we will be discussing the marketplaces to sell online in the Philippines.

Got any questions about eCommerce? Ask your question or leave your comments below. We would love to hear your thoughts.

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