By 2025 there will be 42M Filipino Online Shoppers.
That, in a nutshell, captures the massive opportunity e-commerce holds for businesses in the Philippines. This is from the Google-Temasek e-commerce study that was released last year. In terms of value, PH e-commerce is set to grow from $5B in 2015 to $9.5B in 2025.
The signs of accelerated growth are already there. You have the massive success of Lazada which is now getting more SMEs into online selling. There’s the shift of advertising budgets of airline companies such as Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines because they can track revenue and profitability via their e-commerce sites. Lastly you have growing niche local e-commerce stores like Seek the Uniq and Vamos.
The question is — what’s your e-commerce play? What are you doing now that sets you up for success come 2025 when there are 42M Filipinos shopping online?
Your Own Online Store or Marketplace Play?
During the Google CMO Bootcamp, A-commerce Regional Commercial Director JC Chen took the stage to share some tips on topline e-commerce strategies for consumer brands. There are basically three ways to do it: you build your own branded e-commerce site, you work with marketplace shops like Lazada, or you do a mix of both.
You should have a clear strategy on how to approach both branded e-commerce and marketplace because they both have pros and cons. You have more control with your own e-commerce site: customer data, push marketing capabilities, and pricing. When you do marketplace all the data is with the platform and you’ll be spending money to build the audience and platform of another company. You can take advantage of marketplaces still as they have an existing audience of online shoppers but it shouldn’t be your only play, especially if you will be spending considerable amount of budget on online advertising anyway.
What’s Important is You Start Now
Setting up e-commerce operations and optimizing it will not be easy. You are sure to make mistakes along the way and that’s why it’s critical that you start investing now because it sets you up to reap the rewards when the market booms in a few years. On the product side, you will have multiple iterations of your platform as you learn. On the advertising side, e-commerce marketing is a completely different beast. It’s 24/7, always-on, and driven with analytics. We all have much to learn and the best way to do that is by doing.
If you need tips on how to organize to kickstart and accelerate it, we recommend you read this earlier piece that we did: How to Disrupt Yourself the No Nonsense and Practical Way.
This post is part of our Google CMO Bootcamp Learnings series. Click links below to read our other posts.