Study: 19% of Filipinos are e-shopaholics, purchase directly from social media

File photo
File photo

THE e-shopaholics in the Philippines comprise only about 19 percent of Filipinos but they are responsible for the 47 percent of total e-commerce purchases in the country.

A study by logistics companies Ninja Van Philippines and Geopost said online shopping is second nature to these e-shopaholics as they buy often and across multiple product categories, shopping twice as much as the average e-shoppers.

“Well-versed in the intricacies of online shopping, e-shopaholics have much higher standards than your average e-shoppers – from the initial browsing to receiving the parcel after the clicks and taps – each stage is essential to ensuring an e-shopaholic’s loyalty,” said Sabina Lopez-Vergara, chief commercial officer at Ninja Van Philippines, in a statement.

E-shopaholics are expert navigators of the e-commerce ecosystem and they buy across multiple online channels like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok shop and marketplaces.

In the Philippines, 86 percent of e-shopaholics buy directly from social media. Of these, 54 percent buy directly from brands they already follow, while 44 percent buy from influencer recommendations.

The top categories that Filipino e-shopaholics buy are beauty and healthcare, fashion, and small furniture and home decor.

Across the region, e-shopaholics make up 15 percent of the Southeast Asia (SEA) e-shopper population, and they are responsible for 45 percent of the total e-commerce purchases.

The study titled: “What’s next for the future of e-commerce in Southeast Asia,” was conducted across six countries—Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam—with over 9,000 participants.

In a separate interview, YOU brand manager Mike Cabbo said social media platforms particularly Tiktok and e-commerce sites Lazada and Shopee have been instrumental in the brand’s growth in the Philippines.

Launched in the Philippines at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in August 2021, YOU, a beauty and skincare brand, has now become one of the sought-after brands catering to all market segments.

Declining to disclose figures, Cabbo said the brand has been “growing well” amid intense competition and high inflation.

“We had a tricky launching in 2021 because back then, everyone was working at home and events were paused. We thought that the demand for beauty products will go down but we were wrong because even during the lockdown and uncertainty people still want to fell good about themselves,” he said. “They still put on makeup for video calls and they continue to pamper themselves even if they are just at home.”

Cabbo said Tiktok has become a platform for product awareness and a tool for them to reach out to consumers especially those in some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, who are not yet served by retail firms that carry the brand.

The social media and these online shopping sites translated to product awareness and market reach, allowing us to move products and generate sales, he said.

According to Statista, in 2021, every Filipino spent nearly US$5 on skincare items, with forecast expenditure reaching more than $6 in 2026.

According to a survey on social commerce in the Philippines between the first quarter and second quarter of 2021, around 79 percent of respondents bought clothes, apparel and accessories on social media, making it the most popular shopping category on such platforms.

Similarly, around 56 percent of the respondents bought health and beauty products on social media.

Digital strategies

Moreover, as more customers turn online to shop for products, entrepreneurs are advised to implement digital strategies for e-commerce sites to reach more loyal customers and generate sales.

These strategies include boosting product visualization and leveraging artificial intelligence (AI).

Gilmar Padua, chief executive officer of digital marketing agency at Infinity Hub, said entrepreneurs need to create a roadmap or plan for doing digital marketing that will lead to purchasing.

“One of the marketing approaches is you need to have an omnichannel so you need to manage it well. That is why, it is very important that you have a roadmap or masterplan in terms of doing your marketing,” he said.

Padua said it is also imperative to leverage artificial intelligence, particularly chatbot ChatGPT which provides good content.

“You need to automate your chatbots or you need to create a way that whatever the time that the customers inquire, there is a certain what we call knowledge-based that the user can somehow go into so that they can satisfy their concerns or whatever their inquiries so chatbot is very important,” he said.


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