The digital economy in the Philippines is expected to maintain its growth momentum in 2024, with e-commerce playing a pivotal role. This expansion will be fueled by increasing domestic demand, supported by lower unemployment rates and higher remittances. The year 2024 is set to bring a wave of global e-commerce trends that are particularly relevant to the Filipino market.
Transition to organized e-commerce platforms: The Internet Transactions Act (ITA) is expected to catalyze a shift from informal commerce to more organized e-commerce platforms. With the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) having regulatory jurisdiction over e-commerce activities, a more standardized and safe online shopping experience is anticipated, benefiting both consumers and businesses.
Growth in digital payments, investments and insurance: E-wallets and account-to-account payments are expected to see significant growth. As consumers grow more confident with fintech super-apps, an increase in transactions involving stocks, insurance and loans is anticipated. This trend suggests a broader adoption of digital payment methods, moving away from traditional cash transactions on these activities.
Digital connectivity expansion: The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has set a target of over 15,000 free Wi-Fi sites by 2024, aiming to enhance internet access across the country.
In addition, the DICT’s commitment to the National Fiber Backbone program, with the first phase’s completion and further development underway, is poised to significantly enhance internet connectivity, particularly in Luzon. This improved infrastructure is expected to facilitate smoother online transactions and support the growth of e-commerce.
Social commerce, livestream shopping and influencer marketing: The Filipinos’ affinity for social media makes platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok ideal for product discovery and sales. Leveraging these platforms, brands can tap into the vast potential of the Gen Z and millennial markets.
The popularity of live streaming and influencer marketing in the Philippines makes livestream shopping an exciting prospect, combining entertainment with shopping to appeal to a wide consumer base.
Mobile first, desktop second: With high mobile penetration in the Philippines, a mobile-first approach in e-commerce is essential. This trend aligns with the Filipinos’ internet usage patterns, emphasizing the need for mobile-optimized websites and apps.
Sustainable packaging: As environmental consciousness rises, sustainable packaging becomes increasingly important. Filipino consumers are becoming more eco-aware, and e-commerce platforms adopting eco-friendly packaging could gain a competitive edge.
Machine learning and AI: Filipinos value personalized service, making direct messages a preferred method for customer service.
E-commerce platforms can enhance the customer experience by integrating efficient and responsive direct message-based support. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can tailor shopping and customer service experiences, offering recommendations based on individual preferences and browsing behaviors.
Conclusion: Businesses must be agile and adaptable to thrive in this evolving digital ecosystem. The ITA will challenge enterprises to elevate their e-commerce strategies. Enhanced internet infrastructure will unlock opportunities for market expansion and customer outreach. The increase in digital payment options, the integration of AI and machine learning for personalized experiences, and the emphasis on sustainable practices reflect a growing and maturing market with a conscious drive toward inclusivity and responsibility.