MANILA, Philippines - The Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines (DCOM) has organized an online shopping event Shop@thon, where consumers can buy lifestyle products at discounted prices.
Shop@thon, which runs from August 28 to September 3, 2014, features 50 participating sites, including Zillion.ph, OkayOkay.com Cooks’ Exchange, Four Eyes, Get Laud!, Glamourbox, Karimadon, Lumiere D’Organiq Cosmeceuticals, Ogalala World, Rollabols, Shopinas.com, SMAC Deals, The Luxe Resort, Tripmoba.com, Vito Studio, Zalora and Zeus.ph.
DCOM CTO Dick Chiang said the main objective of Shop@thon is "to promote eCommerce awareness in general", inline with DCOM's mandate to help grow the industry.
The rise of Internet usage among Filipinos has helped boost e-commerce in the country.
"We are known as the 'Fastest Growing Internet Audience in Southeast Asia,'"Joel Cordova, Head of Product for Xend Express (the event's logistics partner), said.
US websites Amazon and eBay introduced Filipinos to online shopping in the 1990s. However, only the upper A to B market had access to these US online retailers due to the exorbitant international shipping fees and local customs fees, which push up the product's actual price.
The entry of Sulit.ph and Multiply.com in the early 2000s introduced Filipinos to a localized online shopping experience. The fear of shopping online has been reduced, although several issues such as safe payment gateways and competitive pricing continue to be deterrents to widespread use.
"Payments and fulfillment have largely been addressed already. While they are not perfect, they can get the job done... the challenge remains in getting people to go online in the first place," Chiang said.
What are the main benefits of shopping online? Convenience and pricing.
LovableCommerce.com Corp. (LCC) COO Philips Yu is quick to point out that currently, "it is typically cheaper to buy online."
Another benefit is the wide selection. "The physical store has limited space while online, there is an infinite number of items that you can [buy] easily," Yu said.
Philippine eCommerce today has become more geared towards the consumer. Everything is about making online shopping a more user-friendly, fun experience.
Registering on the Shop@thon website (www.shopathon.ph) on or before 11:59 p.m. of August 27, 2014 gives shoppers the opportunity to win free items.