MANILA – The world's biggest e-commerce company, Amazon is aiming the number of Filipinos on its online platform as it launches its first virtual Southeast Asia Online Seller Summit in the country on Thursday.
Amazon said the two-day virtual event aims to connect local small and medium enterprises with their regional counterparts as well as give them access to Amazon's tools and programs on how to efficiently sell at the e-commerce giant's global marketplace.
"For the Philippines, we have seen how sellers overcame challenges, capturing the fast-changing demands and resulted in high growth especially in product categories such as home, apparel, dietary supplements, and mobile phones accessories, who have seen double-digit growth in their sales in 2020," said Leong Yoong, Head of New Seller Recruitment for Southeast Asia for Amazon Global Selling.
Yoong cited a 2018 study by Google and Temasek which estimated the Philippine e-commerce sector to reach $9.7 billion by 2025 from just $500 million in 2015; outsizing Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Yoong explained sellers on Amazon can take advantage of their 300 million active customer accounts and 150 million Prime members.
He added that Amazon has already invested $18 billion to help independent businesses become more successful on the platform through improved logistic services, tools, and other programs.
SMEs earned $3.5 billion during Amazon’s annual "Prime Day" event in 2020, its biggest sales event exclusive to Prime members, Yoong said.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez welcomed Amazon's initiative in the Philippines.
"DTI has been collaborating with Amazon to support our MSMEs to expand their market. Last year, we had many new Philippine sellers on Amazon, and our friends in Amazon have been working with us to get in touch with more local businesses," Lopez said.
He also shared total business registrations for this year have already hit more than 108,000, while as of January 2021, there are already 1,539 business name registrations for online retail this year.
These are on top of the 86,000 listed online retailers as of December 2020.
"DTI also believes that digitalization is a great equalizer for businesses. That’s why we’ve been offering e-commerce programs to support the digitalization of our MSMEs," Lopez added.