Filipinos prefer 'convenience', live selling, when shopping online: Facebook study

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2021 05:29 PM

People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with a Facebook logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014. Dado Ruvic, Reuters/File Photo

MANILA - Filipinos prefer convenience, live selling and mobile payments when shopping online, according to a Facebook study, as new trends emerge due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the Filipino respondents, 93 percent said they highly consider convenience alongside price when deciding what to purchase online, showed the Emerging Trends Research commissioned by Facebook. The study surveyed 12,500 individuals in 14 countries, including the Philippines.

In addition, 87 percent of Filipino respondents said they're willing to spend more for ease of access to products or services, it said.

Mobile payments should also be widely available, said 90 percent of respondents, circling back on the preference for convenience, Facebook said.

“People these days want what they want, when they want it, where they want it," Facebook Philippines country director John Rubio told reporters in a press briefing.

"Research tells us that we should draw inspiration from the fact that for most consumers, the best journey is no journey at all. And by putting your customer first, you can eliminate friction, inspire discovery and maybe even set a new standard in convenience," he added.

Physical stores, especially those selling non-essentials, were temporarily shut due to restrictions when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in 2020. 

With strict quarantine, Filipino consumers shifted to online platforms for their daily needs including groceries, food delivery and even financial transactions.

Rubio said in the Philippines, even big firms have turned to online selling to launch new products such as flagship phones through Facebook Live.

Small-scale businesses, especially those selling fashion items, also use live selling to capture the market. Live selling is when business owners conduct an "auction style" approach, showing consumers the available items real time, Facebook said.

One in 4 people surveyed said they have browsed through such activity on social media. At least 85 percent said they expect their live shopping to increase this year, data showed.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has also transformed businesses from brick and mortar to doing sales online "to sustain operations" during these challenging times, the social media platform said.

Globally, 55 percent of operational small businesses reported using digital tools to reach consumers, according to the Facebook State of Small Business Report which included 595 respondents in the country.

“Small businesses play an important role in pandemic recovery. At Facebook, we remain focused on providing small businesses with resources and tools, so that they could continue to reach and engage their customers, and hopefully accelerate business recovery,” said Facebook Philippines country lead for Growth Business Akshat Jain.

In the Philippines, 44 percent of small businesses on Facebook said their sales declined in the past month compared to the same period last year due to the pandemic, the study conducted in February 2021 said.

Despite the challenges, 34 percent of operational small Filipino businesses on Facebook said they're confident of their ability to continue operations for the next 6 months.

The booming e-commerce industry is seen to boost the Philippine internet economy as it is likely to grow to $28 billion by 2025, Google Philippines country director Bernadette Nacario earlier said.

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