Retailers bet on 'bricks and clicks' in Philippines

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2018 11:49 AM

MANILA -- Merchants can entice shoppers online and lead them to physical stores in a fusion of "brick and click," the head of alocal retailers' group said.

As e-commerce gains traction in the country, online retailers are also investing in brick and mortar stores to allow consumers to try their products, Philippine Retailers Association vice chairman Frederick Go said in an interview posted on marketing mentor Josiah Go's website.

"A lot of customers who view products online go to the brick and mortar stores for a better shopping experience," Go said.

The internet and social media "play big roles in helping people discover and patronize more retail businesses," said PRA vice chairman and SM Retail Inc director Jorge Mendiola.

The Philippines' largest mall operator, SM, recently tapped online platform Lazada to sell products on the internet.

Clothing shop Bench, which recently expanded to restaurants, adopted an "omni-channel" approach that combines physical stores, e-commerce and social media, said Suyen Corp chairman Ben Chan

Electronic channels, however, are unlikely to replace physical retail in "cash-poor, time-rich" countries, said PRA chairman emeritus and Blims Lifestyle Group chairman Samie Lim.

"Countries where e-commerce sales are thriving are considered cash-rich, time-poor societies. They have money to buy, but do not have a lot of time to do their personal shopping," he said.

Filipinos also haggle when they shop, something they can't do online, he said.

The Philippine Retailers Association is holding its 25th National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo this month.