E-commerce market to hit $12B 2 yrs ahead of forecast

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    The electronic commerce (e-commerce) market in the Philippines could reach $12 billion by 2023, two years ahead of earlier projections.

    Paulo Campos, Zalora co-founder and managing director, at a forum organized by the German Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines recently, said the past 11 months have seen “five to six years worth of digital adoption” in the country brought on by the new coronavirus disease 2019.

    While historically the Philippines has been behind its Southeast Asian peers when it comes to e-commerce adoption or penetration — at about 2 percent range before the pandemic — Campos said “this has changed. “

    He cited Google Temasek’s pre- pandemic forecast which said the e-commerce market in the Philippines of about $3 billion in 2019 would grow to $12 billion by 2025, or a four-fold increase in that five- year period.

    “I’ve seen some more recent data that (said) we will hit this $12 -billion mark much sooner, even as soon as 2023 by some accounts. So, this acceleration of these trends that we’re already seeing is very evident as well as further consumer insights as to how Filipinos view e-commerce shopping,” said Campos.

    Citing findings of various studies, Campos said even before the pandemic, e-commerce potential of the Philippines has always been high as 99 percent of the population has access to the internet and 73 million Filipinos have social media accounts.

    At Zalora, where majority of shoppers are female, the company has noted the average or median age of the e-commerce shopper has gotten older.

    Today, 80 percent of its business is done through the app indicative of how “very much a mobile-first country” the Philippines is, Campos said

    “This is a very cash-on-delivery heavy market, and through the course of the pandemic we’ve seen this number holed up at about two thirds of our business in terms of payments,” he added. (Irma Isip)