Online shopping is surging in the Philippines, ecommerce is expected to reach $4.69 billion by 2020, reports Tech In Asia.

More and more Filipinos are getting their hands on smart devices and combined with lower mobile data offers, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that online shopping is the next big wave in Philippines.

Filipino shoppers have swapped bulks for baskets

In 2012, The Nielsen Group found that shoppers in Philippines have switched their shopping carts for baskets. With plenty of convenience stores and grocery shops within walking distance from residential areas, most people don’t feel the need to buy in bulk.

Although Lazada currently holds the largest market share at 80%, they are still competing with Zalora, Hallo-Hallo and Go Buy.

One of the strongest driving forces for the average shopper is the deals offered by online marketplaces. Nine out of ten shoppers admit to usually buying more than planned for, opening up doors for retailers to try all sorts of promotions, from free items to ‘buy 1 get 1 free’ options.

Ecommerce has also taken off alongside increasing e-payment options. Aside from GCash and Smart Money (Smart Communications), alternatives such as DragonPay, PayPal, 7 Connect from the 7 Eleven franchise and Hello Pay have made online payments much easier for Filipinos.

How to capture the Filipino consumer

  • Exclusivity: Consumers, especially Filipinos, love to be at the forefront of new trends. Websites like Straightforward.ph have small inventories but ensures high quality. The site also features a 365-day guarantee, free of charges and fees.
  • Customer Service: Websites such as Unlideals.com respond to customer queries within 24 hours.
  • Customization: Look to websites such as Hallo Hallo Mall, it provides customers with value per transaction with their point system. The site customizes the discount experience by letting users earn their own points, and use those to get the saving they want.

The market in Philippines is large enough for the ecommerce giants such as Lazada to make room for smaller players, as long as they make it a priority to diversify.

A version of this appeared in Tech In Asia on July 14. Read the full version here.