As an industry that connects the country and levels the playing field, e-commerce empowers businesses to build their direct-to-consumer platform, especially MSMEs and start-ups. This democratization has resulted in the doubling of the e-commerce market last year and an expected market growth to US$24 billion (PHP1.2 trillion), or 5.5% of GDP, by 2022.
To help entrepreneurs get ahead of the curve and set them up for success, LOCAD CEO and co-founder Constantin Robertz revealed important trends in their seminal whitepaper Key E-Commerce Trends of 2022, which was discussed in the digital event “E-Commerce Trends 2022: What Online Entrepreneurs Need to Know” last April 26.
For example, customer expectations are going through the roof with more money than ever before being spent online and direct-to-consumer (D2C) presence in ASEAN consistently growing. Robertz gave a few important factors that businesses going into e-commerce should look at to draw in these customers.
“We are looking for four things. It starts with a great product and a great price. And then it’s about making people know about your product. And the third one is the customer experience,
end-to-end. Then the back-end work wherein you’re doing all these things. That is what e-commerce is,” he shared.
He added that e-commerce is vital to SMEs by freeing them to focus on their core offerings: “As a business, you always have to ask yourself what it is that really drives value to the core of my business? Because as entrepreneurs, as much as we work hard, the day only has 24 hours and the week only has seven days. How are you going to use that limited amount of time?”
As an e-commerce enabler, LOCAD allows entrepreneurs to allocate their time to marketing and pursuing growth opportunities.
“Delivery can be a make or break for a business in this country. Despite the product being really good, if the delivery is horrible, it becomes a 1-star rating,” says Manila Athletica CEO Aencille Santos.
Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC)’s Executive Director Nelly Dillera laid down the need to tech up the MSMEs in the country while creating a secure and credible e-commerce ecosystem that they can use with full confidence.
“The holy grail of e-commerce is to trade beyond traditional borders, outside of the regular domain, starting locally, then moving nationally, regionally, and globally. These movements serve as the ultimate test of retail, digital, or online,” Dillera said.
One idea that came out of the event is that becoming the next e-commerce superstar is possible for any entrepreneur. It’s the ideal arena for the side hustlers who are building their business online and those who are now growing sizable SME businesses that generate employment and significant sales all the way up to their biggest brand reach.
The government’s support undoubtedly plays a significant role in supporting the growth of MSMEs.