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Online marketplaces thriving in the Philippines since Covid-19 crisis

Philipine story

While fashion retail websites have fallen from favour among most Filipino consumers during the coronavirus outbreak, online marketplaces are thriving according to research from iPrice.

The sector’s top players have seen an increase of more than 2 to 3 million visits a month on apps and websites, the study shows.

E-commerce platform Lazada, Alibaba’s most high-profile and costliest investment outside China, had 30.74 million visits per month in the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 3.98 million visits from the first quarter of this year which saw 26.76 million visits per month.

The study Map of E-commerce, conducted by meta-search company iPrice Group and App Annie, also revealed Sea Group-owned Shopee followed a close second, getting about 28.95 million monthly visits in the second quarter, an increase of 6.95 million visits from the first quarter of 2020.

However, web traffic to fashion sites collectively decreased by 30 per cent year on year. 

“Fashion e-commerce sites have taken the biggest hit regionwide as clothing and apparel become less of a priority while people are staying home,” iPrice said.

Visits to sites selling electronics goods, however, have increased by 59 per cent, the data showed. According to iPrice, this proves Filipinos’ increased demand for gadgets during social distancing.

“Compared to other SEA countries, the Philippines had the highest web traffic increase in electronics sites. In fact, e-sites in other countries, except Singapore, even experienced a decrease in web traffic.” 

Filipino consumers’ behaviour has shifted due to social distancing, the study noted, adding that in Southeast Asia, after comparing the first and second quarter this year, the Philippines experienced the highest increase, 53 per cent, in the usage of shopping apps. Total sessions on shopping apps in the country reached 4.9 billion. 

“The Philippines is known to survive with cash-based transactions and brick-and-mortar stores, but perhaps with the rising trend of online shopping in the country due to Covid-19 will allow the country’s digital world to catch up to its more developed Southeast Asian neighbors,” iPrice said.

This trend will see e-commerce players to continue to grow and present potential opportunities for emerging local merchants, the company added.

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