Online shopping is slowly but surely taking over the country, with e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora paving the way. If you don’t believe us, we’ll let the numbers speak for themselves: according to a study by PayPal and Ipsos, 55% of Filipinos expected to spend more on online shopping this year than in 2017.
With this week’s 12.12 sale taking the country by storm yet again, it’s important for brands — yes, even brick-and-mortar ones — to take a look at what makes these e-commerce platforms so successful.
1. It’s never too early to go Christmas shopping.
According to Think With Google, there are 4 kinds of holiday shoppers: the Evergreen, who are always on the lookout for the best gifts; the Early Birds, who shop during pre-holiday season; the Deal Seekers, whose shopping behavior is concentrated during Thanksgiving weekend; and the Last Minute shoppers, who do their gift shopping the week before Christmas.
But what if your holiday shoppers live in the Philippines, known for its months-long Christmas season?
Brands all over the country had their own grand year-end sales on 12.12, but e-commerce giants Lazada and Shopee stayed way ahead of their curve with an 11.11 sale on top of a 12.12 sale, extending the Deal Seekers’ shopping weekend to an entire month, and enticing the Early Birds to take their pre-holiday shopping online.
2. There’s always time to #TreatYoSelf.
Christmas may be the time for giving, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do a little taking. Two out of 3 Deal Seekers take advantage of holiday season sales to shop for themselves as well.
These shoppers spend the entire year taking stock of big ticket items they’d like to purchase, and wait for the Thanksgiving weekend sales (or, in the Philippines’ case, the 11.11 and the 12.12 sales) to roll around before making the purchase.
Lazada and Shopee take advantage of this shopping behavior by marking items that will be eligible for their big sales beforehand — that way, when shoppers see the “11.11” or “12.12” marker on an item they’re interested in, they have the choice to wait for the sale before making a purchase.
By not limiting their messaging to gift-giving, Lazada was able to capture those who were simply shopping for themselves, helping the e-commerce platform reach a cool 60% of their target during the first few hours of their 11.11 sale.
3. A good customer experience is an invisible one.
In the past year, eighty-two percent of Filipinos have already dipped their toes into the waters of e-commerce because of its convenience. Thus, from the website to the customers’ doorstep, the shopping process is expected to be frictionless.
But optimizing your website’s UX for a shopper-friendly browsing experience is simply the bare minimum; nowadays, platforms like Amazon are already anticipating their customers’ needs, with personalized recommendations or lists of products they’ve viewed.
Brands also need to anticipate their customers’ spending habits. For example, the Philippines is known to be a “super cash economy,” with most Filipinos having no bank accounts. In fact, as recently as 2013, 99% of transactions in the country were still being done in cash.
To circumvent this, e-commerce websites now provide multiple payment options that don’t require bank accounts. E-wallet services are now available in sari-sari stores, making them as ubiquitous as your friendly neighborhood pa-load-an. Online shopping is no longer just an option for the rich — even the Filipino everyman can shop online.
Brands like Lazada and Shopee show us how to make the most out of a transactional relationship with their shoppers. But if you want your brand to provide the full experience, look no further — read our recap of this year’s Digicon 2018: Experience Extraordinary to hear what industry experts have to say.