PayPal study reveals more Filipinos are now shopping online

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Filipinos expect to do more online shopping this year and beyond, according to a consumer research conducted by digital payments firm PayPal and Ipsos.

PayPal head of strategic partnerships for Southeast Asia Abhinav Kumar

PayPal head of strategic partnerships for Southeast Asia Abhinav Kumar presented the findings of the PayPal Cross-Border Consumer Research 2018 for the Philippines to local media at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati city on June 27.

The survey involved approximately 34,000 consumers from 31 countries including the Philippines with 1,006 participants aged 18 and above.

According to the report, Filipino shoppers’ total online spend for 2017 was P92.5 billion. This number is expected to rise to P122 billion in 2018, an increase of 32% from the 2017 total, and grow further to more than P185 billion in 2020.

On the other hand, mobile spend is projected to reach around P56 billion in 2018 and over P100 billion in 2020. Cross border shopping is also projected to jump by 32% in 2018 from around P41.5 billion total spend the year before.

The report likewise stated that the Philippines is the third highest among seven Asia Pacific countries surveyed in terms of making a cross border purchase via a smartphone. With the country’s growing number of smartphone users, PayPal forecasts Philippine mobile e-commerce to climb from an estimated P38.4 billion in 2017 to an estimated P55.7 billion in 2018.

The three top reasons why Filipinos expect to do more online shopping were cited. Eighty-two percent said it was because of the convenience of e-commerce, 52% mentioned the multiple online shopping platforms available, while 45% said it was because they expect faster shipping of orders.

Fashion goods were the most purchased under cross border trade, with 68% spending for these items in the past 12 months. This category was followed by consumer electronics products, bought by 57% of online shoppers in the same period.

Rounding up the top three cross border purchases were cosmetic and beauty products, with 56% of shoppers buying them.

Online spending for basic necessities also figured in the report. Twenty-six percent of the shoppers reported having spent for groceries and household items online while 24% bought baby and children’s products. The report forecasts these two product classifications as growth categories for 2018.

“It’s reflective of what to expect when people start getting more and more comfortable buying online. You start buying your daily needs,” said Kumar. “I think that is a fascinating data point. They get comfortable with how the process works.”

Meanwhile, 33% named shipping costs as the number one factor that kept them from engaging in more cross border shopping. Thirty-one percent cited customs duties or taxes while 28% mentioned the difficulty of returning goods.

Of the Filipino participants in the survey, 58% engaged in online shopping right in the Philippines using an app or website while 13% did it outside the country with an app or website. Seventeen percent shopped online in a marketplace using an app or website while 12% did it via social media sites. They were interviewed online on April 16 and 27, 2018.

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