Sunday, May 26, 2024

Smartphones continue to boost e-commerce in PH, says Carmudi

More Filipinos can now afford smartphones which could mean a healthier e-commerce industry in the country, Carmudi, the online vehicle marketplace from Rocket Internet, said.

Subir Lohani, country manager of Carmudi Philippines
Subir Lohani, country manager of Carmudi Philippines

?The expansion of the e-commerce industry is limited foremost by the number of smartphone users in the country,? Subir Lohani, country manager of Carmudi Philippines, said.

Lohani explained that because of this trend, Carmudi has released its Android and iOS applications last year.

Their website has also been made mobile-friendly and that of the 700,000 plus monthly page views that their site receives, almost half comes from mobile sources such as smartphones and tablets.

Out of this figure, about 13% or 25,000, provides leads for Carmudi.

The Philippines, however, has a long way to go because of several challenges that most e-commerce sites deal with. The country?s Internet speed, for example, is still pegged at 4 Mbps, the fourth fastest in the ASEAN region, according to Ookla.

This is still a far cry from Singapore which leads its neighboring countries at 16 Mbps.

?Improvements in the country?s Internet structure and a better service from telephone companies can easily bridge this gap, in time for the Philippines transition to mobile browsing,? Lohani said.

He also expressed a positive outlook that this will happen sooner as there is a market demand that will force telcos to be more competitive on how they package their Internet offers.

Lohani also said that the local e-commerce industry can change drastically depending on how telcos can address the issue of mobile data cap.

The Carmudi executive said he is not that worried as online businesses are expected to provide free mobile data to mobile users.

Several platforms, such as Safezone.ph from Voyager- Smart Communications, is already providing free mobile data to users who access brands that are under its services.

Aside from Carmudi, other apps and websites that can be accessed for free through Safezone include other Rocket Internet ventures such as Lamudi, Zalora and Lamudi.

Carmudi has also projected that 2015 is the year that it will solidify its hold as the number one site for those who wants to buy or sell any type of vehicles, from cars, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles.

?We simply need to ride the trend of ever-increasing vehicular sales and give people the ease of using our online services,? Lohani said.

Last 2014 was a banner year for the automotive industry which grew to 30% with 234, 747 units sold for the year.

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