The onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought e-commerce to the fore. Global data analytics company NielsenIQ said there was a 325-percent increase in online shopping for Philippine households in 2020, revealing that e-commerce has become part and parcel of many Filipinos consumption habits during the pandemic.
While the country’s e-commerce boom shows no sign of slowing down, there weren’t any Philippine specific resources e-commerce newbies could reference to figure out this new way of doing business.
Until now. Enter the book “The E-Hustle: What the Country’s Best Digital Leaders Can Teach You About Launching and Growing Your Online Business”.
Launched last Thursday, September 9, The E-Hustle features insights from seventeen of the country’s e-commerce leaders:
- Steve Sy — Founder and CEO of Great Deals E-Commerce Corporation
- Charles Ryan Sy — President and CEO of Dropify
- Dannah Majarocon — Managing director of Lalamove PH
- Martha Sazon — President and CEO of GCash
- Dino Araneta — Founder of QuadX
- Martin Yu — Director of Shopee Philippines
- Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera — CEO of Colourette Cosmetics
- Kim Lato — CEO of Kimstore
- Ben Wintle — Founder and CEO of Booky
- Ace Gapuz — CEO of Blogapalooza
- Hiyasmin Neri-Soyao — Co-founder and CEO of Shoppertainment LIVE Inc.
- Francis Plaza — Co-founder and CEO of PayMongo
- Mario Domingo — Founder of Neural Mechanics Inc. and DARC Labs
- Agnes Gervacio — CEO of MDI Novare
- Zen Han — Vice president for national sales of OPPO Philippines
- Stefano Fazzini — Co-founder and CEO of MetroMart
- Michael McCullough — Founder of KMC Solutions
“There is no map to e-commerce, no guide that says ‘you are here’ and tells you how to go the distance. But there are principles, strategies, and tactics that cut across different contexts, and the leaders here share exactly those,” said Kyle Nate, the book’s production editor and one of its co-authors.
These founders, presidents, CEOs, and managing directors of the country’s foremost e-commerce brands each contributed their area of expertise, resulting in a book that spans wide array of e-commerce subjects.
A few of them include designing customer experience, marketing, and stakeholder relations, as well as setting up logistics, payments, and distribution channels.
Speaking at the launch, a few of the e-commerce leaders gave a sneak peak of book’s contents. Kim Lato, CEO of Kim’s Store, and Martin Yu, director of Shopee Philippines, shared a few pointers about customer experience in e-commerce.
“Consumer-centric e-commerce business is a business strategy with only one goal in mind: Excellent customer experience,” said Lato.
She noted the importance of being personal with your customers by providing a human touch while interacting online, adding that hyperpersonalizing their experiences by remembering pertinent information such as previous orders and birthdays is one way to stand out.
Continuing on the same vein, Yu commented that consumers want to do more when they shop online now and e-commerce brands must constantly innovate to engage with their customers.
He cited as example the different features Shopee is utilizing to help its sellers engage with their customers, including Shopee Feed, Shopee Live, and Shopee Prizes.
“Most existing businesses here in the Philippines started off as brick-and-mortar stores. They’re created by entrepreneurs who enjoy salesmanship, making ways to form connections with people who walk into their store,” Yu stated.
“We firmly believe that in Shopee that that kind of connection is also possible through the right user engagement features on our platform.”
Mario Domingo, founder of Neural Mechanics Inc. and DARC Labs, said there is a need for established businesses to train or upskill their employees for e-commerce.
He explained that employers should have their employees learn empathy, analysis, and design-thinking to prepare them for the new field of e-commerce.
Lastly, Francis Plaza, co-founder and CEO of PayMongo, reminded entrepreneurs and business people that in e-commerce, everything depends on the consumers’ trust.
“The one thing that actually hasn’t changed over that long period of history is the need for trust in this entire economic system. You need to be able to know that your transaction gets completed… That you are able to receive the product or service back,” Plaza said.
The E-Hustle is available in both physical and eBook copies. Globe CEO Ernest Cu wrote the foreword and Sen. Risa Hontiveros contributed the afterword.