E-commerce in the Philippines has grown exponentially in recent years, especially during the pandemic. This is evidenced by hundreds of online stores being launched every day. Looking into different E-commerce platforms in the country for this type of business is crucial if you want to take your business to new heights.
If you want to know more about the types of E-commerce platforms in the Philippines, you’re on the right page. In this guide, we’ll round up the types of E-commerce platforms you can take advantage of.
What Is an E-commerce Platform?
An E-commerce platform is an end-to-end solution that enables the process of buying and selling services and products over the internet.
There are various types of E-commerce platforms available locally, and each type offers its own unique set of benefits.
The major purpose of these platforms is to help entrepreneurs have a functioning online store where their target customers can easily purchase their offers.
Types of E-commerce Platforms in the Philippines
The Philippine E-commerce industry grows at a compounding rate year on year, and so does the list of E-commerce platforms available in the country.
To stand out among your competitors, you must know your options and the different types of E-commerce platforms in the Philippines. These platforms, depending on your needs, could make E-commerce easier for you.
So how do you identify which E-commerce platform would best serve your purpose? Let’s break down each type!
This type of E-commerce platform requires merchants to host or pay for the domain of their website to market products. It could be a little tricky for newbies in E-commerce in the Philippines because managing your website means you’ll be the one updating, maintaining, and fixing it.
On the other hand, some merchants hire web developers to handle the initial process of building the site. The merchant then has the choice of managing their website on their own once it’s up and running.
This platform is perfect if you are a tech-savvy merchant who wants full control over your platform. Since you’ve built it, you have the flexibility of what appears in your store. Plus, you’re not limited in customizing it and you can include anything you like on your site.
- You will save on monthly costs
- You will have total control over your website
- You can choose the exact services you want for the website
- You can monetize it
- You can easily build brand trust
- The SEO capabilities is topnotch
- You constantly need to update the website
- The initial setup cost is high
- You are in charge of the security
- You need to manage the site in case it goes down
- It is time-consuming to set up
Social media platforms
E-commerce is not new to social media. It already has a significant presence across different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Pinterest. It makes sense to use it as an E-commerce platform in a country with over 89 million active social media users.
Facebook and Instagram offer a conducive space for E-commerce merchants in the Philippines. Many have been using these social platforms to connect with their customers for a while now. You can also create shoppable content in the form of videos, photos, and articles that will allow your customers to add to items they’re viewing into their carts.
There is also the convenience of live selling, where you can give your customers a whole new level of online shopping experience. And setting up Facebook Shop or an Instagram Shop gives you the advantage of built-in solutions for advertising, selling, and customer service.
- There is little to no setup cost
- It is easy to advertise
- You can reach more audiences
- It’s a great additional channel to sell your products
- You can build a community on your brand
- There is limited flexibility
- The competition is high
- You need to focus more on your products than your brand
If your target market includes people within your vicinity, Facebook Marketplace can be your ultimate E-commerce platform. This is an in-app destination where people can browse, discover, and buy items easily.
On Facebook Marketplace, customers can purchase items directly on the listing, and these items are usually covered by Purchase Protection.
With the Instagram marketplace, businesses like you can easily tag your photos and reels with product links. Therefore, audiences don’t need to head over to your website to know the details of products.
This is a fast-emerging marketplace that Filipinos love thanks to its voucher-stacking features. On TikTok shops, brands can display products for sale and showcase them through videos. TikTok also makes it easier for you to work with affiliates and go viral.
This platform offers video creators the ability to market their works to various audiences. It is in the same category as video streaming services.
The steady rise of online marketplaces has reached the Philippines’ E-commerce industry in no time. Online marketplaces are advantageous for merchants looking for ways to scale their businesses. Platforms such as Shopee and Lazada allow you to sell products without setting up your own online store.
Also, it provides a flexible business opportunity for merchants with relatively low start-up costs. Through online marketplaces, you can reach more customers globally if you are selling items under homeware, fashion, sporting, and pets’ needs categories.
But online marketplaces can be challenging for merchants, too. As there are a lot of products and stores displayed with yours, it is tricky to stand out from the competition. It’s very important to create a satisfying shopping experience to attract loyal customers who will become your very own brand ambassadors.
- You can easily reach a wide audience
- It provides a seamless customer experience
- There’s a low barrier to entry
- You can make it big fast
- The competition is high
- There are limitations to how you can showcase your branding
- Marketplaces may charge a high commission on orders
- You may experience payment delays
Shopee is one of the most used platforms by Filipinos. It gives your customers an easy, fast, enjoyable, and secure online shopping experience. Brands that offer tons of products can take advantage of Shopee, especially if they want customers to enjoy seamless order fulfillment. This platform gets around 72 million monthly web visitors in the country.
Lazada is another leading E-commerce platform in the Philippines. It provides customers with a great shopping experience that covers a wide array of product categories such as gadgets, fashion, food, appliances, and many more. Lazada gets over 37 million monthly visitors from the Philippines.
When it comes to fashion, Zalora is the leading marketplace in the country. It carries tons of local and international fashion brands, and the platform is well-designed to make the customer’s experience easier and more convenient.
Carousell is another marketplace in the Philippines. What sets it apart from its competitors is it focuses on secondhand goods and vintage items in a myriad of categories such as fashion, gadgets, cars, and even properties.
E-commerce website builders
Want to impress your customers with a beautiful and seamless site without the hassle of building one from scratch? Website builders are your best way to go.
This type of E-commerce platform is by far among the easiest to navigate even if you’re new to online selling. Website builders are perfect if you want to create your page fast. There are many easy-to-use website builders for online stores that can help you stand out like Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, and many more. Most site builders feature drag-and-drop page editors, as well as plug-ins to manage orders, shipping, and more.
- You can enjoy better flexibility
- It is easy to set up
- You don’t need coding or design skills to set it up
- Most website buildings are already mobile responsive
- The monthly cost will add up over time
- Customer support may be poor
- You can’t have full control over the design
- There are SEO limitations
This is a subscription-based software that lets you set up your online store and sell your products in an easy way thanks to its streamlined dashboard.
Shopify fees start at $29 per month, and you get to enjoy business management tools like sales and inventory tracking, customer accounts, reporting, shipping, and marketing. If you want to expand your toolkit, you can take advantage of hundreds of Shopify apps.
This is an open-source and customizable E-commerce platform that is built on WordPress. When you add this plug-in to your WordPress site, you can set up your new store in just minutes. It also makes it easy for businesses to secure payments, set up your shipping options, and customize your store needs for free.
Wix is a very popular website-building platform. It offers tons of capabilities and E-commerce functions such as catalog management, dropshipping, marketing, payment fulfillment, and inventory management, among many others.
Tips for Choosing the Best E-commerce Platform For Your Business
Make sure to keep these tips in mind if you’re choosing your E-commerce platform.
Assess the pricing plans
Cost is one of the most integral factors to consider when it comes to choosing your E-commerce platform. Make sure to assess the pricing plans of each platform carefully and choose the one that fits your budget best.
For instance, if you don’t like paying monthly and setup costs, you can go with social media marketplaces. If your business can’t handle a high setup cost, you can go with self-build websites. If you can’t hire a developer but you don’t mind paying a monthly fee, you can go with E-commerce website builders.
Choose more than one platform if needed
If you have a wide range of products or services to offer, you may want to consider having a presence on multiple E-commerce platforms. This can help you reach a wider audience and increase your chances of making more sales.
However, it’s important to ensure that you can manage all the platforms effectively to avoid any confusion or errors in orders and payments.
Test its SEO capabilities
Before you finalize your E-commerce platform of choice, it’s your job to ensure your products or services can be easily found by potential customers through search engines like Google.
Look for platforms that offer built-in SEO features like customizable meta tags and URLs, easy-to-use sitemaps, and mobile optimization. As much as possible, test each platform’s SEO capabilities to see which one performs the best.
Make sure it’s mobile friendly
In this day and age, having a mobile-friendly E-commerce platform is a necessity. With the majority of internet users accessing websites through their mobile devices, you must make sure that your online store looks great and functions smoothly on smartphones and tablets.
Go for platforms that offer responsive design or mobile optimization features to ensure that your customers can easily browse and shop on your website using their mobile devices.
Consider its ability to scale
As your business grows, you’ll need an E-commerce platform that can keep up with your increasing demand. Choose a platform that has the ability to scale, whether it’s through additional features, bandwidth, or support.
It’s also important to consider the platform’s ability to handle high volumes of traffic and orders without slowing down or crashing.
Think about integrations
E-commerce platforms should make it easy for you to integrate other tools and services you need for your brand such as payment gateways, shipping carriers, and third-party apps.
It’s also vital to choose a platform that can integrate with your current systems, such as your inventory management software or CRM.
Make sure the security is top notch
Security is a major concern when it comes to E-commerce platforms. It is your job to protect your customers’ data and payment information from any potential threats.
A secure platform not only protects your customers but also helps build trust and credibility for your business.
As much as you can, go with platforms that offer good encryption, as well as regular updates and patches to address any security vulnerabilities that may arise. You may also want to consider platforms that offer fraud detection and prevention tools as an added layer of security.
Consider the level of personalization you want
Some platforms offer more customization options than others, such as the ability to add your own code or design your own templates. If you want complete control over the look and feel of your online store, self-hosted sites are the ultimate option.
On the other hand, if you prefer a more streamlined and user-friendly approach, then an E-commerce website builder like Wix or Shopify may be a better fit.
Assess which platforms your competitors use
It’s always a good idea to do a bit of research on your competitors and see what E-commerce platforms they are using. This can give you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t in your industry.
If your competitors are using a certain platform, it may be worth considering that platform as well.
However, don’t just choose a platform simply because your competition is using it. Make sure it meets all of your business needs and suits your goals.
E-Commerce Platform FAQs
Still got questions about the best E-commerce platforms? We’ll answer some of them below.
- What features should I look for in an E-commerce platform?
- The type of E-commerce platform you choose will depend on several factors, such as your store size, your target audience, and where you feel most comfortable selling. Ultimately, you should look for features that align with these considerations.
- How much does an E-commerce platform cost?
- Depending on the platform you choose, your E-commerce platform can be free or range from $15++.
- What payment methods are supported by E-commerce platforms?
- You can set up your platform to be compatible with different E-commerce payment methods. Most E-commerce platforms offer card payments, e-wallet payments, and Cash on Delivery payments. If you’re looking to integrate Cash on Delivery to your selling platform, that’s something that Payo can do with its CoD Plugin.
- What warehousing and fulfillment options are available with E-commerce platforms?
- If you need a Warehousing and Fulfillment partner, Payo is the perfect choice for you! With warehouses across the country, you’re sure to reach more customers at a faster rate. Additionally, Payo takes care of pick and pack, parcel hand-off, and courier coordination.
- Do I need technical expertise to use an E-commerce platform?
- This would depend on the platform you choose, and how much knowledge you have when it comes to using it. If you choose a website builder or a social media platform or an online marketplace, you would need a basic understanding of how each of these platforms work. If you’re looking to build your own website and don’t know where to start, it may be better to look into hiring developers to help you with it.
With so many platforms to choose from, it can be overwhelming to settle on one that works best for your business needs. This is where an E-commerce enabler, like Payo, can help you!
Payo, one of the Philippines’ leading E-commerce enablers, can set up your store for you and help you sell your products no matter what platform you choose! Shopify? WooCommerce? Your own site? We got you!
We can even help you with selling across multiple E-commerce platforms in the Philippines. Plus, we can be your reliable Warehousing, Fulfillment, Last Mile Management, and Marketplace Optimization partner, too!
E-commerce is a whole lot easier with us! Send us a message at [email protected] or sign up now to explore more of our tech-driven innovations especially made for Philippine E-commerce.