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What is E-commerce, and how has it evolved?

E-commerce in the Philippines has been gaining momentum as more Filipinos dive into the digital marketplace. With just a few simple clicks or taps, they see the opportunities that E-commerce offers for both consumers and businesses.

But before anything else, what is E-commerce exactly? How did it start in the Philippines and how can merchants get into it?

Defining E-commerce

E-commerce is defined as the buying and selling of goods and services through an electronic network, which is mainly powered by the Internet. Simply put, it’s similar to how goods and services are sold in brick and mortar stores only this time, it’s online.

Nowadays, E-commerce in the Philippines is more visible and is rapidly integrated into people’s way of living. Anyone has access to it because of how widespread it has become. These include social media, online marketplaces, digital stores via websites, and so much more.

Thanks to technology, E-commerce unlocks many opportunities, from putting up small businesses to creating savings for consumers. It ultimately makes for a vibrant and thriving E-commerce ecosystem in the Philippines.

The growth of E-commerce

Before Shopee and Lazada, the growth of online selling and online shopping in the Philippines was relatively slow. As Internet access became commercially available in the early 80s, banking institutions were the first ones doing electronic transactions. 

The advancements in tech over the years opened up more ways to exchange goods and services. Brands started their own websites to sell products. Online selling platforms also emerged, which served as the foundation of E-commerce today. This included the likes of ebay, OLX (which many now know as Carousell), and the late social media platform Multiply.

Despite these innovations, not all Filipinos were enticed at the time because they preferred cash transactions. These platforms mainly catered to credit and debit card holders, and those capable of digital banking and over-the-counter payments.

Over time, banking institutions started advocating for financial inclusivity to educate more Filipinos on the benefits of being banked. This soon started covering digital banking to help them find more ways and simpler options to do online transactions.

The surge in the popularity of E-commerce in the Philippines is the result of this evolution, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. The birth of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, e-wallets like GCash and Maya, and the introduction of Cash-on-Delivery as a payment option opened the doors for many Filipinos to embrace E-commerce.

The E-commerce landscape today

The rise of E-commerce in the Philippines certainly did not happen overnight. However, a lot of it can be credited to the pandemic-driven needs as it was a means for Filipinos to survive while in lockdown. 

Today, E-commerce transactions are happening everywhere and are also seeping into newer platforms like Tiktok. Online retail is now driven by consumer presence, and is reinforced by the flexible payment methods. As for the future, the landscape will only grow further and the ecosystem will become more competitive on the digital front.

For startups and businesses, what is E-commerce offering now? A growing pool of opportunities! And having the right partner makes breaking into this market easier and less daunting, even on the operational side. With Payo, local and international merchants can do just that.

Payo is a leading E-commerce enabler in the Philippines that has a wide range of flexible solutions. Payo helps businesses keep operations organized and also provides guidance on effective strategies for online selling. These include Marketplace Optimization, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Live Customer Support, and even Cash-on-Delivery Integration

Need more information about how you can tap into the Philippine market? Sign up with Payo today or send us a message at [email protected]. Let’s collaborate and find the best strategy for your business!