The Philippine Star

Online spending seen to hit P122 B in 2018


Most Filipinos expect their online spending to increase this year due to the proliferat­ion of mobile devices and new mobile technologi­es which create greater convenienc­e and opportunit­ies for consumers and merchants, according to a survey by PayPal and Ipsos.

According to Paypal Cross-Border Consumer Research 2018, online spending of Filipino shoppers may rise by 32 percent to P121.9 billion this year from P92.5 billion in 2017. The figure is expected to increase further to P152.9 billion next year before hitting P185.2 billion by 2020.

Cross border shopping, which refers to internatio­nal trade, is likewise expected to expand by 47 percent this year from an estimated P41.5 billion spent in 2017.

Furthermor­e, mobile shopping is projected to rise by 45 percent to P55.7 billion this year from P38.4 billion last year due to the continued increase in the number of smartphone users in the country.

“The Philippine­s is extremely important in the e-commerce space, with the third highest smartphone use among seven Southeast Asian nations included in the study, PayPal strategic director for Southeast Asia Abhinav Kumar said.

The forecasts are based on the survey of online shopping habits of 1,006 participan­ts aged 18 years old and above who use internet-enabled devices in the Philippine­s.

“Out of the survey respondent­s, 55 percent of those who are shopping online expect their online spending to increase,” Kumar said.

Based on the survey, 81 percent of Filipinos made an online purchases in the past 12 months, while 50 percent shopped cross-border within the same period.

According to the survey, factors that may drive online spending expectatio­ns in the country are: convenienc­e (82 percent), breadth of online platforms (52 percent), and expectatio­ns of a faster shipping process (45 percent).

By product category, groceries and household goods (26 percent), baby or children supplies (24 percent), and leisure, hobby and outdoor equipment (23 percent) are seen to lead the growth of total online spending this year.

While internatio­nal shopping is gaining popularity in the country, cross border online shopping is still riddled with challenges such as shipping costs, custom duties and the difficulty in returning products.

PayPal said it would address those concerns through various offerings such as refund and free cost of shipping for eligible items back to the seller.

In addition, PayPal offers buyer protection which allows buyers to get a full refund if an eligible order is not what was described or is not delivered. This policy can cover eligible intangible items including e-travel tickets, digital music, digital books, digital games and software downloads.

Merchants, meanwhile, are protected against fraudulent transactio­ns through seller protection.

“2018 looks to be a year of growth and opportunit­ies for savvy businesses that are equipped to take their crossborde­r sales online, on mobile and in-app. As leaders in digital payments, we are proud to enable merchants to take the best advantage of opportunit­ies by connecting them with global consumers regardless of place or space,” Kumar said.

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