E-commerce dates to 1948 during the Berlin Blockade crisis when people ordered goods via telex. The debut of the World Wide Web in 1991 and the development of a web browser in 1993 shifted e-commerce from telex to the internet.
The global increase in smartphones and the accessibility of fast internet connectivity over the years has significantly accelerated the growth of the industry, as more people can purchase goods via mobile devices such as tablets and even wearables.
China, home of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA and the U.S., where Amazon.com Inc. AMZN and eBay Inc. EBAY reside, have been the top countries where e-commerce has grown at a healthy rate.
But things might be changing.
Southeast Asia is expected to experience the largest worldwide growth in e-commerce with an increase of 20.6% in 2022, according to Insider Intelligence. Only four countries, including the Philippines, will surpass the combined growth rate of Southeast Asia.
E-Commerce In The ICT Hub Of Asia
The Philippines — dubbed the information and communications technology (ICT) hub of Asia — ranks first in 2022 e-commerce sales, surpassing the U.S. by 10%. E-commerce in the Philippines has grown from $6.78 billion in 2017 to nearly $21 billion in 2022, with expectations of reaching $32.7 billion in 2025.
Consumer preference for shopping online and the increasing internet penetration are behind the growth in e-commerce sales in the Philippines, where people spend an average of 10 hours per day online.
The government also has taken various initiatives to bolster the sector. The Philippine E-commerce Roadmap 2022 was launched in January 2021 to encourage the use of e-commerce by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and increase online shopping confidence.
"Rising consumer preference for online shopping, the increasing number of online merchants, proliferation of alternative payment solutions and government support will support e-commerce sales in the Philippines. The market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17% over the next five years," Global Data Banking and Payments Senior Analyst Shivani Gupta said.
The Fastest Growing E-Commerce Model?
In addition to buying and selling goods on leading platforms such as Lazada and Sea Ltd.’s SE Shopee Philippines, Filipinos shop on social media platforms. The social commerce market is expected to reach nearly $682 million this year thanks to the growing number of people flocking to social media platforms to buy products.
Companies like Belo Medical Group and Shopee Philippines are using social media platforms such as TikTok to increase sales.
Penetrating The E-Commerce Market In The Philippines
Society Pass Inc. SOPA says it is on track to infiltrate the fastest-growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia through acquisitions.
Established in 2018, Society Pass (SoPa) has quickly scaled up its operations in Southeast Asia and South Asia through its e-commerce platforms and acquisitions. The company has acquired a number of companies, including the restaurant delivery app Mangan.ph, Gorilla Networks, a next-generation Web3 mobile virtual network operator, and #HOTTAB Biz, a business management platform.
The acquisition of online grocery shopping and delivery platform Pushkart.ph is expected to increase SoPa’s revenue by 891% over last year. Pushkart boasts having more than 125,000 users and 20,000 mobile app downloads.
Pushkart is looking to expand its presence beyond metro Manila. The company recently announced plans to expand in cities across the Cavite and Pampanga provinces, which have a population of over 6 million people.
Pushkart President and CEO Michael Lim said this is the beginning of the company’s goal to expand to other parts of the country and across Southeast Asia.
Sopa recently acquired Mangan.ph (“Mangan”), the leading local restaurant delivery service in the Philippines. Founded in 2017, Mangan delivers restaurant food from over 1,200 partner restaurants through its over 200 rider network to its over 500,000 registered users. Thus far, Mangan has generated more than 100,000 mobile app downloads and accumulated over 80,000 social media followers.
Operating in Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines, Mangan’s geographic reach extends to 16 other cities including Angeles City, San Fernando, Clark, Dau, Mabalacat, Guagua, Lubao, Tarlac, Bataan, Magalang, Pasig, Cabanatuan, Baguio, Lipa Batangas, Antipolo City, Dagupan City. The newly acquired business will be integrated into SoPa’s F&B vertical, Push Delivery Pte Ltd, along with Pushkart and #HOTTAB.
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