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E-commerce sets to shape new shopping lifestyle even at post-pandemic

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

The inevitable change of lifestyle was shaped by the pandemic, even in the way how people do their shopping, from the brick and mortar store to online shopping and this will continue even after the pandemic, according to an e-commerce expert.

During an e-commerce convention series from Lazada, Havas Ortega Group chief executive officer Jos Ortega said it was observed during the coronavirus lockdown that local consumers suddenly discovered Filipino products ranging from low-end to high-end ones.

“People start to appreciate our own culture. So while we are already getting all of the Korean culture, the Filipino culture is now picking up because of the kind that we have, appreciation of products that are coming up… and also getting into at a price point where they are also becoming affordable,” he said.

Ortega said Koreans sell not just cheap products from China but their culture, including music, K-drama, fashion and beauty.

“So while China was selling products, Korea was selling an experience, Korea was selling a relationship with you. And they have done that through their music … Korea is selling culture, which then leads too us buying a piece of that culture through fashion, through the beauty products,” he added.

Ortega also advised entrepreneurs and business owners to market to baby-boomers who have started making purchases online.

“Remember that baby-boomers have money. Once they get hooked, expect a spike within that category as well. If you don’t have products with them, you might wanna take a look at what products might be relevant for the baby-boomers,” he said.

Ortega further said while consumers still opt for cash on delivery as a method of payment for online purchases, there are big dents happening in the financial technology and technology fields that are going to dramatically affect e-commerce in the Philippines.

He said there are at least three fintech companies that are coming in that will be competing in the payment solutions space.
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“Be prepared for that, make sure that you have all these payment solutions in your stores,” he added.

As online purchasing is expected to continue post-pandemic, Ortega said entrepreneurs have to move from just selling products to creating a “customer experience”.

“If you are in a store in a mall, there is an experience that makes it an enjoyable experience to shop… Is there an experience that you can design so that people will keep on coming back for more because of the online store experience and not just your products?,” he said.

He added they can implement do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) marketing strategies.

“There are tools available in the e-commerce space that can be used especially by entrepreneurs to help you,” Ortega said.

He cited as examples D.I.Y. design using template social media posts of a group called Canva, D.I.Y. digital media such as Facebook Ads Manager and the Google Ad Manager, and D.Y.I. engagement through Facebook and Instagram.

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