Since the imposition of community quarantines to address the rapid increase in Covid-19 infection. Online shopping has been noted to have risen dramatically nationwide.
Shopee Philippines Associate Director Martin Yu said he wouldn’t say there has been an outsized increase or imbalance in increase in demand, but confirmed but noted “increased general usage of the platform, as people seek solutions to find access to their basic necessities and needs.”
He confirmed the increase in the number of orders from all over the country, but failed to provide any figures. Notably higher, he said is the demand for personal hygiene products and necessities like groceries and diapers.
The firm has recently launched its Shopee Philippines-Visa partnership program which aims to encourage consumers to support local businesses, particularly micro-, small and medium enterprises by helping them to have their own online presence.
Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam, Dan Wolbert said their tie-up is in line with their small business program to support 10 million small and micro businesses in the Asia Pacific and part of the Visa Foundation’s global commitment to provide US$210 million as Covid-19 emergency support to the small business sector.
Wolbert said the tie-up will give discounts to Visa cardholders when they shop at local merchants registered with Shopee, noting that “the impact of Covid-19 for these businesses, along with shifting consumer behaviors to e-commerce reinforced the need for Visa to launch Where You Shop Matters.”
Furthermore, he said their partnership with Shopee will also help them support thousands of local businesses in the Philippines. “We are confident that Filipinos will help support the local economy, especially since our study showed that 95 percent of Filipino consumers purchase from local retailers to support small business recovery,” he added.
Wolbert said the pandemic has accelerated several years’ worth of change into a span of a few months, and the “rapid acceleration of the shift to digital payments also means businesses need to go through a digital transformation and adapt to changing consumers’ behaviors to do well.”
Through the tie-up, Visa will provide local SMEs with Visa e-Commerce Starter Kits that will help them start, manage, and grow their online storefronts. Visa has also teamed up with BigCommerce, an electronic commerce platform, to help SMEs start their online stores and offers special discount rates for SMEs to sign up with the program.
“With the pandemic hampering our activities and forcing many of us indoors, the need and usage for Shopee has risen exponentially for both consumers and merchants. With that, we see a great benefit in partnering with Shopee to help as many buyers and businesses as we can,” Wolbert said.
Todate, Yu said there are close to about 500,000 active sellers in Shopee. “I expect a lot of uptake and it’s something that we’re excited about,” he added. (PNA)