E-Commerce in the Philippines 2016 – 2017

E-Commerce in the Philippines 2016 – 2017

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We are kicking off the E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Mentoring Program for MSMEs with an overview on “E-Commerce in the Philippines”. This module 1 learning webinar took place last December 19, 2016.

The webinar video tackles the following topics:

I. E-Commerce Industry Players

We took a look at the Philipines E-Commerce Landscape infograpic from ecommerIQ and added our observations.

We also used Alexa competitive research tool to have a better perspective on the rankings. There are various e-commerce sites coming out today but they also need to invest in ample marketing resources to improve their traffic and build traction.

II. Philippines E-Commerce Roadmap Updates

We gave a quick overview on the targets defined under the Philippines E-Commerce Roadmap and progress attained so far. We also cited what areas need support in order to make them happen and why it should happen soon. This includes:

Simplified tax system

The industry should unify and push for the idea on making electronic sales invoices, charge invoices, official receipts, collection receipts as a default rather than an exception. Printouts can be made as necessary.

With tax reporting and payments being required to be done electronically, receipts are still issued in paper form. If they are issued electronically, reporting will be more transparent – including the computation of dues and reports. Minimizing or removing reporting non-compliance altogether. It will require political will to get this done.

But if the private sector is adamant in making change happen to the better, this is a direction worth pursuing.


Discussion for an e-notary system has been on for quite sometime. I do hope the Supreme Court will issue its guidelines on this one soon for e-commerce to take off on the business to business, e-government, and cross-border related transactions.

III. Challenges and Business Opportunities in E-Commerce

There are a lot of lessons learned in this space for 2016 as we went around the country through the Department of Trade & Industry “Expanding your Business through E-Commerce” roadshow series. I hope readers will see the challenges as opportunities and explore coming up with solutions to address them.

Lack of Marketplaces & Logistics support in the countryside

There were a lot of places visited in the roadshow where the merchants has difficulty to start selling online due to logistics limitations. In times like this, only Shopinas (and its affiliated marketplaces like SMENegosyante, OneStore, and Ureka Shops) are in a position to assist with the support of Air21.

However, for most marketplaces, the only limitation is that the MSME should be the one to invest in marketing as they are mostly weak in that area.

We also encountered local marketplaces giving the much needed MSME support such as ShopLocal in Cagayan De Oro. However, to be effective, local marketplaces need to evolve their business model as a conduit for MSMEs to gain access to various marketplaces even by just joining a single platform.

From E-Commerce Education to E-Commerce Mentoring

A lot of e-commerce awareness was done this year through various roadshows. However, I agree with the observations shared by one of DTI Cebu’s directors – Nanette Arbon that mentoring is more effective as the necessary focus and follow-up is given especially when shared targets are set right from the start.

Hence, as we launch the E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Mentoring Program for MSMEs, I would like to focus on hands-on from module 2 to 10 sessions giving pointers for those joining. This is where I stop with the usual presentations but focused instead on the “how to do it”.

We need more mentors from government to private sector who will assist MSMEs in doing e-commerce. I am focusing my 2017 efforts in creating more e-commerce and digital marketing mentors in the countryside to help reach the target of 100,000 MSMEs doing business online by 2020.

Cross Border E-Commerce and Payments

At the APEC O2O Forum held in Boracay last November 2016, an interesting discussion took place on the building blocks for cross-border e-commerce transactions to happen. This includes:

Improvement of payment infrastructure

Making this affordable and accessible to MSMEs is a must. But we also need to adapt to changing market requirements where banking regulations has to be updated too. I look forward to the day when services similar to Payoneer will grow and include as many countries as possible where members can do banking transactions with.

Credit score

I was not able to mention this in the webinar video but let me add this here.

Jaime Garchitorena of Credit Information Corporation at the said APEC forum highlighted the need for MSMEs to work on their credit rating early especially if they aspire to do cross-border transactions. This is an area of focus that should be worked on this 2017 onwards and make the concept understood and appreciated at the MSME level. Updating old laws on credit to match requirements of present times should be pushed for as well.


Click this to access the handout from this webinar session.


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Comments (15)


    I think E-commerce is part of the business in the Philippines. The goal is to sell products online.

    March 21, 2019 at 9:32 am
  • chia hao hu Reply

    that is the data i want to see ,now i realize how big potential in e-commerce

    March 21, 2019 at 10:00 am
  • Ahlyssa Alix Reply

    E-commerce really improved our quality of life. Instead wasting our time going to the malls, getting stuck in traffic, etc. e-commerce made it all convenient. It also increased revenue, improved customer service and generated jobs for Filipinos.

    March 21, 2019 at 10:05 am
  • Carl Delgado Reply

    Thank you for the wonderful information and for a well- explained discussion about E- Commerce in the Philippines. May more Filipinos read more about this and have a heads and learn more about E-Commerce 🙂

    March 21, 2019 at 10:05 am
  • Roger Ongsitco Reply

    Should there be additional taxes for e-commerce?

    March 21, 2019 at 10:06 am
  • Allaine Jay Sanico Reply

    It helps me knows more on e-commerce.

    March 21, 2019 at 10:08 am
  • Oliver Picache Reply

    the content here is very informational and very helpful as we will need this in the near future.

    March 21, 2019 at 10:11 am
  • sunjay kumar Reply

    Very informative, a lot of information but was easy to process and straight to the point. Keep up the good work this helped me understand more about E-commerce. Looking forward to read the next module.

    March 21, 2019 at 10:12 am
  • Macy Joya Reply

    I’d like to touch on the topic about availability of logistics and marketplaces. I believe that after 3 years that this has been studied, there’s an improvement in the logistics availability to e-commerce. Nowadays, these businesses team up with local couriers and these couriers are now e-commerce friendly than 3 years ago. Now, it’s not just Air21 but also JRS Express, Palawan Express, LBC, DPX, Xsend etc. So now there’s more opportunities available for courier and logistics for e-commerce owners.

    March 21, 2019 at 10:17 am
  • Karmeelle Pabustan Reply

    Should there be tax for eCommerce sites?

    March 21, 2019 at 10:19 am
  • frasser Reply

    would credit card be possible for the payment in eCommerce? what if they pay you in terms of credit card, how would you able to take their payments? thank you.

    March 21, 2019 at 10:20 am
  • Paul Vergara Reply

    With the proposed guidelines here from your video, I think that we can have a great E-commerce here in the Philippines. Having mentors for people that is not that familiar with E-commerce will really help since a lot of people lacks some knowledge about the internet. It’s a great way for our market to be also modernized to catch up with other nations.

    March 21, 2019 at 10:20 am
  • Mary Dela Cruz Reply

    Do you think E-commerce in the future would be bigger than on site stores.?

    March 21, 2019 at 10:21 am
  • Elaiza Kho Reply

    I could feel and see the improvement and rampant growing of accessible sites in the Philippines. Is there any possibility that through these rampant growing of websites could put the country or our environment within some danger?

    March 21, 2019 at 10:23 am
  • Franchesca Gozon Reply

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge to all of us. We will surely benefit from it!

    March 21, 2019 at 10:24 am

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