Three out of every five or 59% of the online population in the Philippines access the internet to shop, according to a recent survey by MasterCard. Showing a remarkable increase from the previous year’s figure of 40%, the study points to the growing importance of online shopping to the Philippine market.
The MasterCard research, which also covers 13 other Asia Pacific countries, offers a glimpse of consumers’ online shopping behavior, including their attitudes to online shopping, factors impacting their purchases, satisfaction with and future plans for online shopping, categories of items purchased online, state of mobile shopping, and ethical spending.
The study finds that Filipinos turn to the internet – as opposed to offline – to shop for the following top categories: airline tickets (38.4%), home appliances and electronic products (35.1%), clothing and accessories (31%), hotels (29.9%) and computer software (29.4%). However, sites of apps stores (50.1%), music downloads (42.6%) and home appliances/electronic products (38.2%) draw the most web traffic.
Most of the Filipino respondents are satisfied with online shopping, describing it as easy (73.3%), convenient (71.9%), or fun (64.4%), and expressing greater likelihood to purchase in the next 6 months (79.2%). All these figures are improvements from the results of the 2013 study (61.4%, 63%, 58.2%, and 68.2%), respectively.
Additionally, Filipinos who purchased items using their mobile phones have increased progressively from 21.4% in 2012 to 34% in 2014, with 94.2% of the participants able to access the internet through their smartphones. They cite being able to do it on the go, the availability of more apps that make it easy to shop online, and convenience as their reasons for turning to mobile shopping. Among mobile shoppers, the top categories for purchases are phone apps (24.7%), music downloads (22.7%) and clothing/ accessories (20.7%).
Before making an online purchase, four-fifths consider online reviews, while three-fourths prefer to call a hotline number. Furthermore, decisions to buy online are influenced by the following: security of payment facility (89.7%), speed of transactions (88.5%), price/value of items (87.7%) and convenient payment methods (87.3%).
Finally, more than seven in every ten Filipino online shoppers purchased products for ethical reasons. Adherence to fair trade principles (77.4%), environment-friendliness (76.4%), and whether part of the proceeds will go to a good cause (60.8%) are the top three ethical considerations in making a purchase.
The 2014 study is part of the Online Shopping Survey that MasterCard commissions annually. The survey was conducted in fourteen (14) Asia Pacific countries with a minimum of 500 respondents per country.