Filipinos spend an average of 10 hours and 27 minutes on the internet every day. For that reason, your e-commerce business can find many niches within Filipino online shoppers. But driving them to your website may be tricky. According to a 2021 report by Facebook Inc. and Bain & Co., Filipinos visit 7.8 websites before making a purchase.
On a positive note, e-commerce is steadily rising in the Philippines. There are 37.75 million Filipino online shoppers as of 2018, helping e-commerce reach $1.49 billion in revenue. Forecasts for the next five years say that the transaction value of e-commerce may reach $9.6 billion (PHP500 billion) if this trend continues.
Hence, your e-commerce business has a great shot at making it big in the country. But you need to drive traffic and build up conversion rates first and foremost. Before learning how to optimize your website for the Filipino audience, let’s determine what makes them browse 7.8 websites before buying.
Factors Influencing Purchasing Decisions
Before visiting 7.8 websites, Filipinos used to drop by only 4.3 in 2020. The increase in their explorations owed to Filipinos’ growing desire to feel that they were making the right purchase. But despite that, 45 percent were willing to buy from stores they’d never heard of yet. It was probably why 51 percent of Filipinos switched their most purchased brand in the last three months before Facebook and Bain & Co. conducted the survey.
The survey also revealed that the factors influencing purchase were environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Over 80 percent of Filipino online shoppers said they’d pay 10 percent more on sustainable and socially conscious products. Facebook and Bain & Co. also found that ESG factors were among the three leading reasons Southeast Asians switch brands.
Therefore, it’s not a website’s look that encourages Filipino to buy. It’s the brand and its values. If your e-commerce business has what it takes to win Filipinos’ hearts, that’s what they would value more than your web design. But of course, an optimized website is still crucial, or your audience wouldn’t find you on the internet.
Optimizing Your E-commerce Website for the Filipino Audience
Know the Top E-commerce Websites
Knowing the top e-commerce websites will help you gain ideas on how to design your website. According to Grit PH, the top five most-visited online shopping websites are Lazada, OLX, Shopee, Facebook Marketplace, and Cebu Pacific.
These websites offer customized content for each user. For example, if you frequently visit Lazada to buy shoes, the website’s homepage shows you shoe brands during your visits. The other e-commerce websites behave the same way. They track your activity, allowing them to remember what you visit their sites for.
Make your website’s algorithm perform the same way. It will allow you to get to know your customers and show them the products they will likely buy.
Enlist Filipino Website Developers
No one knows Filipino online shoppers better than Filipino web developers. Find the best website development company, and the experts will immediately show you how to win the Filipino audience over. Though SEO rules apply internationally, content preferences may differ by country. For example, Filipinos love monthly promos like “3.3 Grand Sale.” Hence, if they see those words on a website, they’re immediately hooked.
Make Your Website Compatible With All Mobile Devices
Approximately 79 million Filipinos own a smartphone. Many use their smartphones for web browsing besides social media and gaming. Hence, ensure that your website is accessible via smartphones and other mobile devices, like tablets and laptops. Your web visitors should navigate your site easily without tilting their phones.
Measure Core Web Vitals
Google introduced Core Web Vitals to help website owners monitor the overall health of their websites and webpages. It allows you to see keywords with high search volumes and other important metrics. An SEO expert can help you navigate Core Web Vitals and interpret its data.
Don’t stop at selling products. Engage your audience with other content, too. Filipinos love shenanigans by brands, such as RC Cola’s “Family.” But don’t force your content to be viral-worthy by trend-jacking or using memes. The Philippine ads that became famous didn’t use those tactics at all. Instead, they tapped into the hearts or funny bones of Filipinos. Use your creativity when thinking of unique concepts that suit the Filipino audience.
Your e-commerce website will rank high in search engine result pages (SERPs) and increase conversion rates with these strategies. But, more importantly, make your brand share the values of many Filipinos today. If becoming sustainable isn’t an option, find another corporate social responsibility that will make you a positive force in Filipino society. Filipinos will support an e-commerce brand that offers high-quality products and user experiences and gives back to the community.