Martin Cu

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, consumers everywhere changed their buying habits. In the Philippines, we saw an increase in online shopping. Around 30 percent of Filipinos bought groceries online.

At least half of Filipino consumers are expected to maintain their preference for online shopping once the pandemic is over.

Selling trends

1. Motherhood and Baby

The UP Population Institute and the UN Population Fund estimate a baby boom in 2021, with approximately 2.56 million babies born that year. To compete in this area, online sellers should focus on key baby and maternity products such as: B. Items related to feeding / breastfeeding and caring for newborns, as opposed to luxury items.

At Shopee, pajama sets, bibs, baby wipes and reusable diapers are some of the best-selling items in the Babies & Kids category, with sales in the thousands each month. Baby cots are one of the most popular products on Lazada. Meanwhile, breastfeeding-related items – ice packs, storage bags, nutritional supplements like Malunggay tea – are bestsellers on

2. Accessories for hygiene

If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s not to skimp on safety measures. We foresee continued demand for personal protective equipment such as masks, face shields and disinfectants.

3. Beach wear and accessories

This year, local travel restrictions are expected to ease with the news of vaccinations on the horizon. As tourist favorites like Boracay and Palawan open their borders to local tourists with heightened security, more destinations are expected to follow later in the year. With increasing confidence in local travel, entrepreneurs can expect a slight increase in the demand for travel essentials such as beach clothes and other travel accessories.

4. Cooking and baking tools

The explosion of new grocery sellers during the pandemic says it all – people are spending more time in their kitchen. And this newfound love of home cooking will persist, according to coronavirus consumer behavior research. The search for “baking” and “cooking” and related terms has also increased significantly, according to Google Trends.

It is advisable to get into the sales of cooking and baking tools, accessories and appliances. Search Facebook buy and sell groups for chefs and bakers to find out what people are looking for. Check out the most popular foods on Facebook and Instagram and find out what tools and materials are needed to make them.

5. Fitness equipment

The demand for home fitness equipment has increased. No wonder, given that gyms across the country are either closed or open with limited capacity. Top sales at Shopee and Lazada include yoga mats and skipping ropes. But other brands that sell large machines and weights are also doing well. Companies like Play Hard Fitness offer delivery services for their multi-level home gyms during quarantine and even have major online sales like 12/12.

Sellers can also focus on industries, especially if it is in their best interest to do so. For example, if you want to become a triathlete, sell clothing, equipment, and supplements that help triathletes train.

Another area to benefit from is people’s need to be outdoors and escape the city after long months of quarantine in the community. Case in point: Google searches for “cycling” and “cycling” increased.

6. WFH equipment and fashion

Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, many Filipinos were already working from home (WFH). The Philippines is the fastest growing gig economy market in the world, and these freelancers typically work for overseas clients.

WFH is here to stay. So think of things that make it easier. Find the best value monitors, wireless keyboards, ergonomic chairs, standing desks, lamps and more.

Strengthen your brand through effective marketing

It’s important to meet buyers where they are. Even if a company has its own e-commerce website, it still needs to be present on the platforms that are most convenient for shoppers to surf, ask questions, and make purchasing decisions. It would be wise to stay up to date on the top marketing trends for the coming year.

1. Conversation trading

With more consumer-to-consumer transactions and social selling happening, messaging apps are an important tool in the arsenal of every ecommerce seller today. A 2019 study commissioned by Facebook found that 66 percent of Filipinos who made purchases through messaging platforms wanted to spend more on c-commerce purchases in the future.

The Philippines is one of the largest users of C-Commerce in Southeast Asia. No wonder – 97 percent of Internet users in the country use chat apps.

But you don’t need the statistics to tell you that. You’ve probably noticed that your buyers are happy to ask you questions about Messenger or Viber.

2. Sales, promos, flexible payments

Filipinos are looking for more flexible options and discounted prices. To meet this demand, you can hold sales more frequently or on a larger scale.

Try creative ways to get your products up for sale or offer freebies without incurring losses. Examples of this are product packages, bulk prices and free shipping for a minimum purchase.

3. Tap Online Communities

Raise your hand if you are now part of an online exchange group or an online community for Plantitas or other hobbyists.

When groups like these allow sales items, it pays to invest the time and effort in marketing here, as group members have a high potential to generate interest in your products.

If you’re looking at something you can manage over the long term, consider setting up your own stakeholder group.

4. TikTok

TikTok took the bored, quarantined world by storm in 2020 and is not going to go away anytime soon.

First, make sure your target customers are on TikTok. It will take a lot of time and creativity to get your brand known on the platform. Therefore, there should be a clear potential return on investment here.

But can TikTok actually influence purchasing decisions? This may be the case according to this list of “TikTok Approved Products You Never knew you would need in your life.” Strange, experimental ads

Could 2021 be the year Filipino companies dare to run surreal, quirky ads like these viral videos from Japan and Thailand? The RC Cola ad may have got you scratching your head, but admit it – it got people talking.

And based on the social media buzz, it looks like after surviving the strange 2020 year, people will be ready for more bizarre marketing campaigns of this kind.

Before posting a video, make sure you have your marketing funnel planned out. Where do people go after seeing your video? Provide links to relevant websites, blog posts, or product lists to increase conversion.

6. Woke up advertising messages

Filipinos like to see brands address topics that matter to them in their marketing campaigns, including COVID-19.

Millennial customers in particular expect brands to speak up. However, Gen Z goes a step further and expects brands and their employees to lead their conversations by supporting and contributing to social causes.

So be careful not to shoot yourself in the foot. Don’t let yourself be woken up to be woken up – choose a topic that is really close to your heart and that you can support.

7. Video Marketing

On Facebook, videos have a higher level of engagement with Filipinos than other types of posts.

If you don’t already have a YouTube channel, you can start one when your audience is there.

However, if you plan to visit a lot of social networks – TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook – make sure you don’t get overwhelmed. You can schedule your videos to cover any shoot material that can be shown on any platform. You can have a video on YouTube and cut it into different segments and lengths to post on other platforms. This way, you can kill many birds with one stone. – CONTRIBUTION

The author is the Country Head of Ninja Van Philippines.

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