The Philippines has often been hailed as one of the most promising markets for e-commerce. Owners of these types of businesses in the Philippines are very optimistic about the huge potential of the country.
The consumption-driven economy has a 111% mobile penetration rate and is the fastest growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia. The Philippines also boasts the highest Facebook penetration in the world, and ranks the highest in share of time spent on social networking. Interestingly enough, Amazon ranks as one of the top 20 most visited websites amongst Filipinos, despite having no local presence. After seeing the huge potential here, Rocket Internet has launched eight ventures in the Philippines. The European e-commerce incubator is renowned for creating market leading companies in a very short amount of time because of their invaluable expertise in online platforms and ruthless execution. The most well known are Lazada, which sells everything from electronics to diapers, and Zalora, which sells fashion. Carmudi is Rocket’s online vehicle classifieds platform. The company expanded to Cebu after just four months, and has outgrown all vehicle classifieds platforms in terms of traffic and number of listings in just six months. The platform is also riding the wave of the seemingly ideal market characteristics of the Philippines.
Subir Lohani, managing director of Carmudi Philippines said: “The Philippines is the pioneer amongst developing markets in creating these solutions and the partnership between Rocket Internet and PLDT further emphasizes the foreseeable boom in e-commerce. With a determined push to create platforms that help Filipinos become less distrustful of online transactions, the bright future of e-commerce is coming very soon. At Carmudi, we have really seen how the conditions of the local market and the workforce propelled our business forward. We’ve had 20,000 listings and have hired 40 employees in six months. We also work really hard to ensure that the listings that we place online are 100% verified so that Filipinos will be able to find their dream car through us.”
“E-commerce platforms are revolutionizing the way offline businesses operate. A lot of major corporations from all industries are already trying to get ahead of the game by cooperating with platforms from Rocket Internet. Top banks like BDO have also listed their pre-owned cars with us,” Lohani added.
E-commerce is undoubtedly going to be the next big industry in the Philippines, and leading telecommunications company PLDT just bought 10% of the biggest global e-commerce incubator Rocket Internet for $446M. The two parties will jointly develop mobile online payment technologies and services in emerging markets all over the world.
The Philippines is already ahead of the game among most emerging markets, and the growth trend is going nowhere but up. It won’t be long until retail stores will all be present online.