Boon or Bane: The Booming Online Shopping Trend

The study said the growth was driven by increased eCommerce demand brought about by the pandemic as Filipinos mostly stayed at home. The top Philippine eCommerce platforms were Shopee, Lazada, Zalora, and BeautyMNL — for sure most readers have been to this site at least once in their lives.

rise of online shopping offers sprqawling malls a healthy competition.

The global health crisis brought on by the Covid-19 disease upended everyone’s normal life. It obliterated the routines, however mundane, that kept everyone level-headed — getting up, putting boots on, and driving to work. We also missed having happy hour with friends.

Now, over two years later, people seem to have adjusted well to the new normal. What is the new normal, by the way? It’s life after a crisis. This time, apart from the mandatory wearing of masks, it includes a work-from-home setup, home-schooling under a blended learning system, and virtual hangouts.

Speaking of virtual, one of the few things that saved people from unspeakable boredom during strict lockdown measures was online shopping — thanks to technology, we can do everything instantly now.

With the rise of online shopping, everyone can buy whatever they want, as long as they can pay for it, in just a few clicks. In a matter of hours, the parcel will arrive at their doorsteps.

Why shop online?

Shopping online keeps you safe at home. You eliminate the risks of contracting the virus from other people while having a convenient shopping experience. It also offers more choices since online shops are neatly categorized depending on the type of items you are looking for; you can even rearrange them based on their price, color, and availability.

According to a study by the United States Department of Commerce, the Philippines’ eCommerce market sales reached $17 billion in 2021, largely contributed by 73 million online active users. It was estimated to reach $24 billion, with a 17 percent growth through 2025.

The study said the growth was driven by increased eCommerce demand brought about by the pandemic as Filipinos mostly stayed at home. The top Philippine eCommerce platforms were Shopee, Lazada, Zalora, and BeautyMNL — for sure most readers have been to this site at least once in their lives.

While this trend helped many people buy necessary things easily and conveniently, several adverse side effects came with it.

Why should you be mindful?

Online shopping gives a sense of fulfillment to many, and it offers a therapeutic sense that some keep on chasing. Thus, many fall into the abyss of online shopping — they get addicted and it often leads to impulse buying.

Wherever you look on the internet, you will find promising sales and marketing promotions such as huge discounts on items, free shipping, and other similar gimmicks that attract more people to spend their money.

The top eCommerce platforms organize double-digit monthly promotions and mega campaigns such as platform birthday, midyear, 9.9, 11.11, and 12.12 events. They also offer campaign packages for participating retail companies.

If you are not too mindful, you might not immediately notice that you are overspending already.

Aside from this, online shopping, especially for those who are fond of tapping digital payments to finish their transaction, poses risks to data security.

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas recorded a 20.1 percent digital payments from financial transactions that were worth $46.8 billion, a 61 percent increase from 2019. The Central Bank said it aims to bank 70 percent of Filipino adults by 2023.

On top of all these, online shopping is quite a gamble because in every purchase, there is no guarantee that the parcel will come in perfect condition.

Case in point: People will choose to buy things the traditional way, while others will keep on transacting virtually. At the end of the day, not everyone is sold on the idea of online shopping and not everyone is interested in keeping the old ways of shopping in physical stores.

Shopping online or strolling through the malls, it’s up to you. What is certain is that people learned to value convenience and safety now more than ever — they are even willing to pay extra for it.


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