Traditional PH retailers challenged by e-commerce


Philippine retailers are now facing “challenging” times with the influx of foreign brands, the rising popularity of e-commerce, and the changing, more sophisticated preferences of consumers.

“[At] no other time has the Filipino consumer been inundated by so many choices,” noted Paul Santos, overall chair of the upcoming 22nd National Retail Conference.

In a briefing Tuesday night, Santos explained that e-commerce alone—where goods and services can readily be purchased over the Internet—may soon hurt the local retail sector. Also affecting retailers is a phenomenon called “showrooming.”

Showrooming occurs when an online seller takes photos of items within a “brick and mortar” shop, posts these on the websites, and sells items at a lower price.

Santos, however, noted that e-commerce sales last year continued to be marginal at roughly 3 percent at most of total retail sales in the country. E-commerce is more prevalent and applicable for other purchases like booking a hotel or a flight.

“We’re not that affected yet but [e-commerce] is starting to grow. There’s a lot of room for growth,” he further said.

Margaret Martinez, retail services director of GfK Asia Pte. Ltd., further stressed the need for local retailers to know how to keep up with the times, and how both the consumers and the landscape are changing.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Kristoffer Atienza

    I think e-commerce should not be a threat but an opportunity for business-owners to use as a means of growth. PRA should start consulting with IMMAP members to help them grow.

    • Iggy Ramirez

      Some business people are allergic to changes.

      • Kristoffer Atienza

        And we complain later on that we have no business because we fail to move after…

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos