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Filipino holiday shopping: A bagful of insights

By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 04:30 AM October 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Would you believe that the difference in Christmas-shopping spending between young Filipino adults and those 55 years old and above is only P6,000?

The “Facebook 2019 Holiday Study,” which surveyed over 1,500 Filipinos age 18 and above nationwide, has found that for their Christmas shopping, 18- to 34-year-olds plan to spend an average of P15,350 (a P485 increase from last year) and those 55 years old and above are allotting P21,811 (P5,548 increase).

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The ones in the middle, the 35- to 54-year-olds, plan to spend an average of P17,862 (P2,685 increase).

It’s a “surprising” finding given the disparity between the incomes of the age groups, says Facebook Philippines country director John Rubio.

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“The initial hypothesis would probably be that the older people who have significant wealth would spend more,” Rubio says. “But [in the study] we see that the younger people spend a significant portion of their income on Christmas shopping.”

What makes them happy

Rubio offers an explanation for the younger consumers’ behavior: “Commercial activities are a more intrinsic part of their lives. They are the participatory, experiential generation—and I think because of that, they are more willing to spend on things that make them happy.”

Generally, however, for Christmas shopping a Filipino plans to spend an average of P16,606 (a 10-percent increase from last year), the study found.

“I don’t know if it’s all these sales—10.10, 11.11, 12.12–or maybe this is just a product of good marketing,” Rubio says.

Mobile as shopping tool

The Dec. 12 sale in online marketplaces, in fact, is the most popular among Filipinos, as indicated by 37 percent of the survey respondents (versus only 16 percent last year).

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But holiday online shopping doesn’t just happen in December. One of the four key insights highlighted in the study is that the Christmas season in the Philippines is a long one in terms of e-commerce activity, with people shopping from November until January.

One major reason Filipinos cite for making post-Christmas purchases is to take advantage, again, of sale events, as unsold stocks are expected to be offered at lower prices.

Here are other insights from the study:

Mobile is an important shopping tool, both online and in-store. A big part of Christmas shopping still occurs in-store, but mobile plays a key role in discovering gift inspirations.

Most—85 percent—of the respondents said they used their mobile/computer device to find gift ideas, while 72 percent said they would physically browse in stores.

Social media, unsurprisingly, is the top online research destination for gift ideas, with 94 percent and 58 percent of the respondents saying that Facebook and Instagram, respectively, influenced their Christmas-shopping decisions.

Even in-store, 73 percent of respondents said, they would use their mobile device—up by 10 percent since last year—to compare prices (69 percent); compare products (61 percent); and read product reviews (60 percent).

Videos inspire holiday gifting. Respondents said that during Christmas, they liked watching videos that were focused on families (67 percent); that put them in a holiday mood (58 percent); and that offered holiday gift ideas (58 percent).

Messaging apps are good for business. Nine out of 10 people said they were more likely to buy from businesses accessible through instant messaging service.

Respondents cited top five reasons for messaging a business during the holidays: to seek more details about a product (66 percent), to purchase a product (58 percent), to track an order (58 percent), to find shipping details (56 percent) and to find store information (47 percent).

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TAGS: Business, Facebook Philippines, Holiday shopping, mobile shopping
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