Baby products, fitness equipment to get a lot of love in 2021
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, consumers everywhere changed their buying behavior. In the Philippines, we saw the surge in online shopping, with approximately 30 percent of Filipinos buying grocery essentials online.
At least half of Filipino consumers are expected to sustain their preference for online shopping once the pandemic is over.
1. Maternity and baby
The UP Population Institute and the UN Population Fund estimate a 2021 baby boom with approximately 2.56 million babies born this year. To compete in this space, online sellers should focus on essential baby and maternity products, such as items for feeding/breastfeeding and newborn care, as opposed to luxury items.
On Shopee, pajama sets, bibs, baby wipes, and reusable diapers are some of the bestselling items in the Babies & Kids category, with thousands of sales a month. Baby cribs are among the most popular products on Lazada. Meanwhile, items related to breastfeeding—ice packs, storage bags, supplements like malunggay tea—are bestsellers on Babymama.ph
2. Accessories for sanitation
If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, it’s to not skimp on safety measures. We foresee the sustained demand for personal protective equipment, such as masks, face shields, and disinfectants.
3. Beachwear and accessories
This year, local travel restrictions are expected to ease up with news of vaccinations on the horizon. With tourist favorites like Boracay and Palawan opening up their borders to local tourists with heightened safety precautions, other destinations are expected to follow suit within the year. As confidence in local travel increases, entrepreneurs can expect a modest rise in demand for travel essentials such as beachwear and other travel accessories.
4. Cooking and baking tools
The explosion of new food sellers during the pandemic says it all—people are spending more time in their kitchens. And this newfound love for home cooking will stay, according to coronavirus consumer behavior research. Searches for “baking” and “cooking,” as well as related terms, have also soared, according to Google Trends.
It is wise to look into selling cooking and baking tools, supplies, and equipment. Search Facebook buy-and-sell groups for cooks and bakers to find out what people are looking for. Check out the most popular food items on Facebook and Instagram and figure out what tools and supplies are needed to make them.
5. Fitness equipment
Demand for home fitness equipment has risen. Not surprising, as gyms around the country are either closed or open on a limited capacity. Top sales on Shopee and Lazada include yoga mats and jump ropes. But other brands selling large equipment and weights have been thriving as well. Businesses such as Play Hard Fitness started offering delivery services of their multistation home gyms during the quarantine, and have even joined major online sales like 12.12.
Sellers can also focus on verticals, especially if it is within their interest. For example, if you’re aiming to become a triathlete, sell apparel, gear and supplements that help triathletes train.
Another area to capitalize on is people’s need to be outdoors and escape the city after long months of community quarantine. Case in point: Google searches for “biking” and “cycling” have risen.
6. WFH equipment and fashion
Even before COVID-19 broke out, many Filipinos were already working from home (WFH). The Philippines is the world’s fastest-growing gig-economy market, and these freelancers tend to work for overseas clients.
WFH is here to stay. So think of items that make it easier. Find the best-value monitors, wireless keyboards, ergonomic chairs, standing desks, lamps and more.
Amplify your brand through effective marketing
It’s crucial to meet buyers where they are. Even if a business has its own e-commerce website, it is still necessary to be present in the platforms where buyers are most comfortable browsing, asking questions, and making purchase decisions. It would be wise to stay up-to-date on the most relevant marketing trends for the coming year.
1. Conversational commerce
With more consumer-to-consumer transactions and social selling taking place, messaging apps are now an important tool in any e-commerce seller’s arsenal. A 2019 study commissioned by Facebook showed that 66 percent of Filipinos who made purchases through messaging platforms planned to spend more on c-commerce shopping in the future.
The Philippines is one of the biggest adopters of c-commerce in Southeast Asia. No surprise there—97 percent of internet users in the country use chat apps.
But you don’t need the stats to tell you that. You’ve probably observed that your buyers like to ask you questions on 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 at a larger scale.
Try creative ways to put your products on sale or offer freebies without suffering a loss. Examples include product bundles, tiered pricing and free shipping for a minimum purchase.
3. Tapping online communities
Raise your hand if you’re now part of an online barter group or have joined an online community for plantitas or other hobbyists.
If groups like these allow sales posts, it’s worth pouring marketing time and effort here, as there’s a high potential for group members to be interested in your products.
Or if you’re looking at something you can manage in the long term, consider setting up your own interest group.
TikTok took the bored, quarantined world by storm in 2020, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
Of course, make sure first that your target customers are on TikTok. It’s going to take a lot of time and creativity to get your brand noticed on the platform, so there should be a clear potential return on investment here.
But can TikTok actually influence buying decisions? According to this list of “TikTok-Approved Products You Never Knew You Needed In Your Life,” yes, it can.5. Weird, experimental ads
Could 2021 be the year Filipino businesses dare to make surreal, quirky ads like those viral videos from Japan and Thailand? RC Cola’s ad may have left you scratching your head, but admit it—it got people talking.
And based on social media buzz, it looks like after surviving the weird year that was 2020, people are ready for more of these kinds of bizarre marketing campaigns.
Before releasing a video designed to get buzz, make sure you’ve planned your marketing funnel. Where do people go after seeing your video? Provide links to relevant website pages, blog posts, or product listings to increase conversion.
6. Woke ad messaging
Filipinos like it when brands address issues they care about, including COVID-19, in their marketing campaigns.
Millennial customers, in particular, expect brands to speak out. But Gen Z takes it a step further, and expects brands and their employees to walk their talk by supporting and contributing to social causes.
So be careful not to shoot yourself in the foot. Don’t be woke for the sake of being woke—choose an issue that you truly care about and that you’re capable of supporting.
7. Video marketing
On Facebook, videos have higher engagement among Filipinos compared to other types of posts.
If you don’t have a YouTube channel yet, you might consider starting one, if your audience is there.
But if you’re planning to hit many social networks—TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook—make sure you don’t get overwhelmed. You can plan out your videos so that every shoot covers material that can be shown on each platform. You could have one video on YouTube, and cut it into different segments and lengths for posting on other platforms. That way, you can hit many birds with one stone. —CONTRIBUTED
The author is country head of Ninja Van Philippines.
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