Local MSMEs shared why aspiring Filipino entrepreneurs should venture into e-commerce
Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, recently launched the #TatakPinoy initiative in February to help local sellers amidst the pandemic. Through this initiative, Shopee provided local sellers with enhanced visibility on the platform to promote locally-made products.
Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “The Philippines is considered as one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the region, and we’ve observed that more Filipinos are shifting to online platforms to address their needs. To help local sellers better reach these consumers, Shopee wants to ensure that local sellers are well-equipped with the tools and knowledge to make it in the industry. With the launch of #TatakPinoy, it was our goal to boost the local economy and to promote the quality products made by fellow Filipinos. We take pride in these sellers’ craftsmanship and we invite other aspiring Filipino entrepreneurs to try it out as well.”
As the #TatakPinoy initiative allowed local entrepreneurs to broaden their reach and grow their brands’ presence online, Shopee featured two local sellers, Bengie Antido and Dante Sargento, who shared how they built and gained more recognition for their online businesses:
Bengie Antido of Kayamanan ni Juan Trading
Bengie Antido’s shop, Kayamanan ni Juan, is a social enterprise offering a wide variety of high-quality bags, t’nalak wallets, and wooden bracelets, with 90% of the products crafted by tribespeople in General Santos City. Besides being a key source of income for him and his local community, it also served as an avenue for Bengie to share the culture and local traditions with people across the world. However, after the lockdown, Bengie found it harder to market the items due to the lack of tourist footfall in the city.
As a result, Bengie decided to transition into an online business on Shopee to reach a wider audience. Going digital was complicated at first, but with the support and guidance from the Shopee Seller Marketing Center, Bengie learned how to utilize vouchers and promotions to give his buyers a more rewarding online shopping experience. He also takes time to answer all inquiries from prospective customers via the chat function on the platform.
This decision helped his business stay afloat amid the ongoing pandemic and led to more inquiries from customers as well as a 60% increase in his overall sales. With #TatakPinoy, Kayamanan ni Juan gained a bigger following. “Because of #TatakPinoy, we received a 20% increase in orders. The virtual trade fair helped our business gain more visibility and also secured the livelihoods of so many people,” Bengie said.
Dante Sargento of MO’s Food Products
Dante Sargento of MO’s Food Products sells products like bagoong, sinamak (spiced vinegar), and ginisang alamang (shrimp paste). To him, these items are not just condiments — they are part of the local culture and tradition.
To preserve this heritage, Dante chose to sell these products online to reach more Filipino consumers. He found that it was more convenient and less expensive to sell on Shopee and the online platform allowed him to reach a broader and more diverse consumer base, without having to go out.
Dante shared that Shopee’s tools like the secure in-app chat feature and learning programs, such as the Seller Masterclasses, were a big help in his overall experience as a seller on Shopee. With the help of Shopee’s robust ecosystem, he was able to build his online presence and actively engage with his customers through the chat feature, which helped to increase his sales up to 20%.
During the #TatakPinoy campaign, Dante received more orders than usual. “I was surprised that within the three days of participating in the campaign, I got the same amount of orders that I was usually getting in a week. I am thankful that Shopee gave my business more visibility and opportunities to grow.”
As consumers continue to rely on online platforms to satisfy their needs, both local sellers encouraged other entrepreneurs to explore the growing opportunities in e-commerce and shared some words of advice.
“Always ensure that you are selling good quality products to build your credibility and reputation. Build good relationships with the buyers so you’ll get better ratings that will translate to better sales. It’s also vital to do your research on the industry and the platform so you can be familiar with its helpful features,” Bengie said.
“Selling online can be overwhelming at first, but sellers can and need to learn to adapt, especially in the new normal. Use this chance to overcome your fears and discover new opportunities through innovation,” Dante added.
To know more on how to be a Shopee seller, visit https://seller.shopee.ph/edu/
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