By: Miguel R. Camus, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept 27, 2018
More Filipinos are turning to their mobile devices to research or purchase goods online, a practice that will ramp up during the busy Christmas season, a study commissioned by social media giant Facebook showed.
The Facebook 2018 Holiday Study, which surveyed the habits of about 1,500 respondents above the age of 18, noted that one out of every six Filipinos identify as “mobile first” shoppers. That figure represented a growth of 20 percent. Most of those, or 70 percent, are considered millennials.
“Mobile is making shopping easier,” John Rubio, Facebook Philippines country director, said in a briefing on Wednesday.
The study, conducted by Ipsos Marketing, showed that three out of five Filipinos agreed that mobile devices have made shopping easier. Moreover, half of those respondents said they use mobile shopping because it was more convenient that visiting a physical store.
Rubio noted that part of the reason was the heavy road
congestion that occurs during the Christmas season. The study showed that 50 percent of respondents started their Christmas shopping during the month of December. About a third do their shopping in November while around 16 percent start on October or earlier.
“You can imagine Christmas traffic or the lines waiting to go to the bus or jeep,” he said. “Mobile makes it much easier to do things like Christmas shopping.”
The study provides valuable insights into the changing buying habits of Filipinos as internet services become more prevalent. It is also an indicator of the influence of media platforms like Facebook, which rely heavily on advertising revenues. The study noted that 94 percent of shoppers said the products they see on Facebook “influence” their holiday shopping. Another 67 percent said the same of Instagram, the popular photo-sharing platform owned by Facebook.
Rubio said Facebook has about 70 million users in the Philippines. He did not provide figures for Instagram, which has a relatively smaller and more upscale user base. Rubio said that Instagram users in the country grew 20 percent in the first semester of 2018.
“Filipinos think about Christmas as early as September and while they may not be in physical stores yet, seeing products online on Facebook or Instagram is just as powerful as window shopping,” Rubio said.