4 Reasons Why Filipinos Love Online Shopping, and the 1 Big Reason Why Malls are Still Here to Stay

Featured Image is taken from @katelynn_rae01

Words by Oriana Cuenca

Its hard to believe that, just a few years ago, the Philippines was skeptical of online shopping. Now couriers are zooming left and right delivering packages, and the infamous 11.11 sale is treated with more excitement than some public holidays. With delivery services reaching far beyond Metro Manila, online shopping has become a part of daily life for people for all over the Philippines. Digital stores have radically altered the shopping game, so what is it about online shopping that suddenly had a nation piling up their carts?


4. There’s no traffic and no crowds when you’re online shopping

Everyone says online shopping is more convenient, but that statement is even more accurate for the Filipino shopper. Shops are almost always located at the heart of the city or, in other words, in the center of all the traffic. After getting squashed in the LRT or having your car sandwiched in EDSA, you’ll be greeted with even more wait times as other eager shoppers fill up the counters.

Sure online deliveries take time too, but you’d rather be waiting at home than waiting for a jeep to get home from the mall at rush hour.

3. Online stores have great bargains–and Filipinos love a good deal

Without the added costs for rent, wages, permits, and utilities, online shops are able to offer their products for less. Even the delivery fee is often waived when you buy enough. Online shops are the modern-day equivalent of browsing through Divisoria or Baclaran without any of the inconveniences or fear of getting robbed.

Fun Fact: Plenty of stalls at flea markets do have online shops, so you really can get great deals without the hassle.

2. Digital Stores Learned to Cater to Filipinos

One of the game changers in online shopping was the introduction of cash on delivery. Filipinos started out by being skeptical of online products and even more suspicious towards the online payment system that needed credit cards. Philippine culture was always fond of cash, but bank deposits and remittances are too troublesome for all parties involved. Cash on delivery gave skeptical Filipinos the confidence to try ordering online and consolidated online shopping apps gave Filipinos even more security. It just goes to show that it pays to listen to your market.

1. Everything is just more unique online

If you’re tired of dressing like everyone else, the online markets will have many (affordable) options for your wardrobe. Online stores are far more updated when it comes to Asian trends (aka: Korean fashion). If you’re looking for pieces that stand out, head online.

It’s not just clothes that are more unique on the digital market. Online shops are also more likely to stock items that cater to more niche markets. Crochet yarn? Fandom merch? A pirated copy of Photoshop? You’d be hard-pressed to find these things at brick and mortar shops, but now they’re a click away.

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There are just four among many reasons why online shopping has taken the country by storm (Still not convinced? Here are nine more perks of online shopping). With all the benefits online shopping has to offer, could this be the end of towering shopping malls?

Not at all.

Because Shopping Malls themselves have become a part of Filipino culture. 

Filipinos love malls so much that we created a term for going to the malls: “Malling.” Malls have become more than a way to escape the heat on weekends. They’re social hubs where people come to eat and shop together. They contain our cinemas for watching movies, arcades for playing games, spas and salons for relaxation, and even medical clinics for a check-up. With barely any public spaces, shopping malls are the closest the country has. Online shopping can one day become the go-to place for a purchase, but it can never replace the spaces that Filipinos have always gone to eat, to chat, to relax, and to just live. Even as malls all over the world bow to online retailers, the Filipino malls will be here to stay.