I have a lot to tell but I was too lazy to write anything. The whole November and first half of December is probably my busiest days in 2009. Only 2 more weeks left and it’s already 2010 so I’m pushing myself a little harder this week.
I went to the Ecommerce Summit last Nov. 12 & 13 to understand the state of ecommerce in our country. According to the CEO of Yehey, the state of the ecommerce is not totally 100% transactional ecommerce but more on social commerce. Social commerce, the way I understand it is adding some social networking features in the whole ecommerce process rather than just buying and selling directly. As a proof, Multiple has dominated the “online store” over ebay because of some social behaviors Filipinos have. Some of the limiting reasons why we can’t have full transactional ecommerce:
- lack of trust
- limited credit card ownership
- limited internet and PC penetration
In my point of view — technology and government support must advance first.
Trust – it is only not our issue, it has been always the biggest issue. But the sad thing is, we have no particular law that provides standards and protocols. We have ecommerce law, but not everybody are aware of it. There are probably less than 1% of the Filipino internet population that has heard of it. That is one of my reasons why I also do not trust doing everything online.
Credit cards – it is hard getting credit card here unless you have 10k and above salary and that’s not even a guarantee. It is also too expensive for a small shop owner to even accept credit cards. Gcash might be a good option but there is still no simple and direct way to use it and connect it to outside applications. I haven’t verified how much but my latest info I have is that one has to pay 100k just to get access. I’d rather use Paypal for all my online transactions.
Limited internet and PC? One can avail a PC for only 10k nowadays. Internet access is the bigger issue here. I visited Hongkong and the difference is too great that I think we need 10 years or more. Their rates is .0 something per call and surf. I went on top of a mountain and the signal was still so strong. I guess our geography also comes into play but the point is, my homeplace is only a few kilometers away from the city and only SmartBro is available with very slow connection. When you go to cafe(s), their per hour rate is already at 100 PHP! That’s way TOO MUCH! The good news is, SM malls have free wifis already and that’s quite a relief. I hope Globe, Smart and Sun expands more and upgrade their facilities even more.
My knowledge is probably still too little to understand everything that is happening but the situation is clear enough for me to understand that we are too far from reaching a certain level of transactional ecommerce (I describe it to some as automated ecommerce) in the country.