Nineteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic struck countries worldwide, the Philippines continues to experience unprecedented turbulence and uncertainties stemming from new variants of the virus outbreak. The nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant consumer behavior changes and spending, specifically in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).
Regardless, companies are competing to ride the everchanging condition by expanding their channels and offering competitive product lines suitable for the newly changed behavior. Among the new consumer trend in the Philippines is the emergence of a stay-at-home lifestyle regardless of the government's decision to loosen the nationwide mobility restrictions.
The Philippines' demography expects to see a rise of over 2 million babies to be born at the end of 2021. The occurrence happens due to the natural population growth and will repertoire in the increasing traffic of baby categories products as new mothers require natal supporting goods in the first few years of newborn.
Throughout the pandemic, the Philippines' citizens are forced to become more aware of their financial spending due to the region's economic volatility. Consumers reduce indulgent shopping and focus more on necessary goods to reserve their liquidity more urgently, such as health and welfare.
Being a nascent industry in the Philippines, the COVID-19's disruption towards brick and mortar stores has boosted the popularity of e-commerce. However, today, only 8 percent of the country's population is ordering FMCG products online, skewing towards metropolitan centers of the country such as Manila and NCR.
Today, the e-commerce channel of the Philippines is rapidly growing, with an additional 772.000 users in the first half of 2021 and brands throughout the country adding more touchpoints online regardless of the COVID-19's presence.
With the robust adoption of e-commerce, consumers are experiencing ease in determining competition for each product variety. As a result, the previously minimum loyalty on one channel is reduced further as consumers compare one channel from another depending on the benefits offered and personal needs at the time. The behavior change requires platforms to keep the dynamic competition alive.
Consumers are showing preference towards brands that can provide convenience as the leading consumer experiences, with proximity following close in the priority list. Therefore, the emergence of online shopping can help stores reiterate their presence to be closer to the consumers with the support of reliable logistics providers delivering goods straight to the consumers' door.
Antibacterial products and other hygiene-related goods are quickly gaining traction in the Philippines due to the rising awareness of clean living, as people prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The new trend of consumer behavior in the Philippines has catalyzed the need for strategy reconfiguration for all players in the industry, forcing them to provide a strategy that is best-suited for the unique issues and considerations possessed by the country's citizens. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic encourages businesses to come up with solutions that will last not only in the early post-pandemic era but also stands sustainably in the long term future.