Online shopping has become the new shopping norm in recent years.
Lazada's Chief Executive Officer Ray Alimurung told the press during the online shopping platform's Shop with Heart launch event on December 10, "the market has shifted" this year.
He further exclaimed, "We really saw a shift. We reached a new baseline.
"To give you some examples, we sold 150,000 diapers, 30,000 mobile phones, and who can forget that we sold one Mini Monte Carlo edition car on our site."
Since he joined the company in 2012, he is "convinced that Filipinos are embracing online shopping more than ever before."
CHANGE IN SHOPPING BEHAVIOR
In a quick interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) after the event, Lazada's Chief Operations Officer Carlos Barrera acknowledged the growth of the platform over their six years in the Philippine market.
He also pointed out that shoppers have become more "sophisticated" because "people value much more their time, so we serve our items very fast...
"They are planning much more. They don't buy only on discount, they plan their purchases ahead.
"We see also people buying commodities like their personal care, shampoo, that before we would never have thought of buying online."
But Filipino shoppers are still brand conscious, even online.
Carlos continued, "Filipinos really, really love brands... it's very clear to us that they really care about following the lifestyle, following the endorsers, following what the brands stand for.
"They really spend a lot of time on site really going through, understanding what the brand means..."
Aside from the growing presence of online shopping platforms, other service apps have gradually changed the way people spend their money.
Pranshat Kala, the country general manager of cashback rewards online program Shopback, told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) back in September that consumers are now presented with a lot more options.
He said, "Initially, people used to sell—let’s say, for example, food. When I see one person giving me food delivery, I just go to the restaurant that person has.
"But now you have Foodpanda, Honest Bee, MetroMart—Grab is also coming up with their own food delivery. You have so many options…
"Consumers have become very smart now, and so have the apps. Apps are also providing you with much more convenience.
"They are not just giving you a 50-peso discount, but now you see the delivery time, which changes the entire delivery game. They deliver the food to you on time because that's where the value is.
"The consumers are changing. It's not just about the money."
With such a diverse online market accessible to everyone, it would appear that younger generations tend to spend more on luxuries.
But Metrobank Chief Executive Officer Pradeep Pant disagrees.
In a separate interview with PEP.ph early this year, Pradeep argued that "millennials are still spending more responsibly, but the battle may have changed."
He explained, "It could be that the earlier generation wanted to have a car, but maybe millennials would use ride-sharing apps like Uber or something else...
"For earlier generations, Uber was not an option, right? And rather than hiring taxis every time, maybe owning a car and driving it yourself was a better investment.
"But today, those options are available where you can use somebody else to drive you around in an Uber or a Grab at a lower cost. So, I think that it is not that younger people are spending irresponsibly.
"In my experience, most of the time the basic financial habits have not changed, but they have adapted to the choices...
"There are more options and then the cost comes down, they will spend differently.
"For example, a phone. If you are using an iPhone, some say it is expensive. But if you look at the generation earlier, people will have a phone and people will have a computer, right?
"If you really look at it now, with everything combined [in one device], some of the costs can be explained that way… It's not just a phone. It's much more than a phone...
"I don't think that the younger generation are less responsible. I think that they are equally responsible in terms of how they use money."