Our Blog at JI Creatives is where we talk about our commitment to the latest in web design and development
JI Creatives is always on the lookout for latest in web design and development. It seeks to apply the latest technologies available to make sure that all websites we create are able to fully achieve its goals. We talk about these new technologies on our blog regularly.
To make sure that we are kept updated, our team of developers and designers are required to spend time regularly in educating and training themselves, to do research and build applications that interest them and hone their expertise.
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In the past few years, e-commerce in South East Asia has become huge, attracting over US$500 million in investments for 2013 alone. However, how is Philippine e-commerce faring in this great new wave in the region?
Unsurprisingly, we haven’t been doing all that well.
The key challenges that the local e-commerce industry is facing are quite easy to pinpoint:
- Poor access to mobile Internet
- Lack of payment methods
RentPad founder Chux Hizon thinks that people are now going mobile, according to a market research they did. RentPad is a Philippine property marketplace startup.
Still, compared to how their Southeast Asian neighbors are using the Internet, very few Philippine people are browsing the web on mobile devices. A Nielsen study on smartphone penetration says that the Philippines has one of the lowest mobile penetration rates in Asia; just 15 percent. Out of that, only a portion are using smartphones to visit their favorite websites. A different study from Search Engine Optimization firm Forward, shows that only 40 percent of Filipino Internet users access the Internet on their smartphones or other mobile devices.
Are Credit Cards The Way To Go?
For businesses, just setting up an Online presence is enough of a challenge. Doing e-commerce on top of that is a whole order of magnitude more effort-consuming (at least it is if you’re doing it right).
The fact that there are just not enough Filipinos with credit cards is an additional burden that often pushes businesses, especially small and medium ones, to let go of their e-commerce goals. Just imagine, only 27 percent of the Philippine population owns some form of a bank account, and only 3 percent have a credit card. If you’re a business owner, and you do the typical way of selling online – through credit cards only – you may have already failed to reach a big swath of your potential market.
Alternative Payment Methods
DragonPay‘s Robertson Chiang claims that Philippine e-commerce started to ‘boom’ when daily deal offers began to get traction.
Robertson Chiang, founder of payment gateway firm DragonPay, says that Philippine e-commerce rose from slumber when daily deal websites gained popularity.
It was the time that people wouldn’t mind trying it out, people started making risks. But a lot of people didn’t have credit cards and this was a big problem. Today, for any e-commerce business to prosper, they have to consider alternative payments mobile payments, rural bank payments – and is a major component.
DragonPay launched in the Philippines in 2010 after a huge wave of daily deals sites emerged. It now provides alternative payment services, helping both consumers buy what they want from Online stores and daily deal websites and business owners who want to reach a wider audience.
Chiang says that he believes this helps increase the number of e-commerce transactions in the country. According to him, 30 percent of Philippine e-commerce transactions have been processed through alternative methods of payment.
These alternative payments range from conventional credit card online payments, to physical ATM transfers, to over-the-counter payments at your local bank’s branch. This could mean more options to both consumers and business owners, and help pave a wider and more open road for Philippine e-commerce to grow.
There’s still a catch, though. Chiang adds that 95 percent of the volume of Philippine e-commerce comes from Metro Manila alone. Other large cities like Cebu, Naga and Davao only accounted for a measly 2 percent.
This is not surprising, given the state of how employment is distributed across the country. Because the largest and best paying employers are in Metro Manila, the pattern of buying is expected to peak in the capital. This however also means that there’s a huge chunk of the market that remains untapped.
Through alternative methods of payment like RuralNet, it can be hoped that more people get access to Philippine e-commerce; and with the improvement of mobile Internet usage, buying online can become easier.
What More Can Be Done?
While increased mobile internet penetration and third-party payment solutions can help speed up the development of Philippine e-commerce, there are other ways the tech community can work together to improve the experience.
Chua shares that startups in the Philippines need lower taxes and better ways to manage government regulations – according to a poll he conducted in the Startup PH Facebook group. He adds:
While the Philippines is looking at increasing taxes, Singapore and Hong Kong are outdoing themselves to see who can lower their taxes even more. If the government doesn’t get their act together then the entrepreneurial spirit in the Philippines will go to Singapore or Hong Kong, and the Philippines will lose the chance to make the next Google or Facebook.
Despite all this, Philippine e-commerce is an exciting business to be in. Optimism in technology is generally on the rise all over the country, and more people are becoming interested in how the Internet can help improve their daily lives.
The benefits of transacting your business online are many and varied, even if there are challenges ahead. Maturity, though still quite far, is on its way for Philippine e-commerce. Just the exposure you get from having your store open 24/7, your customers being able to initiate contact with you anytime and anywhere, are just some of the many great advantages.
If you’re a small or medium enterprise owner, an e-commerce website isn’t as difficult to set up as you might think. In fact, we’re here to help make it as simple, straightforward, and profitable as possible, as quickly as possible. Contact us now to find out how we can help your business sell Online.
(Photo: DigitalFilipino Facebook page)
Being among the so-called developing countries, the Philippines has long been left behind its counterparts in Asia in terms of implementation and adoption of electronic commerce.
With our other clients overseas, E-Commerce seems to be a healthy, vibrant and growing multi-billion dollar industry that almost anyone in any business cannot do without.
It is our hope that we can find a path to interface with banking and financial institutions, and other providers in the business of moving money, and provide small and medium business owners a way to offer online payments that are safe, cheap and convenient.
In the next few weeks, JI Creatives will be producing a series of articles revolving around the topic of E-Commerce in the Philippines, its challenges and its promising potentials.
Most of the clients we work with are most concerned about the design of their websites, or getting as much of their content online. This is especially true for small businesses.
One key component of a successful business website is SEO.
You must have heard of it already by now. You might have seen an Ad on any number of the sites you visit, or have seen someone either praising or criticizing the efficacy of it. But it is undeniable that Search Engine Optimization is a primary concern of a good website developer.
When dealing with digital data, we’re used to being able to rely on absolute figures when counting what. However, if you ask anyone how many websites there are around the world now, no one will be able to tell you exactly how many. There are that many websites that even being totally digital data, we do not have an exact count of the number of websites there are today!
According to Netcraft, a UK-based research company, there are about 612 million websites now. Can you imagine how many that is?
When it comes to Internet Marketing, word of mouth and traditional advertising just does not cut it anymore. There are numerous channels to explore to make sure that your website reaches as many potential customers/clients as possible.
SEO should be a whole lot more important to small businesses, as they do not yet have as strong a following as their bigger and more established competitors. Growing a business relies heavily in bringing in more customers, and SEO needs to be the top go-to tool in achieving this.
The main aim of Search Engine Optimization is to help your website reach number one in the search results when a potential sales opportunity hits the search button on a search engine.
We can help you build an online presence that can bring you more potential sales.
We have recently opened our doors to businesses who wish to launch fully-featured websites of all complexities using Adobe’s Business Catalyst platform.
Build and publish stunning websites quickly using dynamic, built-in modules. The Adobe Business Catalyst service is a unified hosting platform that enables you to work in your preferred editing environment to create sites that meet client requirements, without any server-side coding.
Contact JI Creatives now to request a free quote.
Building websites that are standards compliant has always been one of the driving factors for the success of all that JI Creatives does. From start to finish, each line of code needs to be checked and confirmed that everything conforms to the latest, recognized standards to make sure that websites are backwards and forwards compatible.
For a while now, here at JI Creatives, we have taken notice of how many designers are reluctant to embrace the new technologies such as CSS3 or HTML5 because of the lack of full cross-browser support for these technologies. Many designers are complaining about the numerous ways how the lack of cross-browser compatibility is effectively holding us back and tying our hands – keeping us from completely being able to shine and show off the full scope of our abilities in our work. Many are holding on to the notion that once this push is made, we will wake to a whole new Web – full of exciting opportunities just waiting on the other side. So they wait for this day. When in reality, they are effectively waiting for Godot.
Just like the elusive character from Beckett’s classic play, this day of full cross-browser support is not ever truly going to find its dawn and deliver us this wonderful new Web where our work looks the same within the window of any and every Web browser. Which means that many of us in the online reaches, from clients to designers to developers and on, are going to need to adjust our thinking so that we can realistically approach the Web as it is now, and more than likely how it will be in the future.
Sometimes it feels that we are hiding behind the lack of cross-browser compatibility to avoid learning new techniques that would actually dramatically improve our workflow. And that’s just wrong. Without an adjustment, we will continue to undersell the Web we have, and the landscape will remain unexcitingly stale and bound by this underestimation and mindset.
That’s why we always strive to do our best to apply as much HTML5 and CSS3 as we can, without sacrificing support for cross-browser and -platform compatibility.
With most of the modern browser makers taking large strides in supporting these new technologies (including Internet Explorer!), it’s only a matter of time before we can truly expect a better HTML5 and CSS3 experience.