Beat the Christmas rush, skip the fuss: Shop online!

Beat the Christmas rush, skip the fuss: Shop online!

MANILA — As Christmas near

, shoppers are rushing to buy gifts online to avoid crowded malls and streets.

Why not? Shopping online is fast and convenient, allowing one to shop even at midnight while in pajamas. The purchased stuff is even delivered right to the buyer’s doorsteps.

More than seven in 10 Filipinos (71 percent) shopped online on their personal computers in 2016, compared to only 60 percent the year before. Plus, one in two Filipinos is making purchases online through a mobile phone.

That’s according to Zalora, a global leader in the fashion e-commerce sector and one of the first ones to bank on the Philippines’ fertile online market. Zalora is also present in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Lazada, another popular online site in the Philippines, estimates the local e-commerce market now at 10 million people.

One of them is Likha Cuevas Miel, a financial journalist, who spent PHP8,000 on Christmas gifts for her family members and relatives. This year, she purchased from online marketplaces Lazada.com and Amazon.com.

Miel said these gift items include electronics, clothes, books, watches, and art materials.

“I don’t want to go to malls anymore, I have no time. Traffic is horrendous; there are no parking spaces,” she said.

Miel further said she can purchase from online shops for items that are not available in the country.

She noted online shops also offer discounts.

Edna Plazo Cocoy, a real estate broker, said she has been increasing her e-commerce purchases during the Christmas season.

Cocoy said she started buying online last year.

“Buying online enables me to avoid the hassle of crowded shopping malls, especially during this season,” she noted.

Jio Zorilla, Lazada Philippines Brand Management and Communication Lead, said their online sales during the holiday season are four times higher than normal days.

“I personally think it is because you don’t want a stressful Christmas — avoid the holiday rush, long queues, etc.,” he said.

Zorilla said top selling products on Lazada’s marketplace are consumer goods, face makeup, diapers, mobile phones, and fashion accessories.

For his part, Zalora Philippines chief executive officer Paulo Campos said online sales increase dramatically during the holiday season.

“What we see in the profile of our growth is that the fourth-quarter, in general, has been much stronger growth than the first three quarters of the year,” he said.

Campos attributed Zalora’s higher sales to the success of its mega pick sale days last November 11 (11-11) and December 12 (12-12), its highest days in terms of revenues this year.

“Fourth-quarter 2016 was also strong. The fact it’s growing faster suggests that there is something about the behavior of Filipino shoppers. People are buying more of their Christmas gifts online… So that bodes well for us,” he added.

Lazada also had a similar sales promotion this year. PNA-northboundasia.com