By Al Gomez on June 6, 2016
2000 was an interesting year: Eminem released his third album, Samuel L. Jackson got on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Indiana Pacers in the 54th NBA Championship. Another exciting thing happened then—something that would later become the turning point for the Philippine economy—as then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada signed the Electronic Commerce Act.
This action legally recognized all electronic data (from signatures, messages, documents and transactions) so that ecommerce in the Philippines would thrive under the supervision of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This sector is now responsible for more than $18 billion in recorded revenue.
Perfect timing, too: because with a growing millennial population, the Philippines will need all the job opportunities that should come its way. And what better time to begin a career in online retail than today?
Industry growth is just a click away
E-commerce in the Philippines certainly looks bright. According to 2015 statistics, the industry is expected to grow by more than 20 percent until 2020. It’s also no surprise that the largest market segment is in consumer electronics, as Filipinos are among the most active online (particularly in social media). In fact, even with only 39 million Internet users, the Philippines is growing fast when it comes to digital activity.
But perhaps the biggest change among the lives of Filipinos, especially among the digitally-savvy millennials, is the development of online retail. The average busy Pinoy can now conveniently shop for goods on the web. No more waiting in lines or wasting time in traffic. Clothes, bags, gadgets, furniture, and accessories are just a click away.
Millennials are already the largest users by age group, dominating over those aged 44 and over. Filipinos might love online shopping so much that this sector is estimated to rise from 26 million in 2015, to about 46 million by 2020.
It's perfect place for millennials
This is more than just good news in terms of revenue. More users mean more job openings and investment opportunities in the Philippine e-commerce landscape. In fact, there are job titles today that were unheard of ten years before.
Mobile app developer, web analyst, social media manager, and content strategist are but a few examples of high-paying professions nowadays. Skills in these areas would vary from being highly familiar with Facebook algorithms, to knowing what type of content online readers pore over. They might sound like stress-free, comfy careers—but if you blink, you might miss something. That’s because online-based jobs are often reliant on the ever-dynamic landscape of the web. That means constant changes, late nights, and always being up-to-date.
Here’s where millennials fit in nicely—especially Filipinos: Although plenty regard Gen Y, commonly known as millennials, individuals as naïve, narcissistic, and delusional, they have redeeming qualities at the workplace. Many of them are entrepreneurial-minded, driven, and maintain a positive attitude. These are necessary traits in order to fill in the talent pool for a growing e-commerce industry.
More than employment
There’s no need to launch your own e-commerce site (unless that’s what you want). Just take note of your existing skills and learn where to align them.
Do you enjoy online shopping? Are you curious about how this sector works? Do you see yourself influencing other shoppers like yourself? Maybe you have solutions that will help improve the online customer experience?
There are numerous ways for you to get involved in this dynamic sector: from becoming an entrepreneur yourself, to engaging in logistics, working in the IT department, or becoming a brand ambassador. Huge brands like Zalora and small local startups like Unlideals are ALWAYS looking for people ready to solve problems.
When you work at e-commerce, you’re not just working on the web; you are also working towards the future. As more businesses and services are moved online, talented individuals are needed to bridge that gap between creativity and strategy. E-commerce—not just in the Philippines but worldwide—is more than just shopping. It’s about connecting people easily and seamlessly to the goods they need.
And if there’s ever a generation that’s up to this task, it would be the misfitsillennials.