With inflation rising and economic recession looming, it may seem difficult for aspiring entrepreneurs to invest in an online business. Despite the economic situation and the challenges it poses, Davao-based Shopee sellers Shiela Reyes-Lao and Lou Putian prove that one can still manage to start an online business and become successful.
In a recent face-to-face event held by Shopee for Davao-based entrepreneurs, both sellers shared how easy it was to join and grow their businesses on Shopee, even in the face of economic uncertainty.
Tip #1: Just go online, digitize your business
SY Glow Cosmetics owner Lou Putian’s e-commerce journey started when her husband, an Overseas Filipino Worker, was sent home in 2020. “We had little to no income at the time. To continue paying our bills, I started selling bath and body care essentials haphazardly online until some of my loyal customers urged me to set up a Shopee store,” she shared.
In just 2 months after creating an account and learning how to market her products through the platform, her sales greatly
increased. “From barely making ends meet then, I’ve now been able to fulfill my dream of purchasing houses for family members and even establishing my own warehouse,” she added.
Meanwhile, Shiela of Cacao Culture, already joined Shopee in 2017. However, she and her team only focused their efforts on the platform after the pandemic affected their operations. “Initially, our Shopee account was only meant to supplement our retail store sales. But when the pandemic hit, we were forced to close down our physical stores and outlets—prompting us to refocus our efforts on e-commerce,” she shared.
Since making the leap to e-commerce, Shiela grew her sales volume 7x. Cacao Culture’s growth and visibility on the platform also encouraged Shiela and her team to carry more Davao-based cacao brands and sell them nationwide.
Tip #2: Maximize Shopee’s convenience, seller tools, and nationwide logistics network
Besides the need to shift to a new income stream, what drew both sellers to Shopee was how easy it was to onboard into and sell on the platform. “With Shopee, all you need is a mobile phone and internet connection,” shared Lou. “The convenience that Shopee offers allows entrepreneurs like me to manage my own business and care for my family, all from the comfort of my own home.”
Having benefited from the seamless Shopee experience to easily bring sellers online, Shiela also highlighted that growing and sustaining one’s business is another story and different kind of challenge. Fortunately, Shopee offers tools like insights and marketing solutions to help sellers further their business growth and visibility. Moreover, Shopee’s continuous logistics expansion nationwide also allows sellers like Shiela to reach more customers.
“As a Davao-based seller, I found it challenging to sell my products online and attract more buyers at the beginning. Through Shopee’s establishment of more hubs in Mindanao and the tools on the platform’s Marketing Center, I was able to attract more customers nationwide by setting up promotions, discounts, and vouchers,” she said.
Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines said, “It is heartwarming to hear Lou and Shiela’s success stories as it is a testament to what sellers are capable of achieving on Shopee’s platform. Through seller education activities, continuous advancement of platform features, nationwide hub expansion, and other initiatives, we strengthen our commitment to deliver a safe and convenient online shopping experience for both our customers and sellers, no matter where they are in the Philippines.”