To start an e-commerce business in the Philippines, foreign investors can set up a local retail company. But there are other ways to sell online in the Philippines without establishing a local legal entity.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways foreign businesses can sell online in the Philippines. We’ll also talk about importing products into the Philippines and hiring local staff for your e-commerce business.
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Selling Online in the Philippines
In terms of local laws and regulations, there is no distinction between an online store or a physical retail store in the Philippines. To set up a retail business, you must have a local partner or invest a minimum of USD 2.5 million. This is a good option if you also plan to open a physical store although this is not a requirement to register your business locally.
But you do not need to have a legal presence in the Philippines to market your products to consumers there. Foreign businesses can sell to customers in the Philippines through online channels.
Selling Products in the Philippines through a Marketplace
A popular option for foreign merchants is to sell through a marketplace. A marketplace is an online platform that lets businesses to post and sell products. Popular marketplaces in the Philippines include Lazada, Shopee, and Alibaba. Lazada and Shopee primarily cater to retail customers. Alibaba, on the other hand, is for wholesale buyers.
This is a simple way to get started with selling to the Philippines. All you need to set up is a merchant account with the platform. The downside to using a marketplace is that customers will see similar products from other sellers.
Setting Up a Shopify Store
Another option is to create your own website and online store. Using an e-commerce platform like Shopify is an easy way to set up an e-commerce website. The basic features of Shopify will let you upload and sell products on your own website.
For customized features, you can hire a Shopify Developer. This is a web developer who specializes in developing for the Shopify platform. A Shopify Developer can create custom plugins for your website. They can also make code changes and integrate third-party apps or plugins.
Hire Web Developers in the Philippines.
Hire full-time Shopify Developers with Emerhub as your employer of record.
An online store requires more setting up than using a marketplace. But customers won’t see products from your competitors while browsing. Additionally, you can customize the design of your store to match your brand identity.
Importing Your Products into the Philippines
Marketplaces like Lazada and Shopee facilitate shipment from the seller to the customer. However, importing your products in the Philippines if you sell your products wholesale is a bit trickier.
An importer of record like Emerhub can assist with wholesale imports for your company. As your importer of record, we will act as your local consignee and get your products through customs. Our consultants will be happy to assist you with getting your goods into the Philippines.
Stress-free shipping to the Philippines.
Emerhub can be your importer of record in the Philippines.
Benefits of Hiring a Local E-commerce Manager
What is an E-commerce Manager?
An e-commerce manager is someone who oversees online operations. The tasks of an e-commerce manager include:
- Making sure all website content is up to date for online stores
- Making sure that all product and merchant profile details are accurate and up to date for marketplaces
- Monitoring performance
- Leading the e-commerce team
- Developing strategies to generate sales
A local e-commerce manager knows how to market products to consumers in the Philippines. They will also be able to conduct market research in the Philippines. An e-commerce manager based in the Philippines will help you grow and expand locally.
Hiring an E-commerce Manager in the Philippines
You can hire a full-time e-commerce manager in the Philippines with Emerhub as your employer of record. This is a service where we hire employees on your behalf. You can have employees in the Philippines without setting up a company.
Find an e-commerce manager in the Philippines.
Hire offshore employees without setting up a company.
Providing Customer Service in the Philippines
Customer service is a very important aspect of any business. When selling to the Philippines, hiring local customer service representatives has many benefits.
Local customer service staff are familiar with the common issues consumers have in the Philippines. As such, they know how to address and handle complaints. They will also be able to make suggestions to improve services for local customers.
Emerhub can help you find and hire customer service representatives in the Philippines. Through our employer of record service, we will recruit, and hire customer service representatives on your behalf.
Ready to start selling online to the Philippines? Fill out the form below or send an email to [email protected]. Our consultants will be happy to assist your business in expanding to the Philippines.