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Christmas Shopping in The Philippines: Consumer Behavior in 2020 vs 2022

By Cat Dewinta - September 25, 2022

Christmas Shopping in The Philippines: Consumer Behavior in 2020 vs 2022In the Philippines, Christmas is the most important holiday of the year. Families spend months preparing for it, and it is not uncommon for people to go into debt to make sure they have a good celebration. Historically, Christmas shopping spending has been on the rise in the Philippines. In 2020, however, there was a sharp decrease in yearlong spending due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many Filipinos were forced to cut back on their celebrations or forego them entirely.

According to a Kantar 2020 study, Filipino consumers are still very cautious with their Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) purchases. This is even if the Philippine economy shows indications of recovery. Managing Director of Kantar Philippines and Taiwan Marie-Anne Lezoraine said in 2020, “Based on the data we’ve gathered over the years, we’ve seen that FMCGs experience a 20% uplift every Christmas season,” “Also, on average, from 2017 to 2019, we’ve noted that more than half (57%) of Filipino households receive FMCG items as Christmas gifts. However, this changed in 2021 as Filipinos become more selective and consider social and economic factors when purchasing goods.”

Most Prominent Medium Today is Online

Before the pandemic, the Philippines’ e-commerce industry, particularly online shopping, was fast growing. According to Hootsuite, Filipinos purchasing online in two years increased from 38.88 million in 2020 to 42.31 million in 2021. The effects of COVID-19 and all the lockdowns that came with it shifted the customers’ behavior – pushing it more digital and online.

We listed the top product categories purchased online between 2020, at the height of the lockdown, and 2021.

Travel, Mobility, & Accommodation$6.87 Billion
Video Games$741 Million
Electornics & Physical Media$258 Million
Fashion and Beauty$227 Million
Furniture & Appliances$166 Million
Food & Personal Care$152 Million
Toys, DIY, & Hobbies$150 MIllion
Digital Music$49 Million
Travel, Mobility, and Accommodation$3.031 Billion
Video Games$1.27 Billion
Electronics & Physical Media$955.4 Million
Furniture & Appliances$845 Million
Fashion and Beauty$652.7 Million
Toy, DIY & Hobbies$609.1 Million
Food and Personal Care$483.5 Million
Electronics$7.13 Billion
Furniture & Appliances$2.68 Billion
Personal & Household Care$2.56 Billion
Fashion & Beauty$1.64 Billion
Food$1.04 Billion
Toy, DIY & Hobbies$877.4 Million
Physical Media$398.2 million

Based on the data above we can see that:

  • Travel and accommodation services’ demand decreased by 56% from 2019 to 2020. This was influenced by local and national lockdowns mandated by the government ang LGU.
  • The online demand for Video Games, Electronics & Physical Media, Furniture & Appliances, Fashion and Beauty, Toys, DIY & Hobbies, and Food and Personal Care rose from 2019 to 2020. The numbers reached an all-time high in 2021.
  • Personal & Household care went up to $2.56 Billion in two years because of the demand for cleaning supplies for personal baths and households.

These products are being sold through e-commerce giants in the Philippines that continue to entice customers with unending discounts, vouchers, and promos like 1.1, 2.2., 3.3, and the most important peak shopping season: 11.11 and 12.12.

The top e-commerce shops in the Philippines are:

  • Lazada
  • Shopee
  • Metrodeal
  • eBay
  • Carousell
  • Zalora Philippines
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • BeautyMNL

Will Filipinos Continue To Buy Online This BER Months 2022?

According to Janio, more women than men buy online between ages 16 and 34. And, with more young people entering the labor force today, the trend and demand for online and ecommerce shopping will continue. However, this doesn’t mean that physical stores will be neglected, especially this Christmas 2022.

The beginning of the end to the pandemic lockdown started in December 2021. Compared to then, the number of reopened stores and new store openings increased significantly, lighting up the hallways of malls everywhere. And this is what most retail business owners prepare for this peak season during Christmas 2022. As a result, businesses predict higher spending on Christmas shopping in the Philippines this 2022.

As early as the BER months start, business owners are crafting their sale and promotional schemes for online and physical stores so that customers can have more options and strategically distribute demand throughout September to December. The goal is to attract customers and have them spend on gifts, new clothes, food, and other things associated with the Christmas season.

With safety protocols still in place but not as strict as last year, many Filipinos are expected to shop in malls again. Gen Z and younger Millennials will most likely go online, while others who prefer traditional shopping will visit stores. Families are also expected to travel more this year than last year’s holiday season, which was spent mostly at home.

Christmas 2022 Is A Combination of Online and Physical Shopping

We are in the new normal. This year’s Christmas shopping in the Philippines will combine online and physical. Although some families are still hesitant to go out and shop in person, many have turned to online shopping to avoid crowded malls and stores. However, certain types of foods, clothes, and other items cannot be bought online. Therefore, Christmas 2022 will be a mix of both online and physical shopping for most Filipino families.

A different trend can be seen in other countries around the world where COVID-19 has had a significant impact. For example, Christmas 2020 was the first year online shopping surpassed physical shopping in the United States, and this trend continued in 2021. Furthermore, in China, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales reached a record $38 billion in 2020, which is expected to grow even more in 2022. Therefore, it is clear that the global pandemic has had a significant impact on the way people shop for Christmas.

However, differences exist between how Filipinos and other nationalities shop for Christmas. For example, Filipinos are more likely to buy food and clothes as gifts, whereas Americans are more likely to buy electronics and gift cards. Filipinos place higher importance on family and friends during Christmas, while Americans focus more on buying presents for their children.

What Does This Mean for Businesses?

Christmas shopping in the Philippines is a critical season for businesses, as it is the year’s busiest shopping period. This is why businesses need to be prepared for the influx of customers, both online and in-person.

For businesses with physical stores, it is important to take note of the following:

  • Ensure enough staff is on hand to help customers with their purchases.
  • Have a good stock of in-demand items so customers can find what they are looking for in real time.

For businesses with online stores, it is important to take note of the following:

  • Ensure that the website can handle a high traffic volume and that orders can be processed quickly.
  • Ensure a good delivery system so customers can receive their orders on time.
  • It is also important to have a good customer service system to deal quickly with queries or problems.

Fix and Optimize Your Logistics Flow In Time for Christmas Demand

The delivery process should be prepared by business owners as early as now for the rest of the OND months because of the potential increase in demand. Businesses should be prepared to meet this demand by ensuring that their delivery process, procurement logistics, and other transportation process is efficient and can handle the volume of orders.

We gathered a list of top reliable delivery and logistics companies in the Philippines that you can partner with this Christmas 2022.

For Motorcycle Same Day Deliveries:

For Trucking Logistics:

For Express Parcel Deliveries:


Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What type of delivery partner should businesses get this coming holiday season?

The answer to this question depends on the type of business and its specific needs. However, in general, businesses should look for a reliable delivery partner with a good reputation and competitive prices. When it comes to reliability, businesses should make sure that the delivery partner they choose can be counted on to pick up and deliver orders on time. This is especially important during the holiday season when there may be an uptick demand for shipping services.

2. What logistics companies would businesses want to partner with if they want bigger vehicles to transport goods and materials during the holiday season?

Logistics companies offer a different set of services and have diverse expertise. Some use motorcycles for express deliveries, and others have courier services that are well known to cater to smaller and lighter parcels. If you need to deliver and transport bigger and bulkier cargo, you should find a logistics company that offers trucking. Trucking companies offer bigger vehicles if you send tons of supplies and products from one place to another.