“Mamsir, pamine na lang po ako ng Iron Man na t-shirt para sa mga kids natin diyan…”

Okay, namine na po ni mamsir, pa-ss na lang po ako ‘tas pasend sa Messenger yung details niyo na lang po. Salamat po…”

“…Ah, sir, picturean ko lang po kayo, send ko lang sa seller as proof po. Thank you …”

If these lines sound familiar to you, then you’ve probably, at least once, engrossed yourself in the world of online marketing.

The Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19) pandemic has notably taken a significant levy and dastard impositions on several economies and peoples from all nations, across the globe. The pandemic had also been the one responsible for the growth and tumble of several industries globally.

Left with no choice, Filipinos had to adjust to a ‘New Normal’, where almost everything were to be held virtually. With strict quarantine and unnecessarily even stricter trivial policies, consumers had to find a way to satisfy their daily needs, pay their bills, and eat food. This particular way that the Filipino consumers found was turning to online platforms.

What is Online Marketing?

Way even before the pandemic occurred, Filipinos have already been enthralled by online selling and buying due to its extreme convenience and wide scope of choices it brought, it’s just that the pandemic made online selling and buying a necessity and a catalyst for the change and progress of ecommerce in the country.

Granted that one can now visit malls, go to groceries, etc., one would immediately notice that there are now fewer people than when it was pre-pandemic. Filipinos having no money would be one reason for this, but frankly, this would basically be because of the reason that Filipinos are now more engaged in online shopping, selling, etc.

Online marketing moves at an incredible rate. The internet is the backbone of successful businesses. No matter what industry you are in, the internet should be the considered at the top of your marketing strategies. At the same time, the internet is a vicious place and if you want to keep up to the market to make sure you continue raking in profit, one must be well-versed, able to think critically, and be persistently creative. In short, grit takes you far in the online competition.

But what exactly is Online Marketing?

Online Marketing, Digital Marketing, Ecommerce, or whatever you want to call it, is essentially the practice of using the influence of web-based channels to promote certain products and services on the internet to its targeted customers. Online marketing heavily differs from its traditional counterpart, as online marketing does everything the traditional can but in separate mediums, as its online counterpart can do it in one go. Compared to its traditional counterpart, online marketing has an extensive range of marketing elements that the traditional can’t even get close to getting a hold of.

Online marketing also makes use of internet-based technologies such as laptops, mobile phones, and other social and digital media platforms to promote businesses’ products and services. This branch of marketing includes several divisions such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.

So, how does one start their own online market?

Starting Your Own Online Market

With the ongoing pandemic, finding something to earn profit through traditional marketing is hard, considering the health protocols and regional and border lockdowns; that’s why more and more people have been engaging in online marketing these days. So, how does one start their online market?

Online selling of products is now more popular than ever. There are several ways to start your online market. First of all, one must consider and acknowledge the fact that online selling is more than setting one’s own website an uploading product images; as previously mentioned, one must be well-versed, able to think critically, and be persistently creative to make sure one’s business succeeds.

These are some steps to finally start your own online market:

  1. Create Your Business Plan/Marketing Framework – Usually, businesses with no appropriate plans will only have one year of operation before they go bankrupt. This is mainly because the owners never planned his business to last for a long time. This is why having a business plan to be able to overseer everything from the pre-planning stage to the launch date, as well as the maintaining period after such is extremely important. These owners tend to tunnel vision and completely ignore the bigger picture and their plans for the future to maintain their market. One must also think of how to perfectly position his business to become a sustainable, Return Of Investment-positive engine.
  2. Conduct an In-Depth Project Study – One grave mistake that rookie entrepreneurs make is thinking that their business idea is ultimately the million-dollar idea. Especially if you’re just starting to make your own name to the online market world, it is at most importance that you should not make this mistake. One must never forget to spend time and effort to conduct a study to give one the impression if their business is truly a million-dollar idea or a senseless one. This should also include demographical and feasibility studies.
  3. Develop your brand and its story – Businessmen believe that the most important aspect in one’s business is money. Although this is at most entirely true, it is also vital to consider the importance of rational and emotional connection your products will have with its consumers. Effective marketing appeals to both. Develop a story to encompass your consumers and eventually build customer trust and connections. Together with this is one’s branding. Branding plays a big role in helping one’s business find its stand in the industry. The more eye-catching and memorable it is, the better.
  4. Find trustworthy suppliers – From pre-fabricating your products, to its final output, or whether you’re just planning to resell finished products or need materials, it is a given to find suppliers you can trust and depend on.
  5. Have Your Social Media Campaigns Ready – A product on the internet, no matter how good or life-changing it is, if people won’t be able to find it at their own convenience, will still not sell. As a business owner, you have to get all of your socials ready, make sure your website acquires traffic (if you happen to have a website for your products), and people will be able to locate your products easily. One way to acquire traffic is hiring SEOs to optimize your website. Social media is a great way to interact with your customers. Social media also proves to be one of the most effective ‘word of the mouth’ methods to get your business known widely. It is always important to get the word out.
  6. Focus On Your Customers – Investors, customers, and partners are what make your business continue running. As a business owner, it is imperative to always consider what the people want and not want, since they play the biggest part in keeping your business up. You have to also understand the trend your customers go through. Always cater to their needs, not yours.

Now here are some things to consider in building your online presence:

  • Make use of user reviews and trust seals.
  • Gather feedback and data and utilize to optimize user experience.
  • Show all information and give no checkout surprises, such as unexpected shipping fee costs.
  • Make sure your business is also mobile friendly. Most buyers just use mobile phones for purchasing almost everything.
  • Make sure checking out is secure.
  • Adapt according to the current trends, be fluid, and evolve.

Now that you know how to start your online market, the next thing for you to do is to know which online platforms are the best for starting businessmen like you. Here are the top dogs in the online market industry loved and trusted by Filipinos:

  1. Shopee – This Singapore-based online platform has gained its fame over the past few years and has had a great increase user base wise and is now at par with Lazada in fame. Shopee offers a wide variety of products, from kitchenware, to clothes, and to board games, you can make sure Shopee has one for you.
  1. Lazada – Their tagline “Nasa Lazada ‘yan!” has unsurprisingly been always proven true by this platform’s sellers. This site has been responsible for the boost of the ecommerce industry in the Philippines. Looking for the infamous plate number from the Abbey Road pictorial? Check Lazada; they probably have it.
  2. Facebook’s Marketplace – Just recently, Filipinos were introduced to Facebook Marketplace, where it functions the same as Lazada and Shopee. Due to Facebook’s high user base, Facebook Marketplace immediately became one of the country’s most popular online selling platform.

            Since we now know how to start a business and where to sell products, the next inquiry in mind must be: What do I sell? Well, fret not because these are the products you should sell to start acquiring right off the bat:

  • Fashion and Clothing:
  • Fitness Accessories
  • Footwear
  • Watches
  • Fashion Accessories
  • Baby Products:
  • Baby Food (e.g., milk, cereal, etc.)
  • Diapers
  • Toys
  • Electronics:
  • Game Consoles
  • Mobile Phones
  • Flashdrives & Powerbanks
  • Beauty Products / Cosmetics
  • Daily Essentials

Now you not know only how to start your market, where and what to sell, but wait, are you sure you want this? Before you make your decision, here are some advantages and disadvantages of online marketing:


  1. Reduced Costs – Online Selling can remove the need for physical stores and customer-facing staff, thereby allowing you to invest more money into optimizing your market and focus more on customer experience. The usual expense you’d have for traditional marketing will be lessened by half or even quadrupled because of social media and other online platforms. You don’t have to spend much money on advertisements since these online platforms can do the job themselves at a minimal expense.
  2. Ease to Access Global Market – With online marketplaces such as Shoppee, Lazada, Zalora, and Amazon, selling your products on a global scale has never been easier. With the access to the internet, you can access as well the entire global market, thus leading to increased sales, your business reaching new markets beyond the grasp of physical retailing, which would thereby be impossible were you a new business owner.
  3. Gain Access to Customer Data – One advantage of selling online is how easy it is to gain access of your customer’s data. It’ll help you gauge your buyer-seller relationship with your customers, through customer reviews etc. By getting their data, such as their email, address, and mobile number, you’re able to reach the customer and be able to communicate and build a relationship with them. This is also one way to know what the customers are always buying, what they want, and the likes.
  4. Your business runs 24/7 – Since you’re dealing with online market, your business doesn’t have to adhere to physical retail shops’ business hours. Your business can attract a customer regardless it be 9 in the morning or 12 midnight. At any given time, your business is up, running, and open for everybody to purchase their desired products from. Best part, you don’t even have to hire security!
  5. You’re Able to Process a High Number of Orders – In physical stores, one can get discouraged to pursue shopping if they witness long lines in the store they wanted to buy from. With online shopping, none of that dread will happen. Customers can place multiple orders at their own time in which you’ll be able to process and accept these large quantities of orders. Everything happens at everybody’s convenience.


  1. Customer Trust and Fraud – Not only is online shopping convenient to customers and sellers alike, it is also convenient for people with criminal intentions. Customer and seller scammers can hurt a business a lot. This is why it’s important, as a customer, to check where you’re buying from, for they may be scammers. Same goes to sellers. Be careful with whom you sell your products to, they might be sabotaging your business.
  2. Buyers Can’t Try the Product Before Purchase – With no physical store to try on the products they want to buy, this could pose as a problem to sellers. Also, augmented reality can only do so much.
  3. Shipping Can Take a Long Time – Unlike in retail stores, customers can’t immediately take the product to their homes. Even something as small as a dice or as large as a refrigerator can take weeks before getting delivered to you.

The State of Online Market Industry in the Philippines

With online shopping activities at a fever high, the government reminds sellers of their tax responsibilities, through the issuance of Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 60-2020 titled “Obligations of Persons Conducting Business Transactions Through any Forms of Electronic Media and Notice to Unregistered Businesses,” by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). What this Circular means is that all owners conducting their businesses online should register their business to the BIR and pay taxes.

Now, the problem with this Circular is that it’s very vague and lacks details and also comes out as redundant given we already have RMC No. 55-2013. How this comes out to the public is that the BIR just wants to tax people for unjustifiable reasons. Besides, everything in Circular No. 60-2020 is already in 55-2013, which just intensifies the public outcry for such thoughtless Circular.

The BIR should’ve given this Circular much thought before issuing it to the public.

Regardless, those who want to partake in online marketing shouldn’t be discouraged by such, because there’s so much potential from this industry. Besides, it’s also one of the hottest industries to invest in in today’s time. As the famous tagline says, “Just Do It.”