Study says Pinoys ‘critical’ when purchasing online; so I asked my friends if they are


A report in 2017 said that Filipinos typically research multiple times before purchasing an item.

Google and Kantar TNS’ Path to Purchase report studied the online behaviors of Filipino consumers when looking for finance products such as credit cards or loans as well as groceries and baby care products.

According to their study, via Entrepreneur Philippines, on average, we usually make six to seven searches on Google, or on any search engine, before finally deciding to buy a product. And these searches include reading product reviews, the type of brand, and its price.

We also make comparisons, and we do it with two to three brands, the study revealed. In effect, this gives an impression that Filipinos are picky and “highly critical.”

I don’t usually shop online, but I find this somehow true. There’s this notion that Filipinos are “siguristas”. So in a bid to find out if this bears any relevance, I interviewed a couple of people who love to shop online.

Before we get to their responses, here are the people who graciously allowed me to bug them despite their busy schedules:

Maybelle Pacana, 28, is a virtual assistant. Her hobbies include photography, dronography, and, as of the moment, reading neuroscience books.

Mychal Basa, 26, is the chef of Café Basa at Kalibo, Aklan. He loves to cook, play video games, and read books.

Nadine Enerio, 31, is a teacher who loves science, shopping, reading, teaching, solving problems, debating, public speaking, and making crafts.

Estelito Larena, a husband and a father of three boys. He’s currently serving as the chairperson of the Board of Trustee at a local church in New York.

Edgar is from Iloilo. He’s a government employee and a part-time Graduate School lecturer.

Anicel Bautista, she’s an event coordinator, usually partnering with Fuego Weddings and Events by Jerome Bernabe.

What do you usually purchase online?

Maybelle: Gadget accessories; shoes; and bags.

Mychal: Special and unique kitchen tools and equipment; locally unavailable ingredients; and gadgets.

Nadine: Electronic gadgets; clothes; and craft supplies.

Estelito: Toiletries supply; kitchen equipment and supplies; video and audio equipment; and office supplies.

Edgar: Gadgets; home furnishings; bags; and accessories.

Anicel: Clothing; shoes; and bags.

What do you do before purchasing? Do you check reviews, ask for friends, etc.?

Maybelle: Since I purchase gadgets, I check the specs first. Then go to reviews, and verified purchases. The more good reviews, the better.

Mychal: Check reviews, price, and brands.

Nadine: Check reviews and other sites, too.

Estelito: Check reviews.

Edgar: I check the specifications first. Then the price. Finally, the reviews.

Anicel: I usually check reviews, brands, or ask friends who have already purchased the item.

Do you compare items? If yes, like how many?

Maybelle: I usually limit my comparisons to three, but all of them are the best ones.

Mychal: Three to five.

Nadine: I compare up to three only.

Estelito: Compare two or three items.

Edgar: Yes, two or three. The comparison mostly focuses on the specifications, rarely the price.

Anicel: Yes.

How many days it usually takes you to decide on buying an item?

Maybelle: Two days

Mychal: Two or three.

Nadine: If I need the item(s), it doesn’t take a day. If I just want it, I give it three to five days.

Estelito: Right away.

Edgar: A few minutes.

Anicel: A sleepover will do.

Where do you buy online? Lazada, Shopee, sellers on Facebook, etc.?

Maybelle: Lazada and Facebook Market

Mychal: Lazada, Shopee, and sellers on Facebook.

Nadine: Shopee and on Facebook

Estelito: Amazon

Edgar: Lazada, Banggood, NewChic. I had an experience with O Shopping on TV, and once or twice from other online shops. Not to discount Amazon, Cebu Pacific, and fast crafts. I enjoy shopping online. Even my hotel accommodations are bought online.

Anicel: Lazada and Zalora

Best item bought online

Maybelle: A drone I bought on Facebook Market. It’s cheaper from the market price. It also has an extra battery and a bag. Plus, the drone is still in pristine condition.

Maybelle, tinkering the drone she bought online.

Mychal: The most interesting one for me is the grill mat. I only saw it online, so it’s really cool. The A4 speaker, really durable and in good quality when considering its price.

A screenshot of a grill mat from Beyond Limits Live YouTube channel. Since Mychal is a chef, a grill mat is definitely perfect for barbecue dishes.

Nadine: For a teacher like me, it’s very convenient to shop online. You just have it delivered and the guard receives it. My favorite feature is cash on delivery (COD); so I can check on the items before I pay. It’s like having the mall come to you.

Nadine runs her own online store, Kikay Korner. This is one of the items she bought for her store.

Estelito: A 10 burner stove, an oven, and a 53 cu. ft. industrial fridge. The shipment is so bulky and heavy because they place it on a pallet. I love it because we get to use it all the time.

Being a father who also cooks, a fridge, kitchen oven, and a stove are a good match.

Edgar: Canon DSLR camera and the SJCam action camera. I use them when I travel, as I travel a lot, both in and out of the country.

Edgar travels a lot. And for a traveler, a camera is worth the extra space.

Anicel: Shoes and the MAC.

Being an event coordinator, having a nice pair of shoes and a good makeup kit are a must for Anicel.

Did you have bad experiences in online shopping? If yes, what was it?

Maybelle: Once, was just a delayed delivery. But it was an isolated case.

Mychal: None, so far. Delays don’t bother me at all. When it’s urgent, I usually buy at a physical store.

Nadine: Mostly just delayed deliveries.

Estelito: Yes, product description is different from what is described.

Edgar: None that I could think of.

Anicel: None.

Any particular day for online shopping? Wednesdays, Fridays, etc.?

Maybelle: Nope, just when I need to and when I have funds.

Mychal: No, although on some days in October, I start purchasing Christmas gifts.

Nadine: No particular day.

Estelito: Anytime of the week. For as long as we need it.

Edgar: I do it usually on weekends, or when I need a specific item.

Anicel: No particular day at all.

Do you use an iPhone or an Android device when shopping online? If not through a smartphone, what desktop platform (OS X, Windows, Linux)?

Maybelle: I use an iPhone for my mobile and Windows for desktop.

Mychal: Android and Windows.

Nadine: Android and Windows.

Estelito: iPhone usually, because it’s so accessible.

Edgar: I use Android, iOS, and Windows. But I prefer Android because they usually have discounts if you use Android apps, though it could be through Android or iOS. However, I am more comfortable using Android over iOS.

Anicel: Yes, Android.

Can you give some of tips on online shopping?

Maybelle: Always be wary. Purchase from reliable stores or distributor. Before you sign anything, check the item first after it has been delivered to you. Enjoy but don’t go broke.

Mychal: Be on the lookout for sale and put your items on a wish list. It saves a lot of time. Be sure that you know what you are purchasing, because you could spend hours of browsing from one item to another. Always check the specifications/description – from weight to sizes. These give me ideas on what I’ll be getting, especially for kitchen tools. Too lightweight could mean tin cans. Only purchases from trusted/quality suppliers.

Nadine: First, find a relatively lower price than the ones in the mall. Check reviews, especially if you can’t tell the original from a fake (a lot of counterfeit goods are being sold online). Check seller’s profile to see if they’re trustworthy. On Facebook, I don’t buy from “jejemon” sellers or sellers with wrong English grammar construction. I know it sounds judgmental, but somehow I sense that something might go wrong with the transaction I will do with them. Then, I pray. (laughs) Some call it risk-taking, I call it a leap of faith – this is the exciting part of online shopping for me.

Estelito: Read all the reviews as well as the product description. Call the distributor/seller if you have questions about the product.

Edgar: Determine what you want to buy before shopping online, particularly the specifications. That way, you won’t be distracted by other items that online shop put up promo offers on.

Anicel: Use familiar and trusted websites. Check statements or reviews. Never order without considering the difference between needs and wants.


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