The impulse buyer admits to last minute shopping on Dec. 24

VICE Ganda, one of the most visible LGBTQ+ stars on small and big screens, has been tapped to become Shopee’s latest ambassador. The TV host and comedian was announced as the star of the online shopping platform’s 9.9 campaign.

During the launch of the campaign on Aug. 23 at Shopee’s headquarters in Ortigas, Vice Ganda (born Jose Marie Viceral) appeared in an orange mermaid dress. On Shopee’s official Facebook page, they had earlier hinted at the host’s endorsement deal with a silhouette of a crowned person holding a horse-shaped scepter (the host’s Twitter bio describes Vice Ganda as “Supermodel turned actress turned horse”).

Asked what they last bought on Shopee, Vice Ganda said, “False eyelashes, saka (and also) contact lenses.”

The performer uses a lot of false eyelashes: “Hindi ako maka-awra nang hindi patong-patong ang pilikmata ko. Nakaubos ako agad ng isang banig ng pilikmata, kaya buti na lang, ang daming pilikmata na available sa Shopee (I can’t go out without my eyelashes one on top of the other. I go through a whole pack of eyelashes, so it’s great that there are a lot of eyelashes available on Shopee).”

As the -ber months announce the approach of Christmas (in the Philippines, at least), Vice Ganda was asked at a group interview about their own Christmas shopping habits. “Lagi akong last-minute shopping. May listahan naman ako ng mga kailangan kong bigyan. Diba meron kayong kakilala na ’pag ’di mo nabigyan, at saka bihira mo lang bigyan, kaya gusto mong bigyan sa mga panahon na ’yon (I’m always last-minute shopping. I do have a list of people I need to give gifts to. Don’t you know someone to whom you don’t often give gifts, so you want to give them something during the season)?”

The comedian’s staff get the list and complete it for them. “Nahahanap nila sa Shopee (they find it on Shopee),” the new endorser of the platform avowed. “Iyong iba ako iyong personal na bumibili. Nagpupunta ako sa mall. Dec. 24! Dec. 24, nasa mall ako, bago mag-Noche Buena (The others, I buy them personally. I go to the mall. On Dec. 24! On Dec. 24, I’m at the mall, before Christmas dinner).”

The long-time host of the noontime show It’s Showtime is an impulse shopper. “Yeah. I don’t have the luxury of time… bihira lang ako lumabas at makapag-shopping. Kapag nakita ko na, bibilhin ko na kasi hindi ko na alam kung kailan ko siya makikita ulit (I don’t go out often to shop. When I see something, I buy it, because I don’t know when I’ll see it again).”

“She’s got the personality, she’s got the wit,” Martin Yu, Head of Business Intelligence for Shopee Philippines, told BusinessWorld about the platform’s choice of Vice Ganda.  “It’s just a lot of energy. You can tell, even from here… she’ll bring her joy, she’ll bring her delight all the way for the platform and the customers.”

Shopee has also partnered with the League of Provinces of the Philippines, said Mr. Yu during the launch. This collaboration aims to support and accelerate the digitization of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country. He recalled previous activities with the same aim, such as an e-commerce workshop in Cebu in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and PLDT. He also discussed their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts with Shopee Bayanihan, where the company donated P5 million worth of goods for calamity relief.

In previous years, especially during the pandemic, Mr. Yu had announced that there had been an increase of online shoppers in the Philippines. “The 2021 Global Web Index Market Snapshot shows 51% of Filipinos now prefer to shop online, with a 31% growth observed in online spending on groceries and household goods and 36% increase on medicine and healthcare needs,” he said at one point. With the world reopening and the world going back to its old habits, does this affect how Filipinos have taken up online shopping?  “I don’t think that’s caused a concern for us,” Mr. Yu told BusinessWorld. “There (are) a lot of people who are still very, very excited with shopping online. It has its own merits. There are some issues of traffic in the country, and I do think we cater on the wide assortment that we have on the platform.”

On the 9.9 Super Shopping Day, shoppers can avail free shipping on all their purchases with no minimum spending required. Brands like Unilever Beauty and Belo, and a wide assortment of fashion items will be priced at P99 and below. Users can expect discounts from brands like Vice Cosmetics, Mikana, Shigetsu, Inspi, Penshoppe, OXGN, Regatta, Havaianas, Bench, Keds, and Crocs. — Joseph L. Garcia