EXPRESS transportation company FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., said the Philippines is among the “most optimistic” in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA) regarding e-commerce, with both small and medium businesses and consumers anticipating future growth.

The company said 91% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines expect e-commerce to “continue to boom” and become more vital to their business growth over the next three years.

“SMEs in India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam were among the most optimistic about their future e-commerce growth in the next three years,” FedEx Express said in an e-mailed statement, citing a study it commissioned.

The company noted that e-commerce currently represents less than 6% of total retail sales in each of these markets. This means that maintaining customer service quality is crucial as more people join the on-demand economy and shipping volumes rise.

The commissioned research showed a 10% gap between how SMEs rate their e-commerce customer experience and how consumers view it.

The company said the biggest gaps were in having an efficient returns service (13%) and access to customer support (11%).

“Deliveries taking too long is the number one pain consumer point (53%) followed by handling returns (42%),” the company noted, adding that consumers typically expect delivery within three days to one week.

“There is a desire for delivery to be at least more reliable if not faster.”

SMEs in the Philippines, the company also said, will need to step up their game significantly to meet consumer expectations. — Arjay L. Balinbin