By Zsarlene B. Chua
SOUTHEAST ASIAN cashback rewards program Shopback is ramping up its Philippine operations four years after entering the country with a new user interface and new app features in response to the increased penchant of Filipinos to online shopping.
“The e-commerce and online ordering market just exploded [in the past few years] with Lazada, Shopee, Zilingo, and in the food space, Food Panda,” Prashant Kala, country manager of Shopback Philippines, said during a press conference on Sept. 9 at the Manila House Private Club in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
The increased appetite for e-commerce is apparent in Shopback’s numbers from 2018 to this year where they saw 29,000 orders a day as of August compared to 800 orders a day in the same period last year.
“This is still relatively small compared to our operations in Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand but we are optimistic that the Philippines will definitely catch up with these more established markets very soon,” Karoline Santiago, partnerships head of Shopback Philippines, said in a statement.
In order to encourage more online shoppers to go to Shopback, the app introduced an update that includes a more seamless user interface and games to earn rebates.
They said they were also banking on the 9.9 sale last Sept. 9 by various online merchants like Lazada and Shopee by offering extra cashback percentages and sale items to bolster their numbers.
“This time around, we’re trying to be more visible in terms of our reach — we’re trying to reach more people and more influencers and also promoting brands that can help us gain more traction,” Ms. Santiago explained.
Shopback was founded in 2014 in Singapore and is currently in seven countries in the Asia Pacific including Australia and Taiwan. The company claimed to have over 12 million users and is partnered with over 2,000 brands worldwide.
As a cashback rewards platform, Shopback partners with merchants to offer rebates for purchases made from said merchants. Users must first run the Shopback app and look for their preferred merchant, then the app will redirect the user from the Shopback app to the chosen merchant.
The users then proceed with their transactions and Shopback will track such purchases and give users a corresponding rebate which they can withdraw and transfer to digital wallets and their personal bank accounts.
Mr. Kala explained that Shopback earns by getting a commission from partner merchants but noted that they don’t always do so if the merchant is small or starting up.
This year, the company aims to “doing at least $300 million worth of cross-business [sales]” up from the $14.54 million total value of products sold in 2019. From January to August, the company reported having sold $104.5 million worth of products.