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Budget-conscious Filipinos

LAST Monday, Vu The Du (VTD) of GFK Marketing Services, shared some insights on the Philippine Consumer Technology Market. GFK tracks purchase of consumer technology products in most countries around the world from microwave ovens to cellular phone in order to advise manufacturers which products are moving fast in the market.

For the Philippines, VTD observed that our purchasing decision is primarily driven by price; features come as a second consideration. That is why sellers here donít have to convince us as which technology is better.

More often than not, we are only asked about our budget and the product that suits our financial capability gets recommended to us.

Be a citizen journalist

VTD noted that we are one of the few countries in Asia where audio products are still pretty much in demand. This is perhaps because of our love for karaoke or sing-along gadgets more than any other nation in the world.

Another interesting fact is it is in the Philippines where one can find the cheapest home technology appliance. Nowhere in the region can one find a washing machine that costs P2,000 only.

VTD further explained that the Filipino consumer technology market is primarily retailer dictated. This is regardless whether you are in the organized retail market or black market. Our brand choices are very limited.

For instance, in Thailand, there are 50 mobile phone brands to choose from. While in the Philippines, there are no more than 25 brands being sold in the market.

Joining contests. In the same forum, Erick Kalugdan of shared his experience in running an online reloading service. Erick is well known for his various media appearances and for his award-winning InfoTxt product.

What I found most interesting was his bravery in joining contests. He believes that, win or lose, it helps a lot in promoting, building and testing your market brand. He encourages companies, no matter how small, not to be afraid to join competitions as these push an entrepreneur to do better in their dealings.

Collecting payments via e-mail billing. Two days ago, I partnered with to use their e-mail billing facility. Through the said service, Iíll be able to send membership billing notices via e-mail to Club members. In the said e-mail, the link to online payment is already cited. With just one click, they are all set to pay through credit card.

What I like about the service is the level of personalization. Although one can have an online payment service in a website, some customers would first inquire and need further convincing. This is where the seller has to haggle and even customize the offering to suit the needs of the prospective customer. E-mail billing comes into play when you give discounts and special fees depending on the service sought for.

For merchants and sellers who donít have fixed prices for their products due to marketing volatility, e-mail billing may just be a viable option.

P19-million software piracy crackdown. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) expressed optimism over the continuing progress of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team in curbing software piracy in the country. The team is composed of the National Bureau of Investigation, the Optical Media Board and the Philippine National Police.

It started the crackdown on businesses using, selling and distributing unlicensed software last September, 30 days after a warning period was announced. The team has confiscated over P19-million worth of illegal software programs nationwide.

By Janette Toral
Digital Filipino

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