eCommerce may not be overtaking traditional retail sales soon, but it's growing by leaps and bounds, and the shift to omnichannel retail cannot be ignored or stopped. According to Bain and Company, "if historical trends continue, e-commerce’s share of retail will rise to about 28% of total sales in 2030", which means if you're in retail, then you will inevitably need to outsource to pump up your ecommerce operations.
When it comes to ecommerce outsourcing, the Philippines is a major destination for international businesses looking to hire experienced customer support staff. For these businesses, these are five important reasons why they chose to outsource their ecommerce support to the Philippines over other outsourcing destinations.
#1 Online fraud and other data security concerns are pretty much not a problem in the Philippines.
Cybersecurity company Symantec has identified the top 10 countries where cybercrimes, including hacking, online fraud and identity theft, frequently occurred, and the Philippines was not included in the list. While the country is not perfect, one of its strengths is the Filipino culture, which places great value on being sincere and helpful to others.
For outsourcing companies that handle sensitive information for their clients, the existence of a data privacy law, stringent policies on device use inside offices, and the inherent trustworthiness of Filipinos contribute to the overall attractiveness of the Philippines as an outsourcing destination.
#2 Turnover rate among Filipino call center workers is around 8% lower than in India and at least 20% lower than in the United States.
According to an ASEAN Briefing paper, the turnover rate for customer support positions in India is around 28 percent, which is eight percent higher than the turnover rate in the Philippines for the same jobs. In the United States, the turnover rates for call center workers range between 30% and 45% on average.
Research studies indicate that the rate of turnover varies by area of the country, employment factors in a specific region or city, and by industry. There is a much higher turnover rate in routine, order-taking positions or in outbound telemarketing where burnout is high. Turnover is lower in more specialized, higher level jobs and also lower in union environments.
Filipino workers, especially those who are married and have kids, will treat their jobs seriously. They won't change jobs like they're changing their socks. When they're convinced they are working for an employee-centric company, and for a client that's worth their loyalty and hard work, they'll stay with you as long as you needed them.
#3 Filipinos have been immersed in western culture from the time they were old enough to watch TV and learn their ABCs.
The fact that the Philippines was occupied by the United States of America immediately after Spain colonized the country for more than 300 years is a big plus. One of the lasting legacies of American missionaries and soldiers is the education system, which was the reason why practically every Filipino you'll meet speaks and understands basic English. Those who are college-educated will have greater familiarity with the language and also with American culture after growing up watching Sesame Street and Hollywood movies.
#4 You don't have to worry about the quality of software and hardware technologies available in the Philippines.
Because of the unprecedented growth of the IT-BPM industry in the Philippines, Rappler notes "ICT innovations, such as higher broadband speeds ranging from 20-45 mbps for voice and as high as STM-1 155 mbps for non-voice, were introduced through the BPO sector's rigorous global requirements." Now, this technology is slowly becoming mainstream in other sectors, such as banking and education.
It's easy to import new equipment into the Philippines because it has been a long-time trading partner of the United States. Both countries have entered into agreements that facilitated the import and export of goods as well as the travel arrangements of their citizens between their domains.
#5 Filipinos have embraced online shopping with gusto.
Your customers are your best sales people. Because Filipinos have embraced online shopping as an alternative channel for acquiring goods and services from other countries, including the United States, they've become a top recruitment choice for many businesses in retail and online commerce. By 2021, it's been predicted that the Philippines will have 49 million online shoppers or around 66% of the total population.
They'll have first-hand experience on the kind of customer service that your buyers would want. Combine this knowledge with Filipino values and their loyalty and respect for their employers, and you have an optimal labor pool for your outsourcing initiatives.
Aside from customer support, you may need to hire people who can design and develop your website, update your product pages, write your marketing copy, and basically do all kinds of tasks that you don't have the time or skills to do. Whatever reason you may have for choosing to outsource your ecommerce work to the Philippines, you're assured you'll be working with a team of duly trained professionals and an established managerial staff who will provide on-site management, continuous improvement, and collaborative support.