More and more Filipinos are starting to venture into micro, small and medium enterprises nowadays. With technology, anyone can be an entrepreneur and it has served as one of the personal goals for a lot of us – from fresh grads to millennials to retirees. However, starting your own online business may be a daunting task but with the right support, succeeding in it is not a farfetched dream.
In its effort to empower online business owners, leading logistics company LBC Express Inc. held the first-ever So Shop! social sellers bazaar last October 5 at Function Room 4, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City. The bazaar brought together over 100 online business owners, thousands of shoppers, industry speakers, and influencers in one venue, making it both a shopping and learning experience in one. It also gave social sellers the opportunity to meet and connect with their customers in person, showcase their products, and transact using LBC’s Cash on Pick-up (COP) and Cash on Delivery (COD) services.
“With more and more Filipinos setting up their businesses online, we at LBC, believe that it’s high time to bring online businesses together, in one venue, and get to interact with their buyers live. So Shop! is our commitment to empowering micro, small, and medium enterprises in the country,” said Oliver L. Valentin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Philippine Branch Operations of LBC Express Inc. LBC’s COP and COD services are designed to make online purchasing easier and more convenient for shoppers. With COP, LBC’s over 1,400 branches can serve as pick-up points for buyers to get the products they bought online while COD allows them to get it right at their doorstep.
So! Shop for all your lifestyle must-haves
Featuring diverse products from over a hundred booths, So Shop! became a haven for a weekend to shopping enthusiasts and people with various interests.
For techies and gadget lovers, online gadget stores such as Kimstore, Juan Gadget, Droid Hero, and JBL Store PH provided exclusive deals and discounts. Beauty and makeup fans went gaga over the various shops: from Korean and Japanese beauty brands to sustainable beauty products. Those who love customized lifestyle pieces were also able to see their favorite online shops, making it a perfect venue to shop for personalized gifts including travel sets, accessories, and even kitchen wares. Moms who were on the lookout for early Christmas gifts brought home items that are perfect for the whole family.
So Shop! Social Sellers Bazaar also treated the shoppers to a host of surprises including Mystery Box gifts from participating social sellers and gadgets raffled off by LBC.
Growing one’s online business
Aside from the shopping experience, business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs also learned from a lineup of industry speakers, business owners, and influencers who gave talks on topics relevant to growing their business.
Facebook Philippines Head of Agency Liam Capati showcased the power of Facebook ads and how it can help businesses reach their customers especially at a time when cutting through the clutter in the online space is crucial. Canva Community Team Lead Gladys Lacorte emphasized the importance of having visually appealing social media pages through designs that represent a business’ personality. Creative Boss Founder Rachell Araja-De Luna knows very well why a website is a must-have for an online business, with it being a repository of one’s products online. Through her talk “DIY Your Dream Website,” Araja-De Luna discussed the simple ways a budding entrepreneur can create a website without breaking the bank. The power of online communities cannot be dismissed too — this is what PLDT Vice-President for Digital Strategy and Consumer Disruptive Business Carlo Ople highlighted in his talk. Ople shared why businesses should be present in the digital space and how to effectively tap online communities to reach a specific target market.
Not only was So Shop! Social Sellers Bazaar, a learning-filled experience, was inspiring too with panel discussions and success stories that moved the audience. Celebrity mom, wife, and entrepreneur Neri Miranda talked about her businesses and her role as a homemaker. Miranda, owning multiple businesses including Neri’s Gourmet Tuyo, online bedding, and accessories store Very Neri, and an events place in Tagaytay called Neri’s Not So Secret Garden, gave mompreneurs tips on how to juggle it all.
A panel discussion on the social impact of online businesses featured Jamico Jamlang, founder of sustainable businesses The Bamboo Company and Chesca De Mesa, co-founder and managing director of Refuse PH. Joining them was Havas Media Ortega Head of Data and Analytics Phil Tiongson who gave the audience a glimpse of Havas’ global study centering around consumers’ mindful consumption.
Women entrepreneurs also took center stage with Kimstore Founder Kim Lato and Neon Island Founders Alyssa Gibbs and Aira Medina. They shared what it’s like starting and growing a business, as women, and how they overcame the challenges that came with it.
Hosted by 101.1 Yes FM DJ Rico Panyero and Love Radio DJ Raqi Terra, So Shop! Social Sellers Bazaar was not just a star-studded bazaar but one that has taught online business owners new techniques to move their businesses forward.
Javier Mantecon, Chief Marketing Officer of LBC Express-Global Marketing, reiterated the company’s commitment to move lives, including those of the social sellers. “As the e-commerce community continues to grow, LBC remains your partner. We hope that this is just the beginning of our long partnership. We want to help you take that move, wherever that may be.”