Online sari-sari store sells Philippine products to the world

Mick Basa
Online sari-sari store sells Philippine products to the world
Craving for longganisa and hot mango ketchup? Philippine-made products can now be bought anywhere in the globe

MANILA, Philippines – Simplesoft Inc launched on Wednesday, October 15, an e-commerce service dedicated to selling Filipino products initially sourced from regions hardly connected to online trade.

Products such as water hyacinth bags, longganisa, (pork sausage), hot mango ketchup, pili nut-filled cookies, nito bags, Yakan straw mats, and even the T’boli-made T’nalak are now available through SariSariStore.com’s 1780.

The products are sourced from the Bicol region, Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, and SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City or Region 12), according to SariSariStore.com corporate secretary Edmund Abesamis.

“We’re building relationships in these regions,” said Abesamis.

Abesamis said 1780’s all-Filipino products section is hoped to increase provincial retailers’ profit by cutting customer haggling, which reduces the trader’s profit margin.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) helped Simplesoft identify the 5 initial regions where the products would be sourced.

“These are the areas where poverty incidence is high,” said DSWD information officer Ana Marie Raymundo.

Three provinces in the Bicol region were placed under a state of calamity following Typhoon Glenda, which made landfall in the Philippines in July. Last year, Typhoon Yolanda left thousands of people dead in Eastern and Western Visayas.

In 2013, the Zamboanga Peninsula or Region 9 and Region 12 were among the regions with provinces that have 40% of their population living below the poverty threshold. (MAP: The poorest provinces in PH)

“We want to help these communities through disaster-resilient livelihood. 1780 is an opportunity to sell their products,” said Raymundo.

Regional offices of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also play a role in vetting products to be sold through the online portal, according to Abesamis.

Simplesoft CEO Erneil Dy Lim said they target to source products across 17 regions and 80 provinces in the next 12 months.

The online portal has partnered with logistic companies 2GO, PhilFox, and Xend to ship the products here and abroad. Clients have an option to pay for their orders through PayPal or DragonPay.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines ranks the lowest in terms of online retail reach at 53%, compared to Vietnam at 76%, according to a 2013 study conducted by ComScore.

“1780 is helping put merchants on equal footing to other online retailers by becoming the bridge between these regions and the world,” Simplesoft said in a statement. – Rappler.com

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