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Mobility and Online Platforms at the Time of Pandemic

Sep 11, 2020

An unprecedented decline in demand for mobility and the rise of online platforms

Six months into quarantine and the global COVID-19 pandemic and we can frankly say that we are getting the hang of it. Admittedly, it’s not the way we imagined 2020 to turn out – and we are still hoping for this to be over soon. However, we could not deny the spirit of the Filipino remains shining bright and our innate resiliency is helping us to cope and survive this pandemic. Still, we march on with our heads held high with hope for better days to come.

Looking at our current situation right now, though, we can note some significant changes in the economic movement. We live very differently compared to how we dealt with life before, and that involves thinking differently as consumers, as well. This is not isolate to us here, but this shift in the consumer market is felt by hundreds of countries all around the globe.

As we evolve and change to meet the hurdles of the pandemic, businesses and the economy is doing the same – in preparation for whatever life has in store for us.

Staying indoors mean a decline in mobility

Because of COVID-19, you probably know by now that tons of industries are in the risk of closing down. One that’s facing a huge decline is the world of automotive and mobility. The basic explanation for this matter is that people are now leaning into increasing their savings to feel more equipped when a life shocker like this pandemic happens again.

This pandemic has changed the way consumers see splurges. This means that discretionary purchases, perhaps buying a new vehicle, will most likely be put on hold. Moreover, the problem with this decline in the global automobile sales is its damage towards manufacturers and their employees – including those who process equipment, parts, and auto supplies.

Aside from that, the mobility sector that offers public transport took a huge hit as well. According to a study by McKinsey, the number of public commuters fell down at about around 70 to 90 percent in the major cities around the world. In many cases, operators had to deal with implementing stricter disinfection protocols to aid the spread of the virus – and in other cases, community lockdowns led to a cease in entire operations.

The post-pandemic consumer

Just as our life has changed when we had to say goodbye to the traditional way we do things, our purchasing habits and behaviors also transformed. Through this pandemic, it is noticeable that consumers now respond differently as health becomes the utmost priority. Though there are people who remain business as usual, there is a significant number that feels anxious and worried – making them become a different breed of consumers.

In terms of purchasing priorities, people shell out their funds to acquire their business needs, even buying more than they need to stuck up for a rainy day. As getting out is harder than ever, people tend to buy in bulk now – even for Filipinos who used to adore getting ‘value packs’ or smaller sizes.

Aside from food and medicine, a new basic necessity arose. People now prioritize cleanliness and hygiene because of the pandemic. If you remember how it was a few months back, alcohol, sanitizers, disinfectants, and similar cleaning materials flew off the shelves because of crazy demands.

Finally, it is notable that the current trend is buying local. People now support the handiwork of entrepreneurs within their community. From meals and desserts to furniture and home décor, the trend is buying from sellers near you for your safety and security.

Staying indoors mean depending on online platforms

One sector that is brimming with possibilities is digital commerce. Because of mobility restrictions, people now lean to going online for their transactions. This became a wake-up call to all companies and industries which used to treat their social media platforms as something extra on the side.

Now, if you want to thrive in the economic climate, you have to make your business ecommerce-friendly. Especially for Filipinos, who seem to spend their lives glued to their phones, it is easier to convert your physical purchase into online ones.

If you can notice, social media giant, Facebook, as well as its sister company, Instagram, serve as the marketplace of the new generation. These sites allow entrepreneurs to create profiles for free and help them market and target to consumers with just a few hundred pesos. Imagine how it makes the world even smaller, and how it eases the anxiety of the regular Juan, because you know that the things that you need are within your reach.

Because of the convenience that it brings, this is one thing that will surely stay with us for a longer time – even after this pandemic ends.

Online commerce rely on online payments

The pandemic demanded for additional safety precautions and that includes online payments. We’re all for contactless transactions and this new need brought great news to fintech companies.

Digital payments are the solution for sending money, receiving money, and making payments at this time when we can’t go out anytime we wish. It’s especially because falling in line for hours at the bank with limited space sounds like a bad idea, nor is having to go to a brick-and-mortar money charger office.

Aside from that, digital payment providers are advantageous because they incur little to no fees, quicker to real-time reflection, increased app security, and longer availability. For days when you really go out of the house, digital payments also entail cashless transactions – you will say goodbye to the health risks of handling notes and coins for your purchases.

As proof of the way the world of digital payments is booming, Gcash, one of the key players in the mobile wallet game, has 20 million registered users and the amount of transactions done in the app grew 800% compared to how it was last year.

Financial technology and online P2P platforms

Consequently, another fintech solution is gaining traction despite the struggles at this time. Peer-to-peer lending platforms, like Blend.ph, are one of the easiest ways to gain funding without going the traditional way. Its operation is completely online so there’s no need to worry about going out and falling in line for hours!

With Blend.ph, you can apply for different loan types for your expenses and projects that you have to explore. There is no lengthy process – all you have to do is register as a borrower and start creating your profile. Follow through with the procedure, await credit assessment, and you’re good to go!

Aside from this, you can go on the other side and serve as an investor and fund loans to help people. With each investment, you reap earnings depending on the interest rates!

Even the government is on board

As a matter of fact, even the Philippine government is pushing for support towards switching to ecommerce. According to NEDA Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, “Online shopping and marketing platforms will play bigger role in the new normal as businesses and consumers increase the use of electronic transactions, including cashless payment system and other financial technology platforms.”

NEDA is encouraging companies to innovate the way that they do business, stating “Businesses need to innovate and make full use of technology to resume operations and cater to consumer needs and preferences while still managing risks of Covid-19 infection. Businesses need to make online shopping easy, affordable, and secure for consumers so that they need not go out to buy what they need and want.”

To add to this, the government even designed the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 and the Financial Consumer Protection Bill. Both of these are aligned to boost online transactions while making sure that everything is in place with security for all parties.

Explore financial possibilities with Blend.ph.

The world never stops turning, and we shouldn’t stop, too. The key to survive is to adapt to changes, so don’t be afraid to jump on online financial platforms.

Let Blend.ph be your trusted financial partner. Check out all our offerings – you’ll undoubtedly find one that’s perfect for you!