Despite the restrictions and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people still needed to earn money somehow. Enter e-commerce—the business game-changer.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) tallied a record-high of 88,000 new online businesses by the end of the year. With brick-and-mortar establishments ordered closed and people stuck at home, as a number of them have been laid off from work, many have resorted to starting online businesses of their own.

This influx of new businesses came about for a variety of reasons. For one thing, people needed a new source of income. As for the others, they wanted to pursue a passion project because they finally had the time or create side hustles that gave them extra income.

Today, three years after the pandemic began, e-commerce is a thriving industry here in the Philippines. In fact, revenue in this particular market is projected to reach $18.16 billion (around PHP 1 trillion) this year. And while thousands of online businesses—still present today—started during the pandemic, there are a good number of businesses that already existed pre-pandemic and have experienced firsthand the changes it brought about to e-commerce. 

To get a better idea about how said changes during the pandemic positively helped the e-commerce industry, we asked Narra Wooden Watches owner Kelvin Yu to share his insights and his story.

E-commerce in the Philippines, Pre-Pandemic

Having launched Narra Wooden Watches in 2018, Kelvin experienced a couple of struggles that came with owning an online business pre-pandemic. Although these are no longer big issues today—thanks to the rise of e-commerce—it does come with its share of downsides. And that includes not having a physical store for the business.

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