The number of direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce web stores in the Philippines and Southeast Asia is expected to increase by 56 percent this year, according to a logistics platform Storeleads.

The volume of web stores in Woocommerce and Shopify in Southeast Asia respectively grew to 50 percent and 61 percent from 2019 to 2021.

A direct-to-consumer approach is a transformational opportunity offering higher margins, more customer insights, and better control over the brand experience.

Traditional brands have realized that web stores are a vital sales channel to boost their business, on top of marketplace stores. Search volumes about online selling-related queries continue to increase up to 18 times versus 2017 as a result of more D2C brands joining the e-commerce bandwagon.

In 2019, Shopify web stores were only 3,341 but saw a notable increase in 2020 and 2021 to hit 7,792 and 8,562 respectively. The number of Woocommerce web stores followed the same trend, more than doubling from 6,287 in 2019 to reach 12,731 in 2021.

While traffic in physical stores is expected to increase with the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions, the report envisions retailers will continue to pursue the digital D2C path to build their brand and continue drawing online shoppers who have grown accustomed to buying online. 

Video content that drives online traffic will play a crucial role in consumer spending. This format has dominated social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Tiktok. According to networking giant Cisco, videos composed of 81 percent of online traffic in 2021.