As more Filipinos shift to online shopping for their daily necessities, many businesses are also turning to digital platforms to widen their reach and establish a strong online presence – especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). To cater to the growing number of online sellers, Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, continues to partner with organizations to support MSMEs who are looking for better opportunities in e-commerce.
In 2020 Unilever and Mano Amiga, a non-governmental organization that advocates for community transformation and inclusive growth through education, first partnered with Shopee for their Beauty That Cares Campaign, to offer assistance to 25 micro-entrepreneurs. Through this partnership, Mano Amiga sellers gained a strong understanding of e-commerce and learned how to maximize the digital space’s full potential. Sellers had access to monetary funding, entrepreneurship training programs, and Shopee’s e-commerce tools to help them expand their reach. Two Mano Amiga sellers share how Unilever and Shopee supported their business growth:
For Janette Lagundi, a mother of two, it was tough when she first started her online business. Despite having no prior entrepreneurship experience, she decided to start selling cleaning products and home decor items such as Himalayan salt lamps, to get her family through the pandemic. She admitted that it was difficult for her to adjust to selling on e-commerce platforms as she was not very tech-savvy.
Through learning the ropes at Shopee, Janette saw her business thrived. “Because of Shopee, not only are my sales increasing, my store is also gaining better recognition through plenty of promotions. I learned a lot about selling online through the training programs and masterclasses. I am determined to explore more opportunities on e-commerce, and I’m glad that Shopee and Unilever helped me adjust and adapt amid the pandemic,” she said.
She added that the support from Shopee and Unilever helped her family immensely. “This business is my bread and butter and I feel more confident in growing my business because I am more competent now. Because of this opportunity, I can provide for my children.”
Cecilia Comia used to run a food business and even designed her own food stalls, but due to the pandemic, she had to shut down her food business and focus on selling decal stickers and labels instead. “We started our business in 2018 with a passion for good design and we wanted people to appreciate and see how small design details can change an entire product or experience,” she said. The strategy shift, although promising, posed some obstacles. “The competition is tough online. Reaching a wider audience and achieving effective customer engagement are both constant challenges. We are still struggling when it comes to establishing our business. The prices of our competitors are tough to match,” she added.
Shopee and Unilever provided her with the much-needed support. “Unilever’s program connected us with Shopee. It gave us an edge in terms of knowledge in selling online. Unilever’s financial assistance also helped us with our cash flow and allowed us to increase our stocks and improve our equipment.”
To support the transition and growth of MSMEs in the digital landscape, Shopee partners with Unilever once again to give MSMEs a spotlight at their Yes to Positive Beauty Sale this May 17 to 19, 2021. The campaign is part of Unilever’s renewed purpose and commitment to bring about positive change through real actions – to do more good, not just less harm, for people and the planet.
Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “We are proud to partner with Unilever to support a cause that aims to uplift the lives of local sellers and their loved ones. Shopee believes that every Filipino entrepreneur can succeed in e-commerce as long as they have the right tools, opportunity, and platform. We will continue to collaborate with brands like Unilever to support the local communities, their livelihood, and their families.”
Dorothy Dee-Ching, Vice President for Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever Philippines, said, “Yes to Positive Beauty is a movement for all Filipinos to champion a new era of beauty and personal care that’s inclusive and sustainable. As the number one beauty and personal care company in the country, we acknowledge the part we play in being a force for good, and Yes to Positive Beauty encompasses our commitment to do this through our brands. This includes championing for equal opportunities, which we have been able to do through our continued partnership with Shopee and Mano Amiga, as well as lending a helping hand to MSMEs, especially those greatly impacted by the current crisis.”
To provide consistent support for the sellers, Shopee’s relationship managers worked closely with them to create irresistible discounts to attract more customers, and also assisted them in mapping out advertisements for their products via social media. With the sale happening in just a few days, both sellers are preparing to stock up on their inventory to meet the expected increase in demand. To support sellers like Cecilia and Janette, check out the Yes to Positive Beauty Sale this May 17 to 19, 2021.
For more information about Unilever’s Beauty That Cares campaign, visit https://shopee.ph/m/unilever-super-brand-day.
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