DHL Express 2022 E-Commerce Guide For Businesses Venturing Overseas

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The global e-commerce landscape has changed rapidly over the past few years. Online shopping is fast gaining popularity and new e-commerce trends are shaping how companies do business. If you are a skilled entrepreneur or craftsperson, then you probably have dreamed of starting your own e-commerce store or building a business that gives you a sense of achievement and freedom. 

Introducing DHL Express’ e-commerce business guide – filled with relevant statistics and some tips for starting your own e-commerce store, we aim to help you navigate the competitive online marketplace so you can better secure your position. Read on to learn more.

The evolution of e-commerce and its future

Driven by changes in technology and global circumstances, the e-commerce industry has shown consistent growth over the past years. But in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic happened, consumers went all in. In the Philippines, for example, according to the data from the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), e-commerce growth increased the country’s GDP by 3.4%. Other countries across the globe also saw large gains. Since then, e-commerce has now become an indispensable part of global retail, in turn, opening up new and lucrative avenues for businesses. 

Naturally, businesses would seek to tap into the ever-growing e-commerce industry to expand their operations across borders. However, one should note that the growth of e-commerce also comes with greater competition and of course, more risks. As part of the DHL e-commerce guide, the next section discusses some important statistics across various industries which businesses in the Philippines may utilize to better secure their position in the marketplace.

DHL Express’ e-commerce guide 2022

DHL Express’ e-commerce guide helps Filipino businesses identify key sectors that hold lucrative expansion opportunities. 

Overall e-commerce market in the Philippines

Rising consumers’ preferences for online shopping, the increasing number of online merchants, proliferation of alternative payment solutions, and the Filipino government’s support of e-commerce sales in the country has contributed to the growth of e-commerce. According to a report released by the International Trade Administration, the Philippines ecommerce market sales has reached US$17 billion in 2021 as a result of 73 million active online users. This number is expected to reach US$24 billion with a 17% growth through the year 2025. Moreover, of these online transactions, 12% of them are driven by cross-border orders, showing the high quality of Filipino products and their popularity in the foreign market.

Fashion sector

The fashion industry is also booming in the Philippines, with an expected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.44% between the years of 2022 and 2026. Many Filipino fashion products – such as ready-to-wear apparel, activewear, formal wear, accessories, swimwear, and footwear – typically generate popular demand in foreign markets.

Eco-friendly and sustainable fashion products are also gaining worldwide popularity as consumer consciousness with regard to environmental sustainability grows. As such, Filipino businesses that adopt sustainable practices and manufacture eco-friendly fashion products tend to be more sought after by the global market.

Beauty sector

The global beauty market is expected to grow by 7.3% by 2023. General beauty products, for instance, remain high in demand, while the demand for organic products and those that target particular skin tones is growing. Although this sector is heavily regulated by the government in the Philippines, businesses seeking to expand may still capitalize on lucrative opportunities for growth within the international market.


The food sector is among the fastest-growing industries in the Philippines, with a CAGR of 64%. Local cuisine, ingredients, and spices, for instance, are very popular in foreign markets. Filipinos working overseas also contribute to the increasing global demand for Filipino food products. Thus, food products, specifically non-perishable items, are in high demand in the international market. Explore local Filipino food brands that have successfully ventured overseas.

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Handicrafts and home decor

Filipino handicrafts and home decor products are also famous worldwide due to the intricacy of their hand-made designs, use of sustainable raw materials, and overall quality of craftsmanship. The home decor industry has seen a steady CAGR of 24%. Online retail in this sector thus holds great promise for local businesses aiming to expand overseas. You can check out our home decor export guide and how you can start an export business in this industry.

Other sectors

Other sectors that show high demand for Filipino products include toys, fitness and sports products, automotive, electronics, gaming products, and arts and crafts.

Tips for starting your own e-commerce business

The key to the success of your online business is to start it on the right foot. Aside from understanding the potential growth of the industry that you are about to enter, here are some e-commerce tips to guide your business along:

  1. Define and understand your target market: it is important to know your market and identify their needs and pain points, in order to see how your products and services can offer a solution. You should also conduct your market research properly to find out how other online businesses in the same field are trying to attract their customers. 

  2. Determine your business idea’s profitability: Perform a feasibility test on your business. This means you should look at various factors such as your financial situation, manpower, your product offering, source of funding, as well as target market to determine the sustainability of your business. 

  3. Come up with a business plan: If the findings of your feasibility study show that your business has a great potential for generating profits, then it is time for you to start creating a business plan. 

  4. Register your online business: Like starting your brick-and-mortar business, the same registration rules also apply to e-commerce. Before selling your products, be sure that it has all of the required permits and licenses. 

  5. Build your business website: Create an online presence for your business through an e-commerce site, online shopping marketplace, or even a portfolio website if you are venturing into marketing your crafts out. 

  6. Establish your delivery methods and logistics: Very often, many entrepreneurs tend to focus on marketing and finances, reducing logistics to just an afterthought. After all, one can always meet-up with customers when they are just starting out. But, it is to consider the sustainability of this method and its limitations. Having a well-connected logistics partner like DHL Express, lets your product reach a wider target audience, thus giving you a competitive advantage. Furthermore, customers will also love buying again from your business if you are able to deliver their orders quickly. 

Leverage e-commerce and grow your business today

Now that you know how to start an online business, it is time to get moving and turn your dreams into reality. As mentioned in our e-commerce guide, you can leverage the lucrative opportunities presented by the industries listed above and play them to your business’ advantage. 

DHL Express helps businesses expand their reach overseas and facilitates the customs clearance and documentation processes. Sign up for a DHL Express account today to learn more about our e-commerce guides and how it can help you grow your business. 

Looking for more help on how to digitise your business and capitalize on these opportunities? Check out these self-help tools as well as how entrepreneurs can better prepare for peak seasons in the Philippines to boost e-commerce sales.