What is the best online business in the Philippines to start this 2022, and that could withstand pandemic surges and restrictions?
The recent spike in Omicron cases had turned the tide for MSMEs. The revival of the Philippines’ economy is once again threatened as NCR and nearby provinces are put on Alert Level 3 Lockdown.
But all hope is not lost! Adopting digital technology is the best solution to recover and thrive amid what’s happening. Think about it – when you have an eCommerce business, your operations continue even when there’s a lockdown.
At the end of the day, our focus should be on building a resilient business. One that can survive with or without lockdowns.
Your Online Business Will Thrive in the Pandemic
It is a proven formula. Gone are the days when a business owner relies solely on a physical store where customers come, look for a parking space, make a purchase, and all the things in between. Having an online version of your business is not only cheaper, the benefits are overwhelming as well.
Even with the uncertainty that the pandemic brings, what we know for sure is that more and more Filipinos are choosing to buy online because it’s convenient and safe. In fact, Shopee Philippines estimated that it had 73.65 million monthly visitors in the third quarter of 2021.
So, why is starting an eCommerce business in the Philippines good in a pandemic?
- You can get started in just a few clicks.
- It’s more affordable than setting up a brick-and-mortar store.
- Your customers can check out your online store anytime and anywhere.
- You can run your business even on the go, using just your laptop or mobile phone.
- It’s easier to automate your business and maximize your profits.
There are a lot of popular website builders that you can choose from like Shopify and WooCommerce. Be sure to read until the end to learn about a more affordable local alternative that thousands of Philippine MSMEs trust.
With that said, here are online business ideas that you can start even in the midst of the Omicron surge:
Food and Beverage Business Ideas
|As restaurants are forced to reimagine the way they do their dining business, consumers find themselves gravitating towards ordering food online and having it delivered to their homes.|
Food binds Filipinos. Whether it’s a simple gathering at home with the family or a festive celebration nationwide, our culture revolves around food. Everywhere you go, you can get street food business ideas.
You might be asking, “I only sell comfort food – milktea, burgers, halo-halo, takoyaki – do I still need to take my business online?”
Of course! The Cyber Marketplace is a vast avenue where goods from dilis to gold are being purchased on a daily basis.
In fact, the food and beverage eCommerce market segment was barely 11% pre-pandemic. Food and groceries became the top eCommerce purchases for Filipinos with the onset of the pandemic and succeeding restriction mandates.
This trend will continue to shoot up even post-pandemic as Filipinos continue to favor the convenience of online stores. Read on to find out the best online food business ideas to start in 2022!
1. Milk Tea, Shakes, Caffeinated Drinks
Capital Needed: PHP30,000 to PHP300,000
Like we shared in our previous blog, the Philippines ranks second in Southeast Asia for the most number of milk tea drinkers. Because it’s hot all year round, milk tea, shakes, and caffeinated drinks are ordered daily to keep cool while working and studying at home.
What’s more, these drinks are fast and easy to prepare. You can start this small business even with little to no experience. There are even suppliers and franchises available, so you don’t need to start a business from scratch! That said, a bigger capital for milk tea business is needed if you choose to franchise.
2. Fast Food
- PHP2,000 to PHP5,000 (Homemade Food),
- Under PHP1 Million (Franchising)
If you love cooking and serving food, delivering fast food to customers is a profitable business idea. You can set up your new business at home and accept online orders. The key here is to find a website builder that can easily integrate with multiple payment options and local shipping providers.
You can also consider franchising popular street food or local restaurant chains if you don’t want to start a business from scratch. Looking for inspiration? Check out how this backyard food business turned into a nationwide brand, and now conquering the Cyber Marketplace to thrive through tough times.
Popular food ideas to sell online now are Samgyum-to-go, Maki/Sushi, Fresh Veggie Rolls, and Vegan/Vegetarian Meals to name a few. And of course, you can go for the tried-and-tested street food business ideas like kwek-kwek, fishball, kikiam, samalamig, and ihaw-ihaw.
Capital Needed: PHP 3,000 to PHP 40,000
Apart from cooking, making pastries and other baked goods can be turned into a business. If you read the news, you’d see success stories of family bakeries in and out of the Philippines for having long waitlists.
You don’t even need a lot of starting capital for this new business. But as your business grows and demands increase, you’ll have to invest in commercial-grade baking equipment. This new business will demand a lot of time, patience, and hard work but this is one of the SOLID food ideas to sell online.
The options for pastries are endless. People love to order buns, bread loaves, cupcakes, brownies, and cakes. What you need to consider is whether you want to appeal to the masses or focus on creating specialty pastries. Once you’ve chosen what products to sell, don’t forget to plan your marketing strategy so you can appeal to your customers.
Essential Goods Reselling
|The priorities today are all about hygiene, health, and safety, so consider becoming an online reseller to deliver the needs of thousands and thousands of people staying at home.|
On a different note, essential goods are also growing in terms of demand, especially as people are opting to shop online versus going to their local grocers to buy their supplies. Without a doubt, reselling essential goods is one of the best pandemic business ideas.
The pandemic prompted us to reassess our priorities and consumers prioritize essential goods. There’s been a significant increase in sales of essential goods in online marketplaces. In fact, personal hygiene products, household cleaning products, and medication are among the top products frequently purchased online during the pandemic.
Check out these online business ideas for the best essential goods to resell!
4. Cleaning & Disinfecting Materials
Capital Needed: Around PHP5,000 to buy wholesale
The whole world is constantly reminded of the importance of keeping clean and staying healthy. The fear of getting sick resulted in the hoarding of goods as well as a shift on what Filipinos prioritize to buy. Suddenly, alcohol and disinfectants are sold by the gallons. UV lamps and air purifiers became household fixtures.
Becoming a distributor or reseller allows you to profit while making these essential goods accessible to those who prefer not to go outside. This hospital in Cebu saw the same need that’s why it expanded its services by starting an eCommerce business to offer express medicine delivery services and essential disinfectant products.
Additionally, you can also consider making and selling liquid detergents. Attend workshops to gain knowledge and skills on the proper way of starting this new business. Who knows? You might end up becoming a supplier for laundry services, hotels, and restaurants!
5. Fresh Produce
Capital Needed: PHP1,500 to PHP20,000
Meat processing, fresh fruit, and vegetables are growing and proudly made in the Philippines. A lot of households are looking for easy-to-cook or ready-to-eat food whenever they shop for supplies online.
If you love food and want a higher profit margin, you can consider distributing produce as an eCommerce business. What’s more, you can also partner with local farmers to support their businesses and, at the same time, help promote local sustainability. Setting up your store with the right eCommerce platform is important since you’d be selling perishables.
You can also focus on selling local organic produce to target those who are more health-conscious. Aside from selling to households, you can also become a supplier to restaurants, carinderias, and other home-based food businesses.
6. Pet Supplies
Capital Needed: PHP5,000 and above
Most Filipinos love animals and have pets that they love and care for like family. You can make a lot of profit selling pet food, toys, grooming tools, and other essentials. Your starting capital will depend on the variety of pets you want to cater to and the products to sell.
You can also consider offering pet grooming, pet sitting, and pet boarding services to expand your business. You would need to know about different types of animals, breeds, and temperaments as well as have the necessary skills if you want to offer these services.
On the plus side, you will never run out of customers because you’d be offering their owners the convenience and assurance that their pets are being taken care of. But do learn the best tools in marketing strategy so you can reach your target market.
7. Grocery Items
Capital Needed: PHP5,000 – PHP20,000
One of the best pandemic business ideas is starting your own online convenience store, grocery, or sari-sari store. If you live in a crowded area, or even an isolated community, selling grocery items online and having them delivered to your customers are so convenient!
As the Omicron spike and the flu season hit many Filipinos, even those with the mildest symptoms are highly encouraged to quarantine at home. More and more people are opting to stay at home and avoid going out. Setting up your store will be of huge value to the community.
You will become a go-to online store for people living in your area because it’s much safer and they know you can deliver faster than other sellers. Be sure to follow safety precautions to mitigate the risks of further transmissions, such as opting for cashless payments. (eCommerce platforms like Shopify charge high transaction fees so Prosperna solved this for you!)
8. Secondhand Clothes
Capital Needed: PHP 0 (if you’re selling your old things), PHP5,000 and above (if buying bales of secondhand clothes or reselling branded items)
Not only do Filipinos love to buy secondhand items for their affordability, but there is also a shift in being more conscious shoppers to support small businesses and environmental sustainability.
If you have a lot of clothes, bags, or shoes you don’t use anymore (or probably never worn), you can set up an eCommerce store and sell them online for a profit. It can encourage you to declutter things at home that you don’t need, at the same time you can cater to a market of Filipinos who love to buy clothes at a bargain price.
Alternatively, you can buy bales of secondhand clothes or overrun branded clothes to resell. If you are creative and you know how to sew, you can transform secondhand clothes into your own design and start your own clothing collection.
Turn Your Hobby Into a Business
|The growth of hobbyists in the Philippines has made people consider changing their careers and starting their own online businesses during the lockdown. eCommerce platforms like Shopify alternative, Prosperna, have helped hobbyists enter the eCommerce scene easily.|
We’ve already mentioned cooking and baking earlier as turning your hobbies into something profitable. In this category, we’ll share with you the business ideas that turn your projects into profit or help others who want to get into a new hobby.
But first, here’s a reality check. Not every hobby can be turned into a viable business so validate your business idea. Another thing to consider: running a business means you have to put your customers first and offer what they want, not what you think they want.
Some have found success in turning their hobby into a business. But for some, going down this road took away the joy, pleasure, and relaxation that they used to find in their hobby. This is something you’d have to think about before diving deep into this path. To help you decide, check out if your hobby made it to our list!
9. Handmade Products
Capital Needed: PHP10,000-PHP15,000 (depending on the materials you will need)
If you’re someone who prefers to work with your hands, you can use your creativity for creating items like bags, wallets, accessories, and jewelry to name a few. Other trending products to sell are those made from upcycled materials – bonus points for helping promote sustainability!
Filipinos are also turning to artisanal soaps versus using commercial soaps, so this is another option that you can explore. You can attend workshops online and start an eCommerce business in your kitchen.
Competition is steep in this market so you need to amp up your marketing strategy. So here’s a pro-tip: Don’t just sell your products. Sell (Tell) the story behind the product.
Capital Needed: Price varies depending on materials used
There are so many forms of creating art that are either simple or extravagant. Whatever type of art you are into – painting, drawing, music, photography, digital arts, woodwork, calligraphy, etc. – you can turn your passion into profit and sell your products online.
The great thing about setting up an eCommerce website to sell your artworks is that potential buyers can easily view or listen to your work. You can sell your finished artworks, create a portfolio to showcase your best works for commissioned art, or why not do both?
Just like your art, the possibilities are endless when you have an eCommerce business! But remember that your artwork won’t sell itself. You need a solid marketing strategy to get your unique creations out in the world.
11. Home Decor
Capital Needed: PHP5,000-PHP20,000 for wholesale supplies
People at home are just focused on beautifying their spaces, considering the amount of time spent there during the lockdown. Simple home decor products to sell are curtains, carpets, rugs, pillowcases, blankets, and other items that are practical, without cluttering people’s homes.
On an upper scale, you can focus your eCommerce business on selling work-from-home furniture like desks and chairs, or sofa beds and daybeds to easily transform their home space into an office during the day. Alternatively, if you love shopping and finding great deals yourself, you can start an eCommerce business that buys and sells secondhand vintage decors or other collectibles.
12. Cookware & Utensils
Capital Needed: PHP5,000-PHP20,000 for wholesale supplies
More and more people are working from home, which easily translates to them having more time to spend in the kitchen. If you are not into cooking, then supplying our home cooks with the materials they need is another awesome way to tap into this industry. You can also market to hobbyists who are learning to cook at home.
You can buy wholesale and sell retail, become an official distributor, or do dropshipping so you don’t have to worry about storage and shipping. The key here is to find a trusted and legitimate supplier since you want to make sure that you’re selling quality products on your eCommerce store.
13. Gardening Plants & Tools
Capital Needed: PHP3,000 – PHP10,000
Filipinos love gardening as it is a means to cure wanderlust and get a taste of the outdoors during the quarantine. You can definitely tap into the growing market of plantitos and plantitas of the Philippines!
If you have a green thumb and you have the space, you can make your gardening hobby profitable by selling your homegrown plants. Succulents and indoor plants are in-demand products to sell. While hydroponic vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs are gaining traction as well.
If gardening is not your thing but you’re good at sourcing supplies, you can start an eCommerce business that sells gardening supplies and tools to enthusiasts. But don’t just sell your products on your eCommerce store. Setting up your store to feature educational content on how to care for plants will surely differentiate you from your competitors.
Capital Needed: PHP3,000-PHP20,000
The demand for gadgets to stay connected with the world is so apparent. With work-from-home setups and online classes becoming the norm as the pandemic restrictions continue, Filipinos are warming up to purchasing gadgets online such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and video game consoles.
There’s also a market for selling quality secondhand or refurbished gadgets for budget-conscious consumers. So if you’re into gadgets or you have access to suppliers to buy wholesale gadgets from, this could be the best pandemic business idea for you.
Before and after-sales customer service is a key element to your success in this business. This is true for all online businesses, but more so if you are selling expensive products such as electronic gadgets.
Turn Your Online Business Idea Into Reality
Once you’ve chosen the best online business to start in 2022 for you, and you’ve taken the steps to start your business, it’s time to bring it online!
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is critical to the success of your eCommerce business.
Making eCommerce Accessible for Everyone
Ready to start your eCommerce business in the Philippines?
Prosperna is an all-in-one eCommerce platform for Philippine businesses. Our mission is to empower 100,000 Philippine MSMEs with simple and affordable eCommerce solutions. In fact, we are super passionate about helping Philippine MSMEs – we’re giving you a free account forever!
Want to start selling online? Create your free-forever Prosperna account now.