They say that you can find a Filipino in every corner of the globe. With the ever-increasing number of Filipinos working and studying abroad, this might be true. Whether you’re staying abroad for a few months or permanently migrating, we’re sure you’re going to miss the local products of the Philippines.
This exact thought prompted Alex de Leon, known by many as Ogie, to create eBili. The online store, founded in early 2018, is headquartered in the beautiful town of Eynesbury, Victoria. The heart of eBili is to offer a diverse selection of Philippine and Asian products to Filipinos situated in Australia.
“We want to provide our growing number of kababayans living in Australia with a convenient way of getting their favourite Filipino products,” Alex says. “They can shop in the comfort of their homes.”
The company is up against strong online competitors. However, because of the rising demand for Filipino products in Australia, eBili has received a positive reception since its launch.
“For now, we are more focused on attracting Filipinos to shop online,” says Alex.
“There is still a percentage of Filipinos who are not well-adapted to the latest technologies. Some are not familiar and might even have a negative view of online shopping.”
As a start-up, eBili wanted to increase its e-commerce penetration. “We wanted Filipinos to try online shopping with us and convert them to regular online shoppers,” Alex says.
To convince Filipinos to try eBili, the company maintains an affordable shipping rate.
For Alex, this is one of the biggest challenges they had to overcome. To implement a competitive flat shipping fee, they had to connect with different suppliers and couriers to forge partnerships. Knowing the Filipino culture, being cost-conscious is a must.
It was not easy to execute, especially in regional and remote areas. Still, eBili made it happen. As of the moment, the shipping fee ranges from $5 to $9.90 in the state of Victoria. The national flat rate for cities and regional areas of Australia is $28. For remote areas, there is a surcharge of $13 on top of the national flat rate. Additional fees will apply for orders of more than 25 kilograms or 100 litres.
The eBili team
eBili’s team is also investing its time in improving its website. Cherry de Leon, company director of eBili, is a computer systems engineer. She handles the development and improvement of the company’s site.
“As we prepare for the reality of a techy future in shopping, we want eBili to introduce our shoppers to a whole new shopping experience. Cherry created the website to be seamless and user-friendly,” says Alex.
Robert de Leon and Raffy Momo support Alex in maintaining the company’s quality standard.
“Aside from Cherry, I also have Robert and Raffy to help me with quality control. Robert used to be in business development service, and Raffy worked in the hospitality industry before. We often gather to exchange ideas and concepts. Then we come up with plans on how to turn these ideas into action,” says Alex.
The company aims to provide a hassle-free shopping experience to its customers. All products will be coming from eBili’s centralised warehouse to ensure that the goods are stored safely.
“I have thirteen years of experience in warehouse management. My team consists of individuals that are all Certified Australian Supervisor Level in Safe Food Handling Practices. We are very strict and careful with how we store our products,” says Alex.
You can finally order Filipino products easily. Just visit the website and browse through its selection of products. There is no rush because you can shop anytime you want. Order the items by adding them to your cart. Proceed to checkout and payment. The logistics team will prepare and pack the items. Your order will be shipped straight to your doorstep.
Initially focusing on Filipino food products, eBili has now expanded by adding Asian goods in its catalogue. The product selection also includes household products, health and beauty items, and frozen goods. Aside from Filipino products, you may still opt to visit the site to purchase international products – American, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, and Vietnamese.
“Our website is still in its trial stage. Our marketing efforts are still minimal. It was honestly a surprise when orders started to come. Our current best-sellers are Golden Saba, Del Monte Filipino Style Spaghetti Sauce, Pancit Canton, Frozen Turon, and Regent Sweet Corn. Filipino foods top the list, but we’re still planning to venture on merchandise items,” says Alex.
The initial sales show that most customers use their mobile phones to access eBili’s website. Because of this, the idea of a mobile application surfaced. The web development team is now spearheading the creation of eBili mobile app. The app will make the shopping experience faster and more accessible.
“It’s still under development. Once released, it will be easier for our customers to order through their phones. In the meantime, they may access eBili’s website through any device that supports internet browsing,” Alex says.
Alex further detailed that the company is planning to put up an actual store in the western suburbs of Melbourne. The physical store will be closing the gap between online and offline shopping, persuading Filipinos to try out eBili’s services. The full-blast marketing campaign, including advertisements and events, will also start by the end of August up until the holiday season.
“The marketing campaign will allow us to promote brand awareness. The demand is there. The only thing left to do is to let our kababayans know that they can now buy affordable Filipino products with just a click,” says Alex.
With the growing number of Filipinos living in Australia, eBili still has a lot of room to grow. The development of the mobile app and the increase in product variation will surely boost the brand.
The quality of the products offered combined with the benefits of online shopping shows that eBili is staying true to its tagline – great prices, true value, real savings!
Once eBili gains popularity among the Filipinos living in Australia, it’s a guarantee that it’s on its way to becoming the Filipino’s go-to-site whenever they miss a taste of home.
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