How to Start an Online Business in the Philippines


Are you wondering how to start an online business in the Philippines with minimum possible capital? Probably, that’s why you have thought about starting the next best online business in the Philippines. Haven’t you? 

How to Start an Online Business in the Philippines

It doesn’t matter whether you are starting an online business in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Timor Leste, or any other Southeast Asia country – as long as you’re in the business, you need investment.

Sadly, this is one of the reasons why…

Most Startups Fail Within 2 Years

I’m glad that you arrived here. I can guarantee that your search ends here. In the next 5 minutes, you’re going to learn the art of starting an online business in South East Asia. 

Some Worth Considering Facts About Filipino Online Businesses

Sometimes, history decides the future. If we look at Southeast Asia Demographics, there were only 23.5 million online buyers in 2017. At present, almost 38.9 million users prefer to buy from Philippines eCommerce sites.

From the perspective of an online marketer, that’s a huge goal to achieve. 

Statistics That Can Motivate Me to start an online business in Philippines

Wait a minute! This is not the end of Filipino online businesses. Can you observe that the total number of online buyers is going to reach 53.6 million in 2024?

Why Should You Start An Online Business in Philippines 

Although the Philippines has achieved a lot in the last decade, it’s still considered as a developing country because the per capita status of the Philippines GDP is below the requirement of a developed country. 

Do you think that online businesses have developed so far?

No, only a few have explored that region. The most important reason for you to start an online business in Philippines is – if you do it correctly, you won’t need much capital and paperwork.

5 Best Online Business Ideas in Philippines 2020

Who says you can’t start an online business in Philippines because of opportunities?

If you have not discovered online business opportunities in Southeast Asia so far, it means you have been looking in the wrong place. Here are some best online business ideas in Philippines.

Enter into A Service-based Southeast Asia Startup Ecosystem

If you already have a service-based business in Philippines, that’s great! You can turn that offline business of yours into an online business.

In my opinion, such businesses should fall in the hybrid category because you can represent them online, you can’t operate them worldwide unless you want to sell digital services. 

Speaking of digital services, why don’t you start a freelance business in Philippines? Do you have any skills? 

Google Says, Philippines Population is Really Tech Savvy

Start Freelancing in the Philippines

Freelancing is one of the easiest, simplest, and cost-effective ways to start a business in Philippines. You can even start a business by spending less than $100. Sounds cool, right? 

The bitter fact about freelancing is – it’s not for everyone. If you don’t have enough skills and tolerance, you can’t do it. 

Most importantly, you can’t earn while sleeping. The more you work, the more you earn. It’s not something you can automate.

Do you want to earn money while sleeping? Let me show you the best way. 

Sell Digital Products in Philippines 

Digital products can help you make money in sleep. From video courses to ebooks – there are many types of digital products.

It all depends on your talent and skills. As of now, some people are selling tickets and coupons in SE Asia.

Now the question is – how Digital products can help you make money while sleeping? 

Well, you can set up a system to deliver files in return for money. Yes, it’s possible and many people are already doing it. You can set up and forget it!

A Good System Shortens the Road to The Goal – Orison Swett Marden

Start A Philippines eCommerce Site

If you’re thinking about starting an online business, you must have heard about Amazon and Lazada.

Although these platforms work in almost every Southeast Asia country like Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, or Timor Leste, I wouldn’t recommend them as they charge high and always the credit.

What if I tell you that you can make the same kind of store on your own?

Most people don’t start Philippines eCommerce sites because of investment and lack of knowledge. If you have an investment problem, you should either try affiliate marketing or dropshipping.

If you don’t know how to build an eCommerce store in Southeast Asia, soon you can learn an easy way to build an eCommerce store without coding. 

“The Future Belong to Those Who Learn More Skills And Combine Them In Creative Ways” – Robert Greene

Leverage Dropshipping Business Model in Philippines

When you buy products at a particular price and sell them at a profitable price, it’s called dropshipping. 

The upside of dropshipping is – you don’t need to buy products in wholesale. As a matter of fact, if the supplier is good, you can buy it after getting an order. Isn’t it interesting and cost-efficient? 

In addition, many wholesale sites like Alibaba and AliExpress are available in South-East Asia.

If we compare dropshipping with eCommerce, you don’t need a lot of money.

Dropshipping can be a headache for some people. But still, its return on investment can take care of your headache.

If We Take An Average, A Dropshipper Makes $1K-$50K Per Month.

Start an Affiliate Marketing Business in Philippines 

After freelancing, Affiliate marketing is the easiest and simplest way to start a business in the ASEAN economy. 

Nowadays, many affiliate marketing programs in Philippines are available.

As a dropshipper, you have to take care of shipping companies in Asia. When you work as an affiliate marketer, you don’t need to take care of those matters. 

An affiliate marketer only sells a product online and earns commission for it. 

Unfortunately, affiliate marketing can’t help you as big as dropshipping can. 

Is Amazon Available in Philippines? 

There’s no Philippines version of Amazon. Whatever you buy on, it will come from the USA, which means shipping will be high as well. 

If you want to use a Southeast Asia eCommerce marketplace, you shouldn’t go for Amazon at all. Instead, I would recommend you to use Lazada, Shopee, or Zalora. 

If you truly love Amazon, you can become an affiliate. Currently, Amazon is giving 2-5% on every sale. And guess what? You can sell products across the USA without worrying about courier or returns. 

How to Setup an Online Business in Philippines 

You’re fortunate enough to live in such a great century because there are so many alternatives to start an online business in Philippines.

In other Southeastern Asia countries like Timor Leste, there’s lack of resources.

Some methods are cost-effective and some are not. You can pick the most suitable one. 

Why Don’t You Setup A Shopify Store in Philippines

Almost every professional business owner in Philippines is utilizing Shopify because of its ease and scalability. 

If you don’t know how to make a professional Southeast Asia eCommerce store, Shopify can help you build your own store in a couple of hours. Besides, you don’t need to pay big bucks to a web developer. 

To get comfortable with Shopify, you can read our Shopify tutorial from here

Downside: Shopify is a bit expensive for beginners. However, it gives a good return on income. 

Upside: The limit of Shopify’s scalability is above the sky. If your store becomes popular, you can handle it easily. 


Build a WordPress Website with WooCommerce 

WordPress is a one-stop solution for all of your Southeast Asia digital marketing needs. From blogging to an eCommerce store – you can represent almost everything on WordPress. 

A WordPress website can’t be made without a good domain name and Asia internet hosting. From my point of view, Bluehost is the best web hosting in Philippines.

Are you ready to start a WordPress website? Alright! Here’s how you can make it. 

Choose A Web Hosting Plan on Bluehost 

As you can see, there are 3 Asia web hosting plans on Bluehost. If it’s going to be your first WordPress website, you should go with a $3.95/month plan. 

How to Choose A Web Hosting Plan on Bluehost to start an online business in Philippines

Did you pick a plan? That’s great. Now is the time to set it up. 


Choose A Domain Name for Your Online Business 

A domain name represents your business. Before choosing any domain name, you should make it memorable and easy to pronounce. Otherwise, no one would remember your business. 

start an online business in Philippines with a good domain name

Never use any hyphen or special characters because people don’t remember it. 

Apart from this, you should choose your domain name extension carefully. 

Believe it or not! People will judge your ASEAN business based on your domain name extension. If you have a .tk domain name, customers will take you for granted. Therefore, you should choose your domain extension from the following list: 

  • .com
  • .in
  • .org
  • .net
  • .me 

Complete the Registration By Filling All the Necessary Details 

Fill all the basic details genuinely. Don’t fake your identity because the domain and hosting will be under your name officially. 

Bluehost web hosting registration process in philippiness

Once you fill all the details, you will be asked to take extras for security and other reasons. 

Fortunately, extras are optional. You don’t need to pay for them. If you don’t want anything, you may skip and move forward.

Bluehost extra packages in Philippines

Fill your card details to complete the purchase. 

How to purchase web hosting in Philippines on Bluehost

Install WordPress on Bluehost in SE Asia

Choose a strong password for your Bluehost cPanel. 

how to create a new password on Bluehost

Now, this is what I like the most about Bluehost. It provides a 1-click installation for WordPress. Just click on “Install WordPress.”

How to install wordpress on Bluehost in Philippines

Visit the credentials section and change the username and password so that next time you can log in using the same. 

how to change credentials on Bluehost

If you want to manage your newly made Southeast Asia website, search your website like this:

Finally, you can log in to your website by filling the credentials you made before. 

How to login to a WordPress website in Philippines
Generated button

Install A Theme to Make Your Website Attractive in Asia

If you want to install a WordPress theme for free, you need to follow these steps: 

  1. Visit the appearance section and click on “themes.” 
  2. Pick a theme or search it.  
  3. Hit the “install now.” 
How to install a theme on WordPress in Philippines

After theme selection, make important pages like privacy policy, terms & conditions, contact us, or blogs. 

Note: If you’re a freelancer or blogger, you don’t need WooCommerce. All you need is this blogging tutorial. From there, you can learn the right way to make a SEA blog. 

Install WooCommerce to Build an eCommerce Store on A WordPress Website 

WooCommerce is a magical plugin. It can turn your WordPress website into a professional eCommerce store. 

How to install woocommerce on WordPress in Philippines

Visit the plugins section and type “WooCommerce” in the search box to find the plugin. When you get it, click on the “install now” button. 

If you don’t know how to use it, you can grab the WooCommerce tutorial from here. 

Upside: It’s more affordable than Shopify

Downside: WooCommerce can’t beat Shopify’s scalability

Market Your Business on the Best eCommerce Stores Available in Philippines 

If you don’t have enough money to build an eCommerce store, you can leverage other Southeast Asia eCommerce platforms like: 

  • Galleon 
  • Argomall 
  • BeautyMNL 
  • Zalora 
  • Lazada 
  • Carousell Philippines

Although these platforms can help you sell products online without any cost, you may have to face paperwork and fees. 

How to Get Traffic for an Online Business in Philippines 

Traffic generation is one of the most important factors for your online business. If your store won’t get enough traffic, all of your hard work will turn to waste. 

In the Southeast Asia digital marketing world, your traffic decides your earning potential. Do you want to know how I drive my traffic? Okay, see! 

Get Into Asian e-marketing Facebook Groups 

Almost every member of ASEAN nations use Facebook for the sake of entertainment these days. What if I tell you that you can drive visitors from here? 

No, you don’t need to make a separate Facebook profile for doing so. You can join Facebook groups using your current Facebook profile for branding in Asia.. 

Once you join a Facebook group, you need to engage before sharing any links because group admins and Facebook itself are against spam. Do it naturally. 

As of 2020, There Are 77.85 Million Philippines Users on Facebook

Is Quora Available in Philippines?

Quora is an amazing platform for traffic generation in Asia digital marketing sphere. Back then, I have generated more than 5,000 visitors from there. 

Surprisingly, Quora can give you unlimited traffic potential because any answer of yours can get viral. But to attain that level, you should know about your field of work. 

If you can provide real solutions to needy ones, they would be happy to know more about your business.

Quora Has 300 Million Active Users Across the Globe

Use Paid Digital Ads in Philippines for e-marketing in Asia

Do you have an extra budget? Well, use that budget to save time. If you’re a true entrepreneur, you must already know that time is more precious than money. 

But before investing any amount, I recommend you to learn paid marketing tactics first. If you jump on board without knowledge, you will put your money in a dustbin. 

You can invest in Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Quora, Google Adwords, and Bing Ads. All these platforms will bring genuine traffic to your Southeast Asia website. 

What About Setting Up A Southeast Asia Blog?

Blogging is a long-term way to gain customers. It’s surprising to note that a perfectly carved blog with proper SEO can help you get consistent streams of customers within 6-12 months.

I know it’s a long time but it worth the effort. It’s a cost-effective solution. If you want to know more about it, you can read our free blogging tutorial.

Here’s A Summarization of What You Learned to Start An Online Business in Philippines 

  1. Choose a suitable business model 
  2. Research 
  3. Build an online business store or website 
  4. Drive traffic from free or paid sources 

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