Federick Levy, the French co-founder and chief executive of CashCashPinoy.com describes an e-commerce website as a shop that never sleeps.
Levy says CashCashPinoy.com is one such shop, and it keeps him on his toes 90 percent of the time. In the past four years, CashCashPinoy.com has become a buzz word in the Philippine e-commerce industry.
Launched in 2010, the website has become the “go to” site for Filipino consumers who look for products to buy online.
The CashCashPinoy.com founders saw the opportunity for e-commerce business in the archipelago by proposing an online platform where Filipinos could find whatever they wanted, from electronic gadgets to fashion accessories, from restaurant discount vouchers to home furniture, from travel offers to beauty treatments and many more at discounted prices.
“Filipinos are deal-driven consumers. They buy anything as long as it is a good deal. If the deal is good, they buy it. Filipinos are very smart consumers. They are very aware of pricing and value for money,” Levy says.
Married to a Filipina, Levy came to the Philippines in 2007, looking for business opportunities in the digital space.
Levy says while he initially looked at Singapore and Hong Kong to put up his business venture, he finally decided to invest in the Philippines.
He says the strong English-speaking work force and exciting possibilities in the country’s budding digital space convinced him that the Philippines “is a land of opportunity.”
In 2007, Levy and his partners founded NetBooster, the number one digital agency in the Philippines with representations in Manila, Shanghai and Jakarta.
“I’m a digital veteran, used to do that a very long time. I created the first digital agency in the 90s in Europe named Rouge. So I had significant experience on digital,” Levy says.
Levy says he felt he came to the Philippines at the right time when there was demand from the market, but there was no specific structure to address such needs.
He says NetBooster became a quick and spectacular success, handling well-known brands in the country. Levy then looked at the emerging e-commerce industry and what business opportunities can be derived from it.
“We saw some impressive data. The appetite for digital by Filipinos was very high so we saw that as an opportunity to jump to the next milestone, which is e-commerce,” he says.
In 2010, CashCashPinoy.com became the first professional e-commerce business in the country. Levy says Filipinos became aware of the potential of the Internet on e-commerce with the launch of Cebu Pacific’s P1 fare.
He says Filipinos were encouraged to go online if they wanted to get the chance of getting low fares from Cebu Pacific. “Cebu Pacific forced Filipinos to buy online the P1 fare,” he says.
Levy says e-commerce transactions are more convenient and provides Filipinos with access to good quality goods at discounted prices,
“I really believe CashCashPinoy has a social effect, social responsibility to Filipinos, How many Filipinos have access to goods, places in the world that they did not have access?” he says.
CashCashPinoy.com buyers range from 18 years old and above with 65 percent women and 35 percent men. It currently has over 1.2 million members.
According to Levy, the first purchase of CashCashPinoy.com buyers is a critical one. The challenge is to keep consumers interested in what CashCashPinoy.com has to offer,
“If someone buys one time, that means we’ve failed…There’s not a lot of e-commerce in the country, so a lot of those buying on CashCash, they’re buying for first time. But once they purchase, they realize there’s nothing to fear,” he says.
CashCashPinoy.com currently has a 64-percent repurchasing rate, which is quite high in the e-commerce industry.
Levy also believes that there is still a very huge untapped buyers market out there. “On that angle, evangelization is part of the process. We still need to reassure them. We have to have very appealing products to the consumers,” he says.
Levy says CashCashPinoy.com is considered a “private shopping club” which means that the company has to continuously offer something new to its consumers.
The company also has to keep pace with technology developments at all times. “Now 60 percent of our users is mobile-based. We have to consider that for the next version of CashCash,” Levy says.
“We need to continue innovating at CashCash to improve the consumer experience. That’s what makes the job exciting,” he says.
CashCashPinoy.com has made available cash on delivery, as a response to consumer demand. It also launched a phone support structure, in addition to chat and e-mail because it is what the consumers want.
Levy’s management style of an open office structure has helped the company grow into what it is today. As a start up firm, Levy has to oversee everything, design not only the digital setup, but also the office layout as well.
“A company like us, we call it a start up. If they have a specific name, it’s for good reasons. If you arrive in something, you have to build it from scratch. So you’re pioneering, you’re from zero, you have no mistake to avoid, you are the one leading the way,” he says.
“Here, there is no office because transmission of information is critical. I don’t have an office, only a desk in the middle of my team,” he says.
Levy says another challenge he encountered along the way is that a lot of people needed to be trained. Eventually, he found out that some people rose to the occasion and thus were given the promotion they deserved.
Today, CashCashPinoy.com employs 120 people, of whom only three are foreigners. “Here everybody can talk to me about everything. Everybody has their five minutes to prove me that I’m wrong or whatever,” Levy says.
Levy says he listens to everyone regardless of their ranks in the workforce, because “a good idea can come from everywhere.”
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.