With the COVID-19 pandemic, people all over the world sought to bring a semblance of normalcy in their lives. Filipinos are no different and have looked towards technology to bridge the gap between how things were versus what they are now.
The ECQ and travel restrictions thrust the internet and digital applications into the forefront of the average Filipino. We have seen accelerated adoption of critical applications that would allow people to enjoy things that can be easily taken for granted—a favorite dish, a hobby, a wanted toy, or just the simple joy of being connected to a friend.
In the recent Digital 2020 April Statshot report of Hootsuite and We Are Social, the Philippines showed increased reliance on the internet as a means to cope and to safely shop for essentials. 64% of Filipino internet users reported spending more time on social media, while 23% of users shared that they are spending more time shopping online.
"The current circumstances could be more devastating if we did not have digital tools to support us. Two years ago, we started to push the organization to adopt all things digital, especially in our operations. We felt it was the right thing to do," said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.
Now Globe is doing the same thing for its customers, pushing various digital applications including digital payments for easier and more convenient ways to do transactions. Whether paying bills, buying load, looking up data usage, or pulling up a monthly statement, all these are served up through Globe’s mobile apps: the Globe One and TM app for mobile users and the Globe At Home app for broadband users. There's also the Globe Rewards app so customers can redeem their loyalty points through several partner merchants or services. So far, customers are embracing the new ways of doing things as seen by the increasing daily app downloads since the start of the quarantine period.
As more companies, whether big or small enterprises pivot towards work from home arrangements, there will be a significant reliance on internet access and e-commerce to keep businesses afloat.
“As we emerge from this crisis and collectively shape our new normal, the telecommunications sector must find new ways to serve customers. We are looking at more self-serve channels to empower our customers more," adds Cu.
How the sector will address the challenges remain to be seen. For sure, one thing remains clear, the internet alongside food, shelter, and clothing is the new essential. Going digital may yet be the new normal.