Lifestyle & Culture

Budol Buying: Is it Good or Bad?

You might hear the term “budol” a lot or have seen it on social media as a meme for splurging stuff online. And you may be wondering, “So what’s the deal with budol purchases?” Well, it has to do with a slang word that describes a type of online transaction. In a nutshell, it’s something we don’t necessarily something we need but we feel compelled to commit to buying anyway.

Budol has become synonymous with online shopping. It describes an immediate and impulsive decision to buy something you don’t need, just because it’s available. Some associate the word with scammers tricking people, but the economic opportunities through e-commerce suggests we add this new definition for good.

Keeping us afloat

When the pandemic hit, physical retail shopping immediately declined due to the implementation of lockdowns and early curfews, lack of public transportation, and some closure of business establishments. Without a doubt, this greatly affected the country’s economy. And yet, we also discovered how ready we were for such a challenge, thanks to e-commerce keeping our economy afloat.

As of today, millions of Filipinos have become online shoppers and are well-trained in budol purchases. They have shifted from physical space to the virtual space, with many doing online shopping right from their mobile devices. This has been crucial in keeping economic movement alive.

Before the pandemic, the Philippines actually ranked low in e-commerce compared to other Southeast Asian countries. We were not as e-commerce savvy as our neighbors, but the pandemic accelerated our shift to the online economy.

“In 2021, the Philippines eCommerce market sales reached $17 billion, largely contributed by 73 million online active users. This is estimated to reach $24 billion, with 17% growth through 2025.”

Sanity saver

It gets even better for this budol economy. Isolation during the lockdowns took a great toll on everyone’s well-being. Not to mention those who have experienced a decline in income, largely due to the loss of their primary source of livelihood. Although the pandemic forced people to abandon their jobs, it also created enormous opportunities for many displaced workers to learn e-commerce and take advantage of online platforms. Marketplace madness was born: with everyone’s favorite tita now selling everything online — from farm to table, baked goods, to skincare items and plants.

Most of the new online sellers are from MSMEs. These are store owners and sellers who were initially affected and displaced at the start of the pandemic. Thankfully, many of them have been thriving for the past few years as they’ve made the move to a platform or three. And on the consumer side, we have the e-commerce “na-budol” customers to thank for staying hungry.

RELATED: Better Normal – 4 Good Things to Adopt from the Pandemic

So whenever you purchase from your favorite e-commerce website or merchant, don’t feel too bad. Specially if it’s local! That’s money you’re circulating, feeding industries, keeping people on the job, and ultimately producing value. Your “budol purchase” goes a long way to building a better new normal for everybody.

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