Nowadays, there are over 1 million sari-sari stores all over the country. These basically small neighborhood retail outlets will certainly remain stable in the Philippines. With the inevitable changes, even the sari-sari stores are foreseen to evolve in the next few years. Have you ever imagine what it would be like for the future sari-sari stores? That’s what the International Data Corp. (IDC), a US-based technology industry research and consultancy firm as tried to answer this question in the annual IDC FutureScapes briefing.
In accordance to them, the sari-sari stores will soon offer financial services like bills payment, electronic loading or phone credits and remittance services. Also, it will serve as payment channels for areas not reached by banks.
Furthermore, the firm also forecast that sari-sari stores will potentially widen the reach of giant businesses through getting into hard-to-reach area. Perhaps, the IDC market analyst Jerome Dominguez believes that sari-sari store have potential to sell airline tickets in the future. In fact, there are many business ventures that had been launched with the aim of helping sari-sari store owners. Such of it is the local tech startup Sari Software Solutions that has come up with a mobile phone app that can help store owners to manage their store better.
Sari-sari stores often offers a variety of products particularly the basic commodities that are available in almost all neighborhoods in the Philippines. However, its prices are higher than the supermarkets but it allows members of the community to have access to products without going to the nearest market town which may be far from the community. IDC Philippines stated, “By 2020, 30 percent of Philippines sari-sari stores will evolve to become another channel for one-stop payments and remittance centers. Sari-sari stores offer organizations looking to engage more in the rural areas a viable channel-an alternative to building brick-and-mortar branches, which may be cost-prohibitive to most companies.”
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