Wins, challenges, and learnings: a look back at Payo’s 2021

2021 was, more than anything, a year of big change. This was evident in global and local events, the E-commerce industry, and our very own company – Payo. 

As the leading E-commerce enabler in the Philippines, we adapted and changed with the times. We found ways to turn challenges into opportunities, especially when it came to helping our merchants. To better illustrate the different ways our company evolved this year, we asked our CEO and six other Payo team members to share their thoughts on 2021 as a whole.

2021 in a nutshell

When it comes to how the E-commerce industry has grown, Payo CEO Liron Gross shared that online shopping transitioned from being an option to an essential. She believes that E-commerce is here to stay, even after the pandemic ends. “COVID-19 brought this cloud of uncertainty, but amid that, you can see how E-commerce established itself as a primary way for customers to shop,” she said. 

To address this transition, Payo took its logistics strategy and fulfillment service in the Philippines to the next level, mainly by putting up multiple warehouses across the country. This helped our merchants reach customers nationwide with ease.

As Payo expanded its operations, its team also grew. For Multimedia Designer Anjeli Celaje, this helped her focus on the work she wanted to do. “I think this year has been my most productive one yet, especially since the Marketing team has grown. All of us came together and planned where we wanted to take the brand. As an artist, I finally got to work on materials that have a positive impact on the company.”

The challenges along the way

If there’s one thing that was certain for 2021, it was change. And with change sometimes came challenges. Customer Service Manager Herbert Concina experienced this when his team was reduced to nearly half its size. However, that didn’t stop the Customer Service team from powering through. “We had less manpower, which meant making some adjustments as a team. Still, we were able to hit our department target, which shows that teamwork and communication are essential when it comes to overcoming challenges.”

Similarly, Billing and Collections Head Lea Anyayahan saw how change could make things more difficult. With the pressure to shift to hybrid offices, her team did their best to find a setup that works best for them. “My team isn’t used to working remotely. We were used to working the ‘old school’ way, meaning a lot of manual processes and physical documents,” she shared. “But as time passed, we adapted and overcame the challenges of this new normal. This eventually helped us improve our processes.” 

Our moments of success

Despite some challenges, Payo also experienced many wins and hit many milestones this 2021. Beyond our company’s growth in numbers, Payo gradually made a transition into something more holistic over the past year. “Payo now has a much stronger business model. Add this to the IT improvements we made and the establishment of our Marketing team, and you get a much more efficient and reliable company,” shared Jean Rollon, Payo’s Office Manager. 

Our CEO Liron also put emphasis on how our merchants’ growth has been one of the biggest indicators of Payo’s success. 

“We have seen just how much our merchants can grow with us, and it’s amazing because our merchants’ wins are also ours,” she said. “Some merchants would start with just a few orders in a week, and then seven or eight months later they’re shipping hundreds of orders on a regular basis. I definitely feel that any time something like that happens, it’s also the company’s win.”

Hopes for the new year

As our team says goodbye to 2021, we look forward to what 2022 has in store for us. Senior Data Scientist Brent Carbonera is most excited about executing projects that his department has worked on for the past year. “I foresee even more growth for Payo in 2022. This year, we focused on building a solid foundation for analytics. Next year, we will leverage this to deliver better and more relevant insights to the organization. We have a lot of things planned for 2022 that will surely have an amazing impact on Payo and its merchants,” he said. 

And amid the different plans that our departments have for the coming year, there’s one hope that persists – that we can finally get past the COVID-19 pandemic. Business Development Manager Tristan Gomez shared this sentiment in his message for the team. “I just want to tell the Payo team that I’m thankful to be part of this family. I hope things continue to get better so that I can share my passion and energy with everyone in person. That would be really fun!” 

Ultimately, 2021 taught us countless lessons and pushed us to constantly innovate. As a team, we’re excited to continue making E-commerce simple and easy for merchants this coming 2022 and beyond. 

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