If You're After Job Satisfaction, Study Says You Should Consider a Career in Ecommerce

It’s a young but vibrant industry.

Most people work for a living but many don’t really like their job. Then there are those lucky enough to actually enjoy what they do. Different industries have varying levels of job satisfaction, and there have been multiple studies that have attempted to measure which jobs and industries provide the highest levels of happiness and fulfillment. 

Meta search website iPrice’s study is the latest to take a peek into workers’ satisfaction, specifically in the field of ecommerce, which has seen a boom in the region in recent years. Compared to more traditional industries such as hospitality, retail, and real estate, ecommerce only started in the 1990s and gained traction over the last 10 years or so, especially in Southeast Asia. It’s in this vein that iPrice conducted a study and asked the question of whether workers in this sector are happy and satisfied with what they’re doing.

Polling employees working in the top three ecommerce platforms with the highest web traffic in each country in Southeast Asia, iPrice found that they don’t seem to mind working in the industry. In all seven countries surveyed, ratings were average to above-average (from a three-star to a 4.3-star rating). Half or more of these employees said they would even recommend ecommerce companies as a workplace to their friends, while ecommerce CEOs have really high approval ratings (66 percent to 97 percent) from their employees.

Photo by iPrice.

Indonesians are the most satisfied with the ecommerce industry as a workplace. According to iPrice’s data gathered from Glassdoor, Indonesians give these e-commerce companies a 4.3-star rating, 90 percent of participants would recommend these companies to a friend, and 97 percent of them approve of their CEOs.

Filipino employees in ecommerce companies came in second, with the top three ecommerce companies earning a 3.8-star rating. About 76 percent of them would recommend the companies to friends, and 87 percent of them approve of their CEOs. This is an intriguing statistic considering that the Philippines has one of the lowest average industry salaries ($588 per month) among the seven countries. Only Vietnam ranked lower ($394 average salary per month).

On the other end other end of the spectrum, Singaporeans were the most unsatisfied working in the ecommerce industry (giving their employers an average of only three stars) despite earning the highest salary among all the countries surveyed ($3,116 per month). According to the survey, just over half of them (53 percent) would recommend these companies to a friend, and only 66 percent of them approve of the CEO.  

The iPrice study also looked at gender diversity in the ecommerce industry and found that there is still a gap between men and women, particularly at the topmost level of the professional hierachy. Only 31 percent of women have C-level roles, while the rest of the 69 percent are held by men. 

Photo by iPrice.
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In the VP position, the story isn’t that much different. Sixty-two percent of vice presidents in Southeast Asia’s top ecommerce companies are men with women occupying the remaining 38 percent.

However, the gap narrows in senior vice president (SVP) and department head roles. Forty-four percent of the top ecommerce SVPs are women and 56 percent are men, while 41 percent of department heads women and 59 percent are men. 

Overall, according to iPrice, there is a 60-40 disparity between men and women when it comes to being in positions of power. Not so bad considering that a 2020 analysis by Mercer of over 1,100 organizations worldwide found only 23 percent of executives, 29 percent of senior managers, 37 percent of managers, 42 percent of professionals, and 47 percent of support staff were women. 

Comparing all seven countries surveyed in the iPrice study, Hong Kong has the highest percentage of women in power in the top ecommerce companies in Southeast Asia, with 55 percent.  Vietnam and Thailand follow at 46 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

In the Philippines, only 39 percent of these top-level ecommerce industry positions are held by women. (AN interesting side note is that, in a previous iPrice study in 2018, the Philippines had the most women in top-level positions, suggesting that there has been a decline in women assuming positions of power in the industry since then).

Malaysia (37 percent), Indonesia (36 percent), and Singapore (35 percent) have the least women in power in the ecommerce industry in Southeast Asia.


Employees' gender and position are based on LinkedIn data of the top three ecommerce platforms with the highest web traffic in each country. The top ecommerce platforms were derived from Map of E-commerce in Q3 2020 that have LinkedIn pages



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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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