Your friend’s birthday’s coming up, so you go to your favorite online shop searching for the perfect gift, only to be greeted with a gazillion choices from merchants you’ve never even heard of. So instead of basking in the convenience of online shopping, you leave the site more stressed than before. Sounds familiar? It should, because this scenario highlights one of the problems in age of online shopping – trust and authenticity.


Online shopping has truly revolutionized the way we buy stuff. Right now, we can practically buy anything online – from clothes, to food, to even cars! But the immense convenience that online shopping offers isn’t without its set of challenges. Obviously, we cannot physically examine products, so descriptions, pictures, and reviews have become our go-to resources when it comes to deciding whether something belongs to our cart or not.


It’s a bit like looking for a relationship (bear with me on this). The first thing you notice when you meet someone is the looks (packaging, description) and when you start being together (after purchase) you begin to find out if he or she is as you perceive them to be (verification of features). The information you’ll gather then becomes the basis whether you stay in the relationship or get out and look for another one (next purchase). Simple, right?


To help out buyers, online platforms have implemented all sorts of website features and functions to give us as much information as possible. Not sure how a certain dress will fit? The product listing probably includes a picture of a woman wearing the dress, complete with the model’s measurements. Some shops even show videos of the products in use to make us visualize how we can use the product after purchase.


But aside from the products themselves, we also have the problem if figuring out if what we’re looking at actually even exist! We’ve all been there: we type a product on the search bar and we’re presented with tons of choices of the same item with different ratings, different prices, and different brands from different shops! The biggest challenge? Finding out which ones are legit, have fair prices, and will actually get delivered to you. Whew!


What are our options?


This is why platforms such as are quite refreshing. Founded in 2015 by Filipino-owned conglomerate Transnational Diversified Group, Argomall operates with a simple premise: Let’s make consumers trust us by selling only authentic products with fair prices and simplifying the buying process. It also uses human customer service representatives instead of bots or automated responses to better serve its customers.


Building relationships with customers is a peculiar strategy in a digital world usually dictated by consumerism and advertisements. It makes sense though because as mentioned before, we decide whether to buy stuff in a manner similar to  when we choose our personal relationships. After the initial purchase, we go back to a platform if it sells authentic items, is transparent with its pricing and promotions, and strives to build trust among its patrons.


While it’s well and good that a platform is truthful about its product descriptions or terms, we often have a limited budget to work with, so price really matters. Having dozens of versions of the same item with vastly different prices (not to mention hidden charges, fake discounts, or bogus markdowns) only serve to confuse buyers, so it’s really a boon that sites like Argomall only post a single price for each item, which already includes shipping fee.


In the end, we as consumers have the responsibility of choosing which sites can best serve our needs. We shouldn’t just go to an online shop just because it’s popular. What if they don’t have a clear policy when it comes to returns or refund of items? What if they don’t care much about your privacy and data? These are among the new set of considerations we must think about in the digital world, and fortunately, we now have alternative websites and platforms like Argomall (which even provides Philippine warranty for all items) that address them.


Does putting emphasis on trust, transparency and authenticity really the way to go in the digital age? Time will tell. But knowing what really is important to customers is a huge step towards gaining their confidence and building meaningful and reliable relationships. And sometimes, that is all that is needed.

By eccentricyethappy

Christian Melanie Lee is a freelance community manager/social media manager, chatbot builder, social media consultant, and web developer. She is managing her other blogs under lifestyle, food, music/concert, and Hallyu niche. Last August 2020, her first website project, Choose Khiphop is one of the news authority about Korean Hiphop. Five months later, she and her friends formed a podcast called +82 Khiphop Podcast. In 2018, she had her stint as The Itchyworms' social media manager which led her to do music photography in her spare time. A year later, she had a short stint as road manager for the local band, Join The Club. Currently working as freelance community manager and music photographer.

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