For the digital shopper, trust and authenticity are king


Words by

Guest Writer

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 billion 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. Sound familiar? This scenario highlights one of the biggest problems in the age of online shopping—building trust and authenticity.

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 might be their looks (packaging, description) and when you make the purchase and start dating you get to know them better, finding out if the product really matches the packaging. The information you’ll gather then becomes the basis of whether you stay in the relationship, or move on to the next one.

To help buyers, online platforms have implemented all sorts of online 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 help 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.

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. Most importantly, it 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  that emphasizes scalable operations. But if we’re approaching our online purchases the way we approach building new relationships, trust and authenticity are absolutely the only way to go. After the initial purchase, we go back to a platform if we know it sells authentic items, is transparent with its pricing and promotions, and strives to build trust with its customers.

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 platforms like streamline that process by posting a single price for each item, shipping fee included.

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.