The first time I ventured to look at what was being sold in Shein, the Chinese fashion macrottore that has become the great revolution in fashion, my sister was quick to alert me. “Before buying anything, read the comments very well,” he told me.
Reading the opinions of others is almost like a mandatory piece in online shopping, but in this case it is the golden rule before launching to buy. Opinions are, he explained, what helps to separate what is good and what is not worth it at all.
Navigating that online store is, in fact, quite overwhelming. The number of products is very high and choosing now or what to buy if not what to see seems like an exhausting decision. For consumers, in general and throughout e-commerce, that is a growing problem.
Not only is choice fatigue, a problem that has accentuated the fact that the internet has almost a number of options that seem limitless, but also not being very clear about what you are going to find when you decide what to buy. Separating the brands that are worthwhile from those that are not, and products that are good from those that are not, is increasingly difficult.
Even getting carried away by the multiple ads on social networks that try to convince us to buy online, it seems increasingly difficult to differentiate not only the products but also the stores themselves. Is the store that the ad is directing us to legit and good or is it one of those dropshipping stores or – much worse – completely illegitimate? E-commerce has become much more complex than ever and the user shopping experience is starting to feel like a kind of penance at times.
An avalanche of brands
As they conclude in The Washington Post , which has just devoted an analysis to this reality, whether buying online following the advertising recommendations on Facebook or Instagram or trying to find a product on Amazon, Google or (where appropriate) Walmart, It is becoming more and more common to come across brands that have never been heard of. Sometimes they are brands that are starting and making their way.
In others, it is much more complicated than that. As e-commerce moves more and more money, more brands – and more colors – try to take a share of the pie. This has led to consumers having to do a bit of extra work. They have to be able to detect what is good and what is not, what is legitimate and what is not. The problem is that doing it is increasingly difficult. Shopify is such an easy-to-use tool that anyone can open an online store.
An extra effort
Buyers, they point out in the Post’s analysis , have had to become a kind of researchers, a kind of academics of online shopping, capable of differentiating as many nuances as possible. The problem, as one expert on the matter explains, is that consumers have not been educated to do this job.
Even, no matter how much knowledge you have about the internet and its problems, ending up biting is not that complicated. For legitimate brands trying to position themselves, it’s one more drag they have to fight against.