Fake Commerce

Wired has recently covered a ‘drop shipping’ predicament which is literally polluting e-commerce in an article titled “It’s bullshit”.https://www.wired.co.uk/article/dropshipping-instagram-ads

You may be wondering why does Wired magazine care about someone making money online? If someone is willing to buy a product, that should be OK? Right? 

Not entirely. 

It’s important to highlight the fact that technology is now allowing pretty advanced product visualization, which is far removed from the real thing. Those running the sale machine say they don’t even see the product that is being shipped. There is zero quality assurance. If you are reading this, you are most likely quite sophisticated in how the digital world works. A quick search for the product shows it’s on Alibaba for a fraction of the price – minus the attractive backgrounds. 

However under current lock-down, many consumers are for the first time buying products advertised on Facebook. Weeks go by, and by the time you receive your disappointing item – the money you have paid is spent on more advertising. 

Apart from the less digitally savvy shoppers, the main issue is with pollution.

It’s not just about the planet – with every product coming with an air mile burden attached to it. There is also the fact that many products are going in the bin due to poor quality. (More on that in the May blog) 

There is another kind of pollution to take into account. The commerce kind. With many of the drop-shippers being disproportionately active on the platforms like Shopify, it’s affecting all the beloved artisans and real product developers and small business owners who are genuinely offering wonderful products. 

Those contrary to drop-shippers are focusing on developing the product and are looking at online as an alternative to a store to survive the lock-down.  

I agree with Wired and hence why I decided to provide my take on the subject. Like Wired, at Flow City, we are passionate about the quality, value as well as innovative engineering. 

I trust that the consumers will show their position loud and clear. I am full of optimism for the quality of local brands and I believe that the public will vote with their feet and money. 

Let us use the post lock-down time to stop and appreciate the story of the Product Builder and the journey behind that product before it reaches us.