Amazon and consumer confidence
The opening of a customer service center by American online retail giant Amazon here in Cebu City is yet another feather in the cap for Cebu’s competitive business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
I hope, even if it’s quite the pipe dream, that it would lead to building an actual physical storage and shipping center either in Cebu City or neighboring Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu cities, for delivering goods ordered online from and to all points nationwide and beyond, to Asia and the rest of the global market.
Doing that, however, means they would be in direct competition with Lazada which is reportedly aligned with Chinese online retail giant Ali Baba.
Both are seeking to dominate Asian e-commerce and the Philippines is considered one of its vital markets.
Amazon opening a Cebu City customer services center may or may not be viewed as a sign for either Lazada and Ali Baba to step up its game since e-commerce has yet to make significant inroads in the Philippine consumer market compared to what they and Amazon had achieved in their respective home countries.
As far as I can tell, Filipino consumers still prefer to shop in malls and stores because they enjoy doing so—yes, even in traffic plagued Metro Manila especially when there is a special sale during holidays and the onset of the school season when bargains are aplenty and an essential for every family.
Ordering online may be resorted to as a final option when households feel that wading through hours-long traffic on a blistering hot summer afternoon is too much of an ordeal to endure. The Filipino consumer can only take so much for one day.
And even then, horror stories of defective products and double-dealing customers are enough to make the average consumer pause before making orders online. To their credit though, Lazada and other online retail companies are doubling efforts and promoting warranties to shore up consumer confidence in their merchandise.
I believe Lazada has an actual storage facility or two in Manila that houses the merchandise to be sold online to their customers. I had experienced ordering one product from them late last year, September or October if memory serves me right.
The detachable black faux leather bound bluetooth keyboard cover for a mobile device I owned came three days as promised in their website. For P1,650, it was a reasonably priced deal especially since the product in question cost double that price three years ago. Based on that experience, I have a little more confidence navigating through online retail sites for bargain deals on products.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.