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TrustedCompany Aims to Alleviate Trust Issues Between Online Consumers and Companies

Aulia Masna - 26 November 2013

Signs of an early stage Internet-based economy include the rapid increase in the number of all kinds of websites and services that let people sell and buy things online regardless of their nature. The near instantaneous appearances of these services only serve to seed doubts among consumers as to their trustworthiness. Some sites develop trust faster than others but there hasn't really been a place where you can find this out for yourself for Indonesian sites.

Backed by Asia Venture Group, TrustedCompany is a website that aims to pull together all the reviews for companies operating across Southeast Asia. In other regions, online business reputation reviews are nothing new. Sites like Yelp and Bazaarify help consumers to decide whether the companies are trustworthy and reliable.

Asia Venture Group's founder Tim Marbach told DailySocial during Startup Asia Jakarta last week that the emergence of e-commerce and other online companies requires consumers to be more conscious of their options and what is available out there. The difficulties in determining the legitimacy of online shops or marketplaces is becoming more pronounced, so having a site like TrustedCompanies should be able to alleviate that issue.

Frederik Krass, co-founder and Managing Director of TrustedCompany said in a statement, "Today, consumers in Asian emerging markets visiting e-commerce sites have no means of validating the merchant behind the respective site and whether they are actually trustworthy and reliable. In many cases that would lead to the consumer not placing an order with that merchant or online at all, but rather sticking to traditional offline retail channels".

The presence of valid customer feedback has been regarded as one of the ways for companies to validate their presence and to show potential customers that they can safely engage with these companies. As a site that collects customer reviews, TrustedCompany offers merchants tools and services to collect, display, and share customer reviews on their own site. The cost of the tools cost start from $11.95 per month.

TrustedCompany display on its website the top and bottom five of the companies that have already been reviewed. At this stage, the bottom five companies in Indonesia have scores of 3.4 or 3.5 out of the possible five where as the top five range from 3.8 to 4.1. If you convert that score to a ten-point scale, it doesn't look too bad with companies getting no less than a 68% rating.

Of course, it all comes back to the consumes themselves whether they are willing to conduct business or purchase items from these companies based on these reviews. Some of the best companies in the world with top consumer ratings can some times deliver a terrible customer experience, so sites like TrustedCompanies can only go so far as providing a aggregated reviews.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos once said "Reviews are the joint single biggest conversion factor along with price". Krass added, “We want to increase the transparency in the market and help consumers differentiate between the good merchants and the bad merchants. For good merchants that will mean they will be able to make more revenue using TrustedCompany.com”.

Based in Hong Kong and Malaysia, TrustedCompany is founded by Frederik Krass, Philip Knuth, and Adam Leow Kah Thong and operates across Southeast Asia and India.

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