· Brand experts scrutinize photos of products submitted by consumers to determine their authenticity
· Consumers can mail in the products for further examination if results of photo inspection are inconclusive
Consumers can verify the authenticity of products sold on Pinduoduo (PDD) through mini programs developed by the social commerce platform, as part of its program to safeguard the interests of the more than 600 million users who shop on its marketplace.
Let’s illustrate how such mini programs work through the shopping experience of a typical user — let’s call her Lydia — on PDD. While browsing on the PDD app to buy baby products for her newborn, Lydia was excited to find a good deal for Enfamil, a popular baby milk formula easily identifiable with the cartoon character Peter Rabbit on its label.
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But Lydia wasn’t sure if the Enfamil formula — produced by the U.S. company Mead Johnson — was authentic, and as a new mom, she wasn’t going to take any chances.
Luckily for her, she learned about a mini program developed by PDD, in collaboration with Mead Johnson, that allowed her to check if the product she was buying was authentic.
The mini program also let her track the journey of the baby formula from the factory to her doorstep. It verified manufacturing information and supply chain details, such as logistics and delivery, leaving little room for counterfeiters to switch with fakes along the distribution chain.
The Mead Johnson mini program is one of many that PDD is developing with different brands to help keep counterfeits at bay. Another one for a well-known cosmetic brand allows consumers to submit details and upload photos of lipsticks they deem suspicious. Brand experts then inspect these thoroughly to determine authenticity and generate a report. If authenticity cannot be determined from the photos, consumers may mail in the products for further examination.
Such mini programs reflect PDD’s continuous commitment toward building the trust of its more than 600 million users by tracking and removing counterfeits on its platform, and tailoring each program to the unique features of specific brands.
While PDD designs and maintains these mini programs on WeChat, brand owners train PDD’s staff to conduct preliminary checks and also promote these programs through their websites and social media channels so customers are made aware of such anti-counterfeiting measures.
In addition to tracking the products in the distribution network or having experts examine the products, these mini programs also encourage interactions between consumers and brands, in keeping with the transparency that defines PDD.