As holiday shoppers increasingly move to the internet for purchasing gifts, it’s not surprising that this year’s Cyber Monday surpassed 2016 by 16.8% in total sales (according to Adobe Digital Insights). Cyber Monday 2017 marked the largest U.S. online sales day in history, at $6.59 billion in sales.
While great for economic growth, the increase in internet purchases creates its own set of problems for both consumers and retailers – mainly the sale of counterfeit goods. The world-wide-web is inundated with dishonest e-commerce websites selling and shipping fake products to unsuspecting buyers. The anonymity of the internet has allowed counterfeiters to exploit trusted marketplaces and veil themselves behind unauthorized domains and fictitious social media profiles while preying on naïve consumers. The sale of imitation goods not only negatively impacts the revenue and reputation of the authentic brand but also threatens consumer health and safety.
To protect themselves from fraudulent transactions, online purchasers should:
- Buy directly from the retailer/manufacturer web site
- Compare pricing – if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- Look closely – misspelled names, incorrect logos and/or altered images are signs your item is not authentic
To deter counterfeit sales, brand owners should build consumer awareness and employ an online monitoring solution to their brand protection strategy.
One such solution is OpSec’s Online InSight platform, which provides continuous monitoring of eCommerce and social media sites to detect and enforce against intellectual property infringement and the sales of counterfeit products.
Counterfeiters will not give up easily. Neither can we.
Eric Paul is OpSec’s Senior Director of Sales. He has over 12 years experience in developing, implementing and managing brand authentication programs for global companies. Concentrating on protecting client’s revenues and their products from counterfeiting, gray market diversion, and online exposure. He works in with various industries including Apparel, Automotive, Consumer Electronics Apparel, Government and Licensing.