As soon as Thanksgiving comes around, sales abound, and retailers are offering deep discounts to encourage consumers to buy gifts for loved ones. Counterfeiters are also aware that this is the easiest time to scam consumers—even the most educated consumers are less suspicious of discounted prices during this time of year.
Online shopping has reached new highs with ecommerce sales totaling $1.73 billion on Thanksgiving day alone and a whopping 57% of that traffic coming from mobile devices. US shoppers spent $822 million online between midnight and 11 am on Black Friday, according to latest numbers from the Adobe Digital Index, a 15% increase over last year. And Cyber Monday sales marked a 16% increase over last year with sales totaling $3.07 billion. As more shoppers choose to take advantage of online holiday deals, more scams will continue to take place.
On Cyber Monday, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) in partnership with industry and law enforcement agencies from 27 countries shutdown over 37,000 websites selling counterfeit goods. This is the sixth successful year of Operation in Our Sites. IPR Center director, Bruce Foucart, said the center will continue to collaborate with international agencies to protect consumers from purchasing counterfeit goods online.
Collaborative action on local and federal levels can lead to successful efforts to protect brands and consumers alike from counterfeit activity. For brands, especially those which are highly counterfeited, monitoring and enforcement are also key. As part of a robust brand protection strategy, understanding the market dynamics and being cognizant of the increase in counterfeit goods and scams during the holiday season can help brands gear up for any increase in illicit behavior.
Here are five things brands can do to protect their consumers from purchasing counterfeit products online:
1) Publish a list of authorized retailers & resellers on your website so that consumers know where to buy authentic product
2) Monitor the internet and social media sites for IP infringement and sale of counterfeit products
3) Shut down illegal sites and listings and cut-off counterfeiters revenue streams by deactivating payment processers
4) Use authentication technology and mobile apps to deter counterfeiters and make it easy for consumers to verify
5) Take appropriate legal steps to stop the counterfeiters, such as cease & desist letters or litigation
With increased consumer demand during the holidays for online bargains, it’s easy for counterfeiters to dup even the savviest consumers, which can cause them to lose confidence in the brands they trust. Brands need to take action to protect their revenues and consumers from counterfeits. Staying on top of new developments in this world and finding ways to stop counterfeiting is one our top priorities at OpSec. Our Online Insight™ platform arms you with the intelligence you need to protect your brand.
Learn more about our Online Brand Protection Solutions