Counterfeit goods dupe one in six online shoppers

2,000 websites have been closed for selling fake goods since January according to a new report.

MarkMonitor research shows one in 28 will actively seek fakes online.

New research by brand protection service MarkMonitor has shown that one in 28 consumers willingly search for fake goods online, while one in six innocent shoppers are tricked by the quality and presentation of counterfeit websites.

MarkMonitor’s latest Shopping Report gathered data from more than 285,000 online users in the United States and across five European countries to determine whether they were visiting legitimate or counterfeit websites. It also studied shoppers’ intent-to-buy by analyzing search terms, including ‘counterfeit’, ‘fake’ or ‘replica’ compared to bargain-seeking terms like ‘cheap’, ‘discount’ or ‘outlet’.

The study found the number of people seeking legitimate goods at discounted prices outweighed fake-seekers by 28 to one across the United States and Europe. This represents a positive change compared to an earlier study, which found a ratio of 20 deal-seekers to every one buyer of fake goods.

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The MarkMonitor report suggests just one in 10 consumers are likely to accidently stumble upon a rogue website, compared to one in five in an earlier report. However, the study did show that customers who do click on sites selling counterfeit goods are likely to be taken-in by the ruse. Roughly one in six shows signs of ‘intent to purchase’ according to the company.

MarkMonitor chief marketing officer Fredrick Felman, commented: “Savvy shoppers are continuously looking online for deals and are falling victim to counterfeiters who have camouflaged themselves as legitimate purveyors of desirable goods, changing the rules of the game in brand protection. The findings from our Shopping Report stress the importance for brands of developing proactive strategies to safeguard their brands so customer trust is not undermined by illicit digital activities.”

Additionally, the MarkMonitor Shopping Report examined shopper demographics, including age, gender, income, education levels, and household size.

In Europe, the 43% of counterfeit website shoppers were in the 31 to 50 age range, followed closely web browsers in the 18-30 age range (25%). Additionally, MarkMonitor found women are more likely to shop on websites selling fake goods at 53%.

Felman continues: “In today’s digital world, rogue sites can fool even the most experienced shoppers, whether an aspirational consumer or a brand loyalist. “Brands that take steps to ensure that brand-jackers do not come between them and the consumer realize a positive return on investment across all channels.”

The full MarkMonitor Shopping Report can be viewed here.

 

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