Brand Protection Insights

Counterfeiters Head-Over-Heels for Booming Singles' Holiday

By chrissie jamieson, Global Head of Marketing 

Too many products to count? That’s just enough for counterfeiters. 

Shoppers numbering in the hundreds of millions. Endless promotions. Virtual shopping chases. Chinese Singles’ Day has become quite the multibillion dollar shopping – and counterfeiting – frenzy. 

Imposters know this, and that’s how they hijack money and equity from rightful brand owners. In one survey, 46 percent of recipients identifying as Chinese affirmed that they had purchased a counterfeit online, by accident. Meanwhile, about four out of five said that they regularly shop for authentic goods, not fakes. Like the customer who bought a computer hard drive and received four ceramic tiles instead, most shoppers are looking for the real thing; they just need help finding it.


Wanted: Quality goods

Singles’ Day has seen a growing trend in demand for high-quality goods from the U.S. and Europe. Many big names now see the holiday as a key opportunity, with the number of non-Chinese brands promoting products on one marketplace alone more than doubling in recent history. Last year, sales spanned 14,000+ brands across 200+ nations. Top sellers included Apple, Nike and Siemens. 

Research shows that many consumers see it as a brand’s job to protect them from fakes, so it’s important to know what listings your consumer sees. If counterfeits sold under your brand name — particularly health and wellness goods — land in the hands of well-meaning consumers, it could put both their health, and your reputation, at risk. Best practices like this apply equally to events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which pull in a fraction of sales compared to the Chinese holiday but lead the U.S. in online retail shopping days. 

Singles’ Day sales continue to see exponential growth. In 2016, the total was said to reach $17+ billion. In its first hour, the holiday drove 175,000 orders per second (Black Friday and Cyber Monday pulled in around $5 billion – when combined). 

It’s not like the threat of counterfeiting is new, but the sheer magnitude of available product leaves shoppers more vulnerable to buying fakes. For this reason, some marketplaces have joined the effort to protect consumers. Tmall, a spinoff from Alibaba Group’s online shopping giant Taobao, reportedly adjusted merchant fees to weed out infringing listings. 

Pervading problem — new solution

Singles’ Day transactions happen on an enormous scale, so efforts to combat counterfeiters need to be targeted.

It’s best to employ a consumer-focused brand protection strategy that allows you to see the same infringements your consumers do. This way, you can take targeted action where it matters. It’s a much more effective method than aimless web crawling. And it’s easy to implement. 

Start with better search technology that reproduces user experiences and localizes results to a viewer’s exact whereabouts. Make sure it’s a solution that also prioritizes threat levels for you, to make the most of your investment. When it’s time to take action, you’ll be able to enforce on the biggest offenders from your list, and do all of it in an instant with real-time, automated reporting. 

In working with MarkMonitor, these solutions are at your fingertips. Contact us today to find out more. 

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