What is the extent of the counterfeit problem online?

In the UK alone, retail sales last year broke the £100bn barrier and with this figure expected to grow, there has never been a more important time for brands and consumers to protect themselves online.

In light of this, we wanted to understand consumers’ current attitudes towards shopping on the web and decided to conduct a piece of research with leading market research agency Opinium last month across Europe and the USA*.

The report found some interested facts, with 24% of those surveyed being duped into buying counterfeit goods online, including products like fashion, footwear and electronics. It also highlighted over one-third of shopping is now conducted online and not surprisingly, this increases by 15% over the festive period.

So, what does this mean to consumers? As we are now approaching the festive season, consumers need to be more vigilant when shopping online, as the level of sophistication used by counterfeiters in setting up a websites to sell fake goods is really high. This means that it is increasingly difficult for consumers to tell the difference between legitimate websites and those selling fakes. From the research this even extends to consumers being concerned about their online security and worryingly 25% of respondents didn’t know how to check the legitimacy of a website.

The research, especially considering the time of year, highlights the need for consumer education and protection. From a brand perspective, having a clear and comprehensive brand strategy in place will ensure that their customers can take the strongest possible action to tackle the counterfeit challenge.

To read the full report, please click here.

*The research was conducted in November 2015. 3,450 consumers were interviewed in nine countries, including the UK, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the USA.