New Study Challenges Assumptions about E-Commerce and Counterfeits

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season staring straight at us, we released our latest study examining e-commerce and counterfeits, the MarkMonitor Shopping Report. We worked with Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, to analyze anonymized data from Nielsen’s permissioned online panelists in six countries over a nine-month period.

Focusing on the apparel and luxury goods segments, we surveyed almost five million shopping sessions and found that one in five bargain hunters in the U.S. and Europe mistakenly shopped on e-commerce sites selling counterfeit goods while looking for deals online. Deal seekers outnumbered consumers seeking fakes at the rate of 20 to 1.

How could we tell the deal seeking consumers from those searching for fakes?  The search terms that the shoppers used, such as ‘fake,’ ‘replica,’ ‘cheap’ or ‘discount’, gave us the clues to their motivation.  The study also examined multiple demographic factors—including age, income, education levels, and household size—and found there were minimal demographic differences between online consumers who seek out counterfeit goods and those who are simply bargain hunters for legitimate goods.

There is little information about consumer motivation when purchasing fakes. Is the purchase a deliberate, informed purchase or an inadvertent one?  This study provides insight into the demographics of counterfeit purchasers and sheds light on consumer purchase intent, debunking the assumption that shoppers who purchase counterfeit goods are a different category of customer than those seeking genuine goods.

Find out more here.

Editor’s Note:  Blog post updated on August 12, 2014 to repair broken links for Shopping Report.