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One in six online bargain hunters caught by counterfeit goods

One in six online bargain hunters caught by counterfeit goods
Thursday April 16 2015

As consumers continue to bargain hunt in digital channels, consumers appear to be less likely to stumble upon a rogue site but are likely to be duped by the perceived ‘quality’ of rogue sites if they encounter them, with one in six bargain hunters displaying an intent to purchase in that scenario.

The study, conducted by Enterprise brand protection company MarkMonitor, part of IP and Science business of Thomson Reuters, found that the number of bargain-hunters has grown with a ratio of 28 deal-seekers to every one fake-seeker in the US and Europe.

This is a substantial increase from an earlier study, which found a ratio of 20 deal-seekers to every one seeker of fakes, with the increase most likely fuelled by a combination of factors, including economic conditions and the Internet’s reputation as a great source for deals. 

Counterfeit goods

This latest Shopping Report, which Nielsen assisted with, examines consumer purchase intent and the demographics of those who acquire counterfeit goods online. 

The study analysed anonymised privacy-protected data from more than 285,000 of Nielsen’s permissioned online panellists in the US and five European countries in an eight-month period. 

Nearly nine million shopping sessions for fashion and footwear were surveyed using MarkMonitor technology during the study period to determine whether shoppers visited sites selling legitimate goods or sites selling counterfeit goods, known as rogue sites.  

Shopper motivation

MarkMonitor also studied shopper’s motivation, using search terms as guides. By classifying terms like ‘cheap’, ‘discount’ or ‘outlet’ as bargain-seeking and terms like ‘counterfeit’, ‘fake’ or ‘replica’ as fake-seeking, the team examined the aggregated traffic for shoppers to gauge their interest in shopping for legitimate or fake goods.
“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,” said Fredrick Felman, chief marketing officer of MarkMonitor. 

“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.”
In both the US and Europe, the largest segment of rogue site shoppers were in the 31-50 age range, followed closely by millennials in the 18-30 age range. In addition, MarkMonitor found that females comprised just over half of rogue site shoppers at 56% US. and 53% in Europe.