Online retail is facing an intensified counterfeiting threat this year in the run-up to the holiday season, says a study by the brand protection company Red Points. The reason for this is primarily seen in a changed purchasing behavior due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Based on a national survey conducted in the USA in September, the international brand protection company Red Points forecasts an increase in online trade compared to the previous year. According to the survey, 70 percent of buyers questioned plan to shop online, for example on Amazon and eBay. It could be problematic, seeing that for 28 percent the price is the deciding factor in purchasing decisions.

More than one in four respondents (26 percent) had previously bought fakes on Black Friday. On this year’s Black Friday, 65 percent of respondents are likely to spend more online than they did last year, the survey finds. In view of this likely increase in online shopping turnover, Red Points urges retailers to take precautions to protect their brand reputation. Effective brand protection is also essential to make up for the losses of recent quarters, the IP experts state.

„Many shoppers are feeling financial strain induced by the pandemic. As a result, consumers will be more budget conscious this year, making it more likely they’ll turn to counterfeiters“, says Daniel Shapiro, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Brand Relationships at Red Points.

On average, consumers plan to spend around 289 US dollars (circa 245 euros), according to the study. Particularly in demand are clothing and accessories (for 57 percent of buyers), technology and electronics (25 percent), and toys and games (22 percent).

Purchases of counterfeits could also negatively impact the original manufacturers. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said they would complain to the original brand holder if they bought a fake, and more than half would demand a refund. The image of brands could also suffer: Around 25 percent think that brands should remove counterfeits.

Source: Red Points