The holiday season can be one of the riskiest times of year for businesses, especially brands selling products online. Scammers can easily take advantage of increased buying and web traffic by selling counterfeit products online. We’re breaking down key 2021 holiday shopping trends so you can plan how to protect your brand from counterfeits.
Red Points recently surveyed 2,000 US consumers on their expected shopping habits for the 2021 holiday season. The following key findings from this survey show why it’s imperative for businesses to protect their brand this season.
Gone are the years when Black Friday reigned supreme as the biggest shopping event of the holiday season. This year, 70% of survey respondents said they plan to spend the most on Christmas shopping.
Brands are offering their own holiday discounts and special online events, and shoppers no longer have to rely solely on Black Friday for the best deals.
Unfortunately, that means scammers no longer have to rely on these events to scam shoppers, and their window of opportunity is much larger. You will have to be active in your search for counterfeit products all throughout the holiday shopping season in 2021.
The increasing amount of online shops and consumers is continuing to rise after the drastic increase the pandemic caused. Over half of the survey respondents plan on spending more online this year than last year.
As always, this trend doesn’t just mean good things in terms of the potential to hit record-breaking sales this year. It also means that more consumers will be flooding the online market, giving counterfeiters far more opportunities to scam shoppers and infringe on your brand.
Believe it or not, the start of the holiday shopping season is not too far away for many shoppers. In fact, 15% of shoppers said they would likely start holiday shopping before the end of August, with the majority planning to start in September and October.
Not only does this give scammers a larger time frame to scam holiday shoppers, but it gives you less time to prepare. If you haven’t thought about how to protect your brand this holiday season, now is the time to start putting a plan in place.
Online marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay remain the most popular place for shoppers to do their holiday shopping. While these marketplaces often do have fraud protection in place, it doesn’t always guarantee complete protection against scammers.
25% of shoppers who believe they purchased a counterfeit product last year bought it from an online marketplace. This problem is still very prevalent, especially for smaller brands who don’t have a full legal team or brand protection software in place.
The number of online shops only continues to grow, meaning consumers can be more selective regarding the brands they support. While price is still an important factor for shoppers, 60% of respondents said product reviews and brand reputation was the biggest deciding factor when buying a product.
Maintaining a satisfied customer base and getting positive customer reviews will be vital this holiday season. Counterfeit products can completely hinder this if your would-be customers end up getting scammed. Negative reviews on your products can be detrimental, especially if they detail their experience receiving a counterfeit item from your brand.
Online counterfeiters are a growing problem that’s actively taking advantage of consumers and businesses. 56% of respondents believe they had purchased a counterfeit item during the holidays, so it’s certainly not a rare instance either. This is not a problem that will go away or take care of itself if ignored, and businesses have to take action if they want to protect their brand and their customers.
It may not be your business’s fault that counterfeit versions of your product are being sold, but it is your responsibility to deal with online scammers. Shoppers expect brands they support to do their part to protect them against scams.
It isn’t enough to create an online brand protection plan for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Don’t let online scammers take advantage of the longer holiday shopping window this year.
This holiday season has a timeline of nearly four months, and you will need to protect your brand throughout all of them.
Creating a whitelist of your official sellers can take hours of stress and research off your plate. Ensure you get your list together ahead of time, including sales you know those sellers will be running. This way, you won’t be surprised by anything and any counterfeit products will be easy to weed out and get taken down.
It may seem like getting an online scammer taken down would be easy, but this is rarely the case. Ensuring your intellectual property is properly registered can make this process much faster.
If you have the proper logo trademarks and registrations for your IP, you will easily be able to prove when a scammer is infringing on your brand. This will save you a lot of hassle of having to jump through hoops to prove they are an illegitimate seller.
The majority of online shoppers aren’t just going to do anything if they buy a counterfeit product. Your product reviews can be a very clear indicator that something is off if customers are reporting they received counterfeit items.
It’s always a good idea to reach out to unsatisfied customers to get the full story, in which case you may even be directed to the scammer’s information. Then you’ll have what you need to repair the situation.
Unfortunately, by the time a customer has been scammed and leaves a bad review on your site, a lot of damage has already been done. You may have lost that customer indefinitely, and many others may be turned away. Services like Red Points’ brand protection help you be proactive in finding and addressing online scammers.
Social media is a growing spot for online shoppers, and one of the most common places for customers to get scammed. Creating fake social media accounts takes less time and is easier than creating a copied website or false marketplace account in many cases.
Ensure you keep a good watch over various social media platforms, investigating accounts with similar names and brands selling similar products so you can catch any possible counterfeiters.
In the holiday season, the ultimate goal for businesses is to maximize revenue. For brands to succeed, they need to develop a competitive edge that is powerful enough to safeguard their revenue from bad actors. Taking control of your online presence before the holiday season is one of these strategies. Brands can either do it internally or employ a third-party provider like Red Points to make sure their innovative products and consumers are risk-free.