NEW research from US software company MarkMonitor revealed that almost half (47%) of brands lose sales revenue to counterfeit or pirated goods, with one in three reporting a loss of more than 10%.
The research also found that 58% of respondents agree that keeping a brand safe will become increasingly difficult over the next five years, with challenges coming from the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), the dark Web and augmented reality (AR).
In addition, 41% of brands indicate they are already experiencing an increase in brand infringement, while 38% believe they are more likely to be affected by lost sales due to counterfeit goods in the next five years.
“The issue of brand protection has always been a challenge for businesses and it’s an area that is growing significantly based on the increasing threats of counterfeiting, piracy, cybersquatting and other brand abuse,” said Chrissie Jamieson, VP Marketing, MarkMonitor. “According to the research, brand protection will continue to grow in complexity and as a result, it’s vital that organisations adapt their approaches accordingly.
“Brand protection involves a lot more than taking care of the brand itself,” explained Jamieson. “Critically, it’s about maintaining customer trust and protecting consumers from the dangers posed by counterfeiters and online criminals. Our research reflected this notion, showing that the overriding objective of brand protection strategies is to ensure that their customers are safe.”
The study was conducted last November, on behalf of MarkMonitor by independent market research firm Vitreous World. The goal of the study was to examine the attitudes and perceptions of marketing decision makers about online brand protection, as well as their challenges and the state of the industry. Founded in 1999, MarkMonitor develops software intended to protect corporate brands from Internet counterfeiting, fraud, piracy and cybersquatting.
Retail Asia spoke to Asia’s online shopping company, Qoo10, on how it curbs counterfeit products, and Hyunwook Cho, country manager, Singapore, Qoo10, affirmed that the website’s goal is to be a responsible e-commerce player and therefore, it has put various internal systemic protocols in place to check and deter the sale of counterfeit items.
There are two ways by which Qoo10 handles the sale of counterfeit products — proactively and reactively.
“Firstly, Qoo10’s backend system actively monitors the numerous listings that our sellers post on the online platform. Where a listing is flagged for potentially infringing intellectual property (IP) rights or selling counterfeit products, our dedicated compliance team then steps in to investigate and take necessary action against the infringing seller,” he explained.
Secondly, the website’s compliance team also actively responds and reacts to claims by customers, sellers and businesses or brands. Customers who suspect that they may have purchased a counterfeit item from a Qoo10 seller may alert its compliance team who will then investigate and issue a refund to the customer. Anyone who suspects that a listed product is counterfeit may also report this issue to the compliance team with the “Report” function found on every listing on Qoo10’s online platform.
The compliance team also works with businesses and brands under its ‘Brand Protection Programme’ to take down infringing listings. Errant sellers with repeat offences may also be restricted from selling their items on Qoo10, the e-tailer said.
Cho added: “While Qoo10 takes the position that it is merely an online platform that connects both sellers and buyers and assumes no responsibility for the products sold on its online platform, it views the sale of counterfeit products on its online platform as no laughing matter and is committed to the active monitoring and takedown of such infringing listings.”