Although counterfeiting is not new, the sale of ‘fake’ goods is increasing, which is unsurprising given the digital age in which we live in, whereby image is everything. With a growing desire for high-end goods at a fraction of the price, from clothing to electrical goods and everything in between, knowing what is real and what is fake is becoming much harder to differentiate.
According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), nearly £76 billion worth of imported goods are counterfeit or pirate, with the UK loosing billions each year due to the increasing counterfeit market. This is an immense loss, considering the UK Card Association has estimated the value of online card spending to be around £154 billion a year. Making the loss due to fake goods just shy of half of the UK’s online card spending.
The impact of counterfeit goods are not only damaging to online sales, but to brand reputation and consumer perceptions. Incopro has reported that 65 per cent of consumers claimed that they are likely to lose their trust in the original product if it is relatively easy to buy fake versions.
To illustrate the state of the counterfeit market, British business and consumer marketplace, OnBuy.com sought to understand consumers’ perceptions surrounding counterfeit goods, pulling highlights from the report ‘Counterfeit products are endemic – and it is damaging brand value’ by Incopro.
Interestingly, 25 per cent of UK consumers have admitted to knowingly buying at least one counterfeit product in the last 12 months. According to the report, only a mere 1 in 5 have reported an online marketplace after receiving fake goods which they believed to be genuine.
OnBuy can reveal that illicit goods have a detrimental impact on a brands reputation, with 35 per cent of consumers stating they would be ‘less likely to buy the brands products from online marketplaces’ and a further 34 per cent indicating they would be ‘less likely to buy the goods directly from the brand website’.
However, more worryingly, 5 per cent suggested they ‘would actively seek out the counterfeit goods online’ if they knew it was relatively easy to buy fake products from a brand. Whilst 22 per cent of consumers stated it ‘wouldn’t influence my purchasing decision’ if they knew there was a chance the goods they were purchasing could be counterfeit.