New research released on Valentine’s Day reveals that four out of five respondents to a survey had security concerns about unknowingly purchasing counterfeit goods online.
Almost one in five of respondents to the survey, commissioned by Mark Monitor, enterprise brand protection experts, believed they had bought a fake product with respondents in the 18 to 34 age range being more likely to do so (28 percent).
Clothing, women’s handbags and watches were the top three types of fake goods that were bought.
When asked about willingness to buy fake goods in the future, 74 percent of the sample indicated that they would not intentionally do so, up from 70 percent of respondents in a similar survey commissioned by Mark Monitor in 2015.
Despite the continued rise in the popularity of online shopping — according to third-party sources cited in the 2016 report, the year saw an estimated 11% increase in total sales — 78% of all those who responded to the MarkMonitor survey said they had cybersecurity-related concerns when it came to shopping online. This figure was up from 64% of respondents in a 2015 survey.
More specifically, 42% of respondents to the 2016 survey said they were worried about the safety of their personal and financial details when it came to Internet transactions.
Mark Frost, CEO of MarkMonitor, commented: “Despite e-commerce being more popular than ever, this research indicates that the large majority of businesses aren’t doing enough to safeguard their customers and alleviate the concerns they have. In fact, according to our research, a huge 85% of consumers believe that brands should be doing more to protect them, particularly when it comes to the purchase of counterfeit goods.
“These findings should really be a warning sign to all businesses against complacency over cybersecurity. Just because the number of consumers buying goods online keeps rising, this does not mean that businesses should sit back and assume that all consumers feel comfortable doing so. Brands need to do all they can to make their customers feel safe online, whether that means clamping down on counterfeit goods or making it clear to all customers that their payment details will be safe.”
The research indicates the negative impact that counterfeiting can have on a brand. Almost three quarters (71%) of respondents to the latest survey who unknowingly bought counterfeit goods have a more negative perception of the genuine brand as a result, with 12% saying they would never purchase from that brand again.
“This particular statistic reinforces the importance of having an online brand protection strategy that prevents the threat of counterfeiting,” says Frost.
The research was conducted on behalf of MarkMonitor by leading market research agency Opinium. A total of 3,432 respondents from nine countries — UK, USA, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands — were surveyed online in November 2016.