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21 November 2018

Holidays Are Prime Season for Counterfeiters. Here’s How To Protect Your Customers

The holidays can be a wonderful time, filled with family, friends, and gifts. Consumers are busy buying items at a speed they wouldn't consider at any other time of year. After all, their lists are long and time is short. Unfortunately, this emphasis on speed buying has a negative side effect: it makes shoppers vulnerable to counterfeit goods. In order to keep your customers happy and protected, you need to help protect them from fake items carrying your brand name.

Holiday Shopping Dangers

Your customers are buying items quickly and in increased volume. As a result, they may not be monitoring items with the attention they usually show. They might be tempted to buy from a domain that promises them fast delivery of the desired item, only to realize later that the domain and the item itself are fake. Cybersquatters are those who buy domain names, often slightly misspelled, in order to defraud consumers. They are particularly active during the intense holiday shopping season.

Another popular scam occurs when someone orders an authentic item from a website but returns a fake. Fulfillment departments, which are overworked, understaffed, and only rarely trained in authentication, often don't notice the substitution. They then resell the fake item to an unsuspecting purchaser.

Consumers in search of a bargain may also turn to eBay or a resale site to find a gift and be taken in by a fake purse or piece of jewelry. The holiday frenzy combined with a time shortage means that counterfeiters can make a tidy profit at others' expense.

Brand Protection

You need to take every step possible to protect your customers in order to keep their loyalty to your product. Scams will blow back on your company's reputation, even if you had nothing to do with the shopper's negative experience.

Improving customer information helps prevent fraud. You should send emails and send mailers explaining what promotions you will hold during the holidays. In that way, shoppers will be better able to spot a scam, like a 75% off Black Friday deal from Amazone.com.

Also, have members from your team or online brand protection partner scouring the internet for fraudulent sites touting your merchandise. You can take steps to shut them down and coordinate outreach with your marketing team to warn customers of the shopping dangers.

Digital Protection

Customers have legitimate concerns about excess data collection. They worry that their privacy is being invaded for a process that seldom works well. Often, they are promised a personally tailored experience while they are being steered toward products they have zero interest in. Digitally connected products are a bright spot in this sea of suspicion because they can offer a service that consumers value and the exact time and place when they need it most.

Companies like Certilogo make products “connected” to provide consumers with valuable brand information, including a real-time confirmation that a product is authentic. This strategy thwarts counterfeiters and allows consumers to feel secure when they buy a luxury product. Certilogo places a specialized code into tags or labels that go into the items. These codes can be scanned by a smartphone or entered on a home computer and instantly authenticate the item. Items found to be fake can be documented with a Fake Report to facilitate returns or refunds from PayPal and major credit card companies.

Your brand can gain consumer trust by providing more information, tracking down counterfeit sites and offering a digital product authentication service like Certilogo. This holiday season get started on changes to protect your customers and your company from fraudulent shopping experiences.

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