Everyone likes to find bargains on the Internet and it seems that today’s consumers are especially interested in looking for online bargains, not only but throughout the world. The US magazine for the e-commerce sector, Internet Retailer, recently released the results of a survey that found that 75% of consumers surveyed in the US Acknowledged that price was the main reason for their online purchases. On the other hand, Rakuten, the big Asian e-commerce website, surveyed 5,300 consumers from a dozen countries where it operates and showed that, globally, 61% of all respondents selected the price as the first decisive factor When buying online.
Unfortunately, counterfeiters are well aware of our appetite for finding a bargain on the net. Apparently, more than the legitimate owners of the brands and, therefore, they are very experts in intercepting the traffic of consumers who look for bargains when they do a search for names of marks. Late last year, MarkMonitor published its own study, called the Shopping Report, which collected data from more than five million online purchases over a period of nine months made in the US And in Western Europe. Of the same, it is concluded that one of every five bought erroneously in electronic commerce sites that sell falsified products when they looked for to buy articles of clothing and of luxury. The search terms they used were discount, cheap or outlet, among other similarities.
The so-called ‘brandjackers’ take advantage of consumers’ tendency to seek bargains by incorporating these key terms into their own SEO strategy. Many counterfeit products are priced to give them the appearance of legitimate products, often sold with discounts of between 25-50% over the actual price, which are comparable to the end-of-season prices or “rebates.” These prices , Theoretically possible, allow bargain hunters to feel that they are doing a good business by buying legitimate merchandise, especially when the offer is combined with the growing trend in fraudulent sites to include and display recent marketing campaigns and photographs of the Original brands.
Thus, any purchase made through these malicious pages not only damages the reputation of the mark when the product reaches the consumer and proves to be falsified; Also diverts significant percentages of revenue from the legitimate e-commerce channel of the brand.
Julie Deane, the founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company, a British company that has turned the traditional school folder into a fashion icon around the world, is well aware of the problem for her brand. “These fraudulent and fake sites take advantage of the innocent consumer,” he says. “We received many letters and e-mails from customers who wanted to return a low quality Satchel or to find out why they had not delivered their orders. When we checked their order numbers we realized that the order had not been placed from the official Cambridge Satchel Company website, but from one of these deceptive sites. “
Taking advantage of the official photos and materials of Cambridge Satchel and protected by copyright, fraudulent sites seemed to sell authentic products, marketed them with their name, brand and promotion. In this way, they were not only diverting sales but also forcing the company to incur additional costs for larger customer service programs and legal expenses. “They did a lot of customer harm and diverted our attention from positive marketing programs designed to provide good service to our customers,” she adds.
Brand owners should try to beat ‘brandjackers’ on their own terrain if they want to recover as much as possible of lost revenue on illegitimate e-commerce sites and protect their brand’s reputation. In addition to implementing a holistic branding strategy to secure their digital sales channels, it is recommended that marketers and e-commerce professionals create their own digital marketing strategies around search terms related to the offer of discounts and bargains, To reduce the hook of the scammers.
It does not matter if a brand offers discounts on its products or not. Using “discount” terms in your SEO and paid search strategies gives you an opportunity to connect with those consumers who are looking to buy at a great price. Some brands have even used this method to further educate their customers about the company’s philosophy in this area and the risks of buying counterfeit goods. Other brands use these search terms to increase their visibility before an audience to hunt for good deals and provide their own discounts.
As more and more consumers turn to digital channels to find out about products and make purchases, they increase the risk of encountering highly effective counterfeiters in using good digital marketing practices to engage and deceive them. Those companies that take steps to proactively minimize the possibility that brandjackers connect with their customers in the digital environment will enjoy a good return on their investment in the future for years to come.