News

12 October 2020

The silver lining of counterfeits

Did you know that purchases of counterfeit goods are mostly unintentional and can discourage your customers from buying your brand again? Today, you can turn a bad experience into a positive one, in seconds.

Forgeries of fashion and luxury products, especially high quality replicas, harm both brands and consumers. But while everybody knows that counterfeits hurt brands’ revenues, it’s less widely known that they can also harm the purchase intention and loyalty of consumers.

The data collected on the Certilogo platform reveal how shoppers react when getting a “Fake” response from our Authenticator, what they expected at purchase and how they perceive the brand afterwards.
We will dig into the data and explain how fashion brands can reverse the perception of deceived customers and turn lost revenues into new sales.

Do they know what they’re buying?

The growing amount of counterfeit fashion goods sold, especially online, is changing consumers’ attitude: because the risk of purchasing a fake is real, they’re becoming more cautious and therefore more appreciative of authentication services offered by brands. Our 2020 authentication data of online and offline purchases of fakes show that about half of consumers were worried they might have bought a counterfeit. However, when getting a “Fake” response from the Certilogo Authenticator, only 16% said they already expected the product to be a counterfeit, 37% said they feared it but were hoping otherwise and a whopping 47% said they were taken by surprise.


“Fake it ‘til you sell it”

Two major factors expose consumers to the risk of buying a fake product. The first one is their perception of the vendor: out of those who did not expect their purchase to be a counterfeit, 61% trusted the vendor, and 30% were unsure. Since consumers are aware of the presence of counterfeits, they stay clear of stores they don’t know. In fact, only 8% of consumers knowingly bought a product from an online or offline shop they did not trust. If these consumers can be identified and properly engaged, brands have an opportunity to incentivise them to purchase from their official points of sale.


The second factor that leads consumers to unintentionally buy a counterfeit is the appearance of the product itself. Counterfeiters have improved their forgery skills, creating almost-identical copies that take a very expert eye - or Certilogo’s artificial intelligence - to be unmasked. In fact, as many as 87% of consumers who got a “Fake” response stated that the purchased product looked genuine. Especially consumers who are not very familiar with the original collection of the brand struggle to spot the product they are buying as fake. Counterfeiters who sell online post captivating ads by using, for instance, official photos instead of taking pictures of the actual product they sell, making it even harder for shoppers to understand what is on offer.


Ever thought of using judo tactics against counterfeiters? How fakes can generate brand engagement.

While learning that the purchased product is a fake is an unpleasant experience, our data show the silver lining behind the disappointment: of all consumers who have purchased a fake, 60% said they would either surely (42%) or likely (18%) buy a new, authentic product! Therefore, catching the consumers’ attention right when they have learned about their product being fake is an invaluable opportunity to recover lost revenues and generate new sales. Another advantage is that one of the most dangerous downsides of buying a counterfeit can be mitigated, if not entirely prevented, namely that consumers fall out of love with the brand. In fact, about one third is either unsure or unwilling to keep buying the same brand. A timely “conversation” with shoppers is crucial to avoid the chance of losing them for good: right after consumers find out they bought a fake, brands can exploit the authentication experience to provide incentives that will turn the discouraged third into new clients, as well as reward those who will stick to the brand.



Our recommendations:

●     Help consumers find out if their product is original. With a satisfaction rate over 80%, the Certilogo authentication platform is the ultimate tool to provide consumers with a reliable assessment of authenticity, and start a conversation with loyal or potential clients, even when their purchase is fake.

●      Protect your brand and your consumers before they fall out of love. Certilogo’s Fake Report is the tool designed to make shoppers ask for a refund when they buy a counterfeit. If a brand offers them the chance to verify whether their product is genuine, and to get their money back if it is not, consumers will not feel abandoned and discouraged. Thanks to the authentication services provided, they will perceive the brand as a reliable, loyalty-worthy problem solver that will be on their side every time they want to buy it.

●      Engage consumers to generate future purchases. After authenticating a product, the propensity of shoppers to be reached out by a brand increases by 33%, as described in our “The Authentic Side of Engagement” ebook. By using custom calls-to-action on the Certilogo platform, brands can drive clients to their stores, website and social media, while providing incentives to grow loyalty.

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