A third of online shoppers fall prey to counterfeits

03 May '18
3 min read

A third of those doing online shopping have fallen prey to counterfeits, according to a recently concluded study by Velocity MR to assess online shopping experiences and the volume of fake or counterfeit products in circulation. The study covered key Indian metropolises including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune.

The study had a total sample size of 3000 respondents.

Jasal Shah, managing director and CEO of Velocity MR, says, “The online retail market in India is expected to touch $100 billion by 2020, and $200 by 2026. It is estimated to grow at a whopping rate of 30 per cent annually, and hence India is dubbed as the fastest growing e-tail market in the world. The growing Internet penetration, global players, rise in smartphone usage coupled with innovation in mobile technologies, millennial consumers and digital payments is fuelling the growth of the e-commerce market in the country.”

“E-commerce is increasingly attracting customers from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where people have limited access to brands but have high aspirations. However, this is not free from its share of pitfalls. Even though the e-commerce companies/platforms state a zero tolerance towards any malpractices, however considering the very nature of the business, it would not be possible to maintain a problem free zone. We decided to conduct this study to understand how consumers are facing up to this challenge which is a clouding reality in the online world,” he adds.

It is estimated that about four-five per cent of businesses in India lose to fraudsters each year in online shopping. There are a variety of fraudulent activities in the e-tailing business, one such being 'Fake Products' under the pretext of originals. This not only causes monetary loss but also jeopardises the goodwill of the original player. Under this background, Velocity MR, one of India’s leading market research and analytics companies, conducted a dipstick to uncover the real perception of consumers towards fake and counterfeit products while shopping online and how they deal with it.

According to the study, one of three respondents received fakes/counterfeit products while shopping online at some point in time. Brands with higher sales volume have a higher likelihood of fake products passing through their system.

Among the most shopped categories – Fashion, Mobiles and Computers with accessories proved to be the vulnerable categories for counterfeit products. “Different product received” was logged in by shoppers typically on receiving counterfeits. Interestingly the majority of online shoppers were found to be technology savvy and use the QR code to identify Fakes/Counterfeit products, it said.

However, in spite of a few bitter experiences, trust in the portals remains intact for the shoppers. But they have become more alert, check more details and also compare prices before a purchase, it said.

Amazon and Flipkart enjoy the highest universal high awareness – across centres and age groups. Myntra, PayTM, Snapdeal and Jabong all though similar in awareness levels, have a lower shopping preference. Amazon leads the pack in higher repeat purchases. Fashion, mobile and computers with accessories are the most shopped categories. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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