Squeezing Counterfeiters Helps you Squeeze the Most Out of Your Budget
The rate at which Ecommerce sales has been rising is not just rising anymore. It is exploding as online retailers and brands maximize their budgets to provide the most enjoyable user experience, both in mobile and desktop. Getting the most out of your budget means not only promoting your brand and watching it grow, it also means putting your best marketing foot forward in protecting it.More and more online retailers are stepping up to this challenge. At the same time, a mass of counterfeiters, hackers and cyber thieves, and squatters are stepping up to harm your brand from every angle possible. They are learning the tricks of your trade and are evolving just as you are to cut into your bottom line and ruin your good name.
It is not easy to create any kind of budget, let alone a marketing budget with technologies and platforms and payment methods moving at the speed of sound. CMOs have their plates full. While they are seeing strategies and alliances in order to bring their brand the most recognition by surveying the brand landscape, they also are going on the defensive to protect their brand online. This has caused a shift of seismic proportions with regards to the allocation of their marketing budget.
The Silent and Invisible
The types of thieves, scammers whatever you want to call them are internationally anonymous. They can be anywhere, putting up websites at a moments notice and taking them down even quicker, sometimes leaving no trace. Their websites are professional, offering everyone's products but their own, as the brand owner. There are lots of people being taken for a ride on the counterfeit train, some never to see any type of return. Most of the time, just a poorly made product that fell apart after a week and never worked right to begin with. Can you imagine the danger this poses? Especially in the Toy counterfeiting trade.
The counterfeit market online is in full swing and while it is still rampant in the busy physical markets of Hong Kong, New York and Bangkok it is online where those who can not touch and feel the product are getting scammed.
Large ecommerce platforms such as Ebay, Amazon and Alibaba are making great strides to weed out the scammers and they are seeing some success, but there is still a long way to go.
Traffic theft is huge and the diversion of traffic to bogus sites from authentic ones is just of the many tactics that online counterfeiters use. Just as marketers are using their online tools to bring their brand forward, the scammers are using the same tools to move them backward.
Take SEO for example. Marketers work very hard to find the right keywords to push their brand's offerings. How do you protect your brand's keywords? Search Results, PPC Ads, App Store Searches all rely on those holier than thou keywords. Those same keywords that boost traffic to your site are diverted to illegitimate sites. This is also known as Brand-jacking.
Just as your brand's keywords are working around the clock as someone somewhere on this great planet of ours is typing in keywords to find your product or a product like yours. Just as equally, you need to have a monitoring system in place that monitors the web for those who are violating your brand (also round the clock) and utilize a number of various strategies to get the violations to stop.
A tool is needed that identifies infringement of your brand and prioritizes the worst threats and those that make them. A proactive strategy would need actions that immediately enforces compliance via a combination of reporting, registration and cease and desist letters.
Please feel free to share your experiences with fighting the threats that online sellers face.