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How brands can fight back against online counterfeiters on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

In 2017, Adobe Analytics reported that American consumers spent $19.62 billion online over the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Black Friday* through to Cyber Monday. This was $2.6 billion and 15% more than they spent during the same time frame last year. In the UK, £1.4 billion was spent on Black Friday and over £3 billion on Cyber Monday, according to the ACG [1].

Based on these figures, it’s obvious that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are of huge value to retailers. However, when that much money is at stake, counterfeiters will work even harder to get a slice of the action, especially when smaller or independent traders look for bargains in order to compete with larger rivals.

A CNBC report quoted Anusha Couttigane, senior analyst at Kantar Retail, who commented: “Retailers – big and small – need to ensure that they are dealing with legitimate suppliers and inspecting supply chains well in advance to catch any issues before products are shipped to stores [2].”

For consumers shopping online, sales days like these can intensify the desire for a bargain, which in turn creates a greater demand – making it a prime time for counterfeiters who will fill that demand with fake goods. More and more consumers think they are buying a genuine bargain but end up paying an excessive price for a low-quality product – this can be dangerous in cases when it’s electrical goods or beauty products.

However, brands can fight back against these counterfeiters who are targeting Black Friday “deal-seekers” by ensuring that their intellectual property is registered, and they monitor online marketplaces to identify any infringing goods.

According to a report from GBH Insights, in 2017 Amazon claimed between 45%-50% of all online Black Friday sales. For brands, these shopping days make it even more important to have a brand protection strategy in place. You now have the power to monitor online marketplaces yourself with SnapDragon’s DIY Swoop software package for just £300 per month.

 We’ve outlined below 3 SnapDragon essential tips for brands this Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  1. Register your trademark in as many territories as possible – and definitely in China.
  2. Register products and trademarks with the EUIPO enforcement database and its equivalent elsewhere. (This is a free service and helps protect your brands at ports of entry.)
  3. Translate your brand – into as many direct and slightly indirect variants as possible. Search regularly for these on online platforms and report sellers for infringing activity and get listings removed.

*Traditionally Black Friday is a heavily discounted day that marks the “unofficial” beginning of the Christmas shopping season, it was initially intended for instore retailers but has evolved online over the years. Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after Thanksgiving and was created with the rise of e-commerce and online shopping, essentially as the discount day for online sales.


[1] https://www.tradingstandards.uk/news-policy/news-room/2018/acg-warn-consumers-about-buying-fakes-this-black-friday-cyber-monday

[2] https://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/24/counterfeit-goods-and-ways-to-avoid-them-on-black-friday.html


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