School start and counterfeit risk

With e-commerce booming and the start of the school year upon us, parents purchasing school supplies may find themselves increasingly exposed to counterfeit goods.

It’s the start of a new school year and parents around the world are making sure their children are ready for the first day. This means purchasing all the necessities, from clothes and uniforms, to stationery, books, backpacks and calculators. It can be a time-consuming process, but with the rise of e-commerce more parents are taking advantage of the convenience this offers and making purchases online.

Lost revenue and safety issues

Purchasing school supplies online is becoming so commonplace that the Better Business Bureau in North America recently posted an article providing advice on how to safely buy online.

The rise in these channels means that brands are becoming more exposed and it is increasingly important that they protect their brand and consumers from counterfeit goods. Infringement can leave brands open to lost revenue, as well as safety concerns, which can be even more emotive when children are involved. Incidents as seemingly harmless as a child putting a counterfeit pen (that hasn’t been subjected to required safety standards) in their mouth could cause real issues.

Start of the school year in France

In France the issue is even more pronounced, as each year parents are sent a detailed list of school supplies required. The list is very specific and contains information such as the exact size notebooks and scissors needed. Clearly heading to physical stores and finding items that match these exact requirements could be a very time-consuming process, and as a result France has seen a dramatic rise in the use of online shopping for the start of school.

Many companies in this field have altered their business model to sell more online, running extensive advertising campaigns targeting consumers this time of year. It is these brands’ responsibility to ensure their online channels are being diligently looked after and to protect their customers. A strategic approach to brand protection is crucial to success here. Brand Protection Managers and E-Commerce Managers need to have clear & true picture of all brand infringements and, if there are illegal networks operating against them, they need to have the ability to enforce at scale.

The key differentiator

When presented with similar looking stationery that have different price tags it is only natural that parents will make their selection based on price, especially for those working with tight budgets. Many lower socio-economic families in France are also given a small grant by the government with the specific purpose of purchasing these supplies, so they need to ensure that the money stretches far enough to cover the entire cost.

Request a free brand health check

A quick scan utilising Talisman, Incopro’s online brand protection solution, revealed that the problem is widespread and needs to be addressed. Our team works with brands to identify the online IP infringements that are the biggest threats to their reputation and protect them. E-commerce has opened a lot of passages for businesses, but also gives them a large responsibility which is often overlooked. End-consumers do hold brands accountable if they purchase counterfeits of their goods.

If you would like to see how your company is faring, request a free brand health check and one of our team will be in touch shortly.

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