New research from MarkMonitor, the world leader in enterprise brand protection, has found that almost four out of every five people have security concerns about unknowingly purchasing counterfeit goods online.

Despite the continued rise in the popularity of online shopping — according to a third-party report, 2016 saw an estimated 11% increase in total sales — 78% of all those who responded to the MarkMonitor survey said they had cybersecurity-related concerns when it came to shopping online. More specifically, 42% of respondents said they were worried about the safety of their personal and financial details when it came to Internet transactions.

Online security has long been a problem for consumers, but the percentage of those concerned is increasing. Similar research commissioned in 2015 by MarkMonitor found that 64% of respondents were anxious about their online security. As a result of these combined findings, businesses cannot afford to be complacent over the security measures they have in place to protect their customers online.

Mark Frost, CEO of MarkMonitor, says: “Despite e-commerce being more popular than ever, this research indicates that the large majority of businesses aren’t doing enough to safeguard their customers and alleviate the concerns they have. In fact, according to our research, a huge 85% of consumers believe that brands should be doing more to protect them, particularly when it comes to the purchase of counterfeit goods.

“These findings should really be a warning sign to all businesses against complacency over cybersecurity. Just because the number of consumers buying goods online keeps rising, this does not mean that businesses should sit back and assume that all consumers feel comfortable doing so. Brands need to do all they can to make their customers feel safe online, whether that means clamping down on counterfeit goods or making it clear to all customers that their payment details will be safe.”

This research also indicates that complacency is actually beginning to have a serious negative impact on businesses. Almost three quarters (71%) of respondents to the latest survey who unknowingly bought counterfeit goods have a more negative perception of the genuine brand as a result, with 12% saying they would never purchase from that brand again.

“This particular statistic reinforces the importance of having an online brand protection strategy that prevents the threat of counterfeiting,” says Frost.

The research was conducted on behalf of MarkMonitor by leading market research agency Opinium. A total of 3,432 respondents from nine countries — UK, USA, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands — were surveyed online in November 2016.

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