With cosmetic counterfeiters turning increasingly to social media, consumers expect brands to protect them, according to research from Red Points, an anti-counterfeiting and brand protection firm.
The research found Facebook and Instagram accounted for over 50% of all suspected infringement cases, and half of consumers think it is the brand owners’ responsibility to remove fakes from online platforms. The report notes the cosmetics industry has undergone a huge upheaval in recent years, and the online sales channels and digital marketing, particularly through social media, has changed the nature of the brand-customer relationship. The online market is predicted to reach nearly $42bn by 2019, according to Bain & Company. This is match by the growth in the illegal cosmetics market. The effect of counterfeits reportedly costs the cosmetics industry about $75 million a year, according to US Customs and Border Protection. Counterfeit products on social media have become commonplace, and more sophisticated methods are used to target consumers, including hijacking social media relationships with legitimate brands.
Red Points analysed over 50,000 suspected infringements relating to cosmetic products in 2017, and additionally surveyed 200 women aged between 18. Among its key findings are that the two most popular products to buy online are makeup and skincare products; Amazon was the site most commonly used to search for cosmetic products online, followed by Google search; Over 45% of respondents have purchased a cosmetics item via a social media post; 57% of respondents would buy an item from a third-party seller if the product was offered at a discount rate. And, 69% were concerned about counterfeits in the cosmetics industry and believed it to be a problem.