E-tailers take on the issue of counterfeit sales2 min read . Updated: 24 Sep 2015, 11:55 AM IST
Amazon, Askme.com are running campaigns to create awareness about genuine products being sold on their websites as fake product sales jump
Mumbai: Amazon India and Askme.com have started creating awareness of genuine products being sold on their websites through mass media and digital campaigns as sales of counterfeits or fake products grow rapidly in the country, hurting their credibility.
India was among the 10 countries on the priority watch list of the US in 2015 as sales of counterfeits crossed ₹ 1 trillion in 2014 in the country. Online sales account for a quarter of the counterfeits sold in the country.
Consumer goods that are relatively more prone to counterfeit trading in India are alcohol, personal care products, tobacco, mobiles and mobile components, automobile components, and computer hardware and software.
The estimated value of counterfeit and smuggled goods in these seven categories rose from ₹ 72,900 crore in 2012 to ₹ 1.05 trillion in 2014. The growth rate of over 44% per annum is significantly higher than the rate at which the overall consumer goods market in the country is growing, said a September report by industry lobby group Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and consulting firm KPMG India.
Over the weekend, Amazon launched an integrated marketing campaign “Ek Bar Amazon Try Toh Kar…Hokar Befikar" to assure its customers that only original products are sold on its portal and to promote its easy returns policy.
“Shopping online is a relatively new phenomenon for a majority of Indians and, through the ads, we want to overcome the perceived barriers to shopping online, especially for first time users," said an Amazon India spokesperson in an email.
The week also saw the launch of Askmebazaar.com, an online marketplace’s new communication campaign “Get Real" to protect customers against the sale of counterfeit products by different Indian online commerce players. The campaign conceptualized by the brand’s ad-agency J. Walter Thompson, comprising five short films on YouTube, is addressed to sellers and buyers to combat counterfeiting issue.
“Our initiative is to sensitize the customers on the dangers associated with counterfeits and with this campaign we aim to send a robust message to our customers that Askmebazaar is committed to upholding the standards and reliability of products and our high-quality, customer-focused reputation," said Manav Sethi, group chief marketing officer and head - Digital Strategy, Askme, while sharing that in the luxury segment alone, counterfeit market is close to ₹ 2,500 crore, which is 5-6% of the total luxury market of the country.
Even Flipkart.com had come up with a 45-second television commercial under its ‘India Wants to know’ campaign addressing the issues of online returns, 100% original products and other features.