Dec 6, 2019

Holiday shopping could face counterfeit products

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Data: Sapio Research poll for Incopro conducted in Oct. 2019, among 1,059 U.S. consumers in all 50 states. Margin of error ±2.2%; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Holiday season spending is here, with the frenzy of Black Friday, Cyber Monday,and all the other temptations in full play.

The big picture: This year, Black Friday spending rose an astonishing 20%; even Thanksgiving Day, when most brick-and-mortar stores are closed, was a retail extravaganza, seeing $4.2 billion spent online. But as shopping goes digital, it's easier than ever to find yourself buying fakes — either deliberately or by mistake.

  • By the numbers: A new survey from Sapio Research, commissioned by the U.K. brand-reputation consultancy Incopro, finds that 26% of American consumers bought an item in the past year believing it to be real, only to find out later that the thing they bought was a fake.
  • The other side: That subset of consumers — call them the Dupes — are also much more likely to deliberately seek out and buy counterfeit goods (as seen in the bottom set of bars in the chart). Some 68% of the Dupes also bought counterfeits on purpose, whereas less than 6% of everybody else did.

What they're saying: Web psychologist Nathalie Nahai says that "when consumers are seeking out items at a specific cost, their desire to meet that price point may well override their desire for authentic products, which can result in a higher likelihood of purchasing counterfeit goods."

The bottom line: Sometimes counterfeits are bought deliberately, and sometimes inadvertently — but it does seem likely that the people buying fakes tend to be the most price-sensitive consumers.

Go deeper: Holiday shoppers are unfazed by recession fears

Go deeper

Holiday shoppers are unfazed by recession fears

Reproduced from an Experian chart; Chart: Axios Visuals

More Americans say they are worried about a recession next year and are getting more cautious about their spending habits and debt, but that didn't slow down their holiday shopping.

Driving the news: Data from Adobe Analytics shows Black Friday spending increased by nearly 20% over last year, rising to $7.4 billion, even as fewer retailers offered big in-store discounts. Brick-and-mortar stores saw an overall 6% decline in sales, according to preliminary data from ShopperTrak.

Go deeperArrowDec 2, 2019

Cyber Monday's rise comes at Black Friday's expense

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

54% of American consumers said they will do most of their holiday shopping online this year, highlighting the rise of Cyber Monday, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Consumers' tendency to stay at home is forcing retailers to rethink how they offer deals on Cyber Monday and Black Friday — two of the biggest shopping days of the year — especially since the former offers loads of data that can allow for companies to make on-the-fly decisions about their offers.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019

Online retailers dominate holiday shopping

An Amazon fulfillment center, fully stocked for Black Friday. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

More and more people are dodging the long lines and busy parking lots of Black Friday — and planning to do their holiday shopping online instead.

The big picture: Despite headlines and reports describing a retail apocalypse, brick-and-mortar stores still easily trump e-commerce sites, with online shopping claiming only about 10% of all retail. But when it comes to shopping around the holidays, online has a much larger share.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019