Smart Protection’s Research Study with Ipsos: Counterfeits and Brand Abuse in the Beauty and Personal Care Industry

18.7% of consumers who shop online have intentionally purchased a counterfeit beauty or personal care product online.

 

  • In the US we discovered that 34% have unintentionally purchased a counterfeit beauty or personal care item, whilst an even greater percentage have done so intentionally (36%)
  • 21% of those that have intentionally purchased a counterfeit beauty or personal care product did so for their child or children
  • 1 in 5 consumers would cease shopping with the official brand if they were to unintentionally purchase a counterfeit which was labelled with their brand name

 

Revenue in the global beauty and personal care industry totals $511,401m in 2021, of which almost a quarter is generated through online sales. It is one of the fastest growing consumer markets, having benefitted greatly from social channels like Instagram, where younger generations are following both brands and influencers, and sharing photos with friends.

In fact, 100% of those questioned in our exclusive research study have purchased a beauty or personal care product in the past year through a digital channel, whilst 65% confirmed that they are buying more beauty and personal care products online than they were 12 months ago.

 

 

The study conducted by the anti-piracy company Smart Protection alongside Ipsos confirmed that there is a significant amount of both counterfeits and brand abuse present online within the beauty and personal care industry. They reported that one in five (21%) of European and US shoppers have intentionally purchased a counterfeit beauty or personal care item online, and the majority (85%) would do so again. Of this group some (52%) admitted to doing so on a regular basis. The most commonly bought categories of counterfeit beauty and personal care products were skincare (58%), haircare (53%), personal care (51%), and makeup (44%).

These shoppers went on to acknowledge that the main reason that they choose to buy counterfeits rather than the genuine item was because they believe that they offer the same quality as the original (21%), that they were influenced by positive reviews and ratings (18%), or as it was the first one that they discovered whilst searching online (15%).

Despite the clear demand for counterfeit beauty and personal care items, 44% believe that they are made up of inferior ingredients (44%), and that there is a greater risk that they could cause damage to their bodies (39%).

 

Smart Protection

 

18.6% of beauty and personal care shoppers have unintentionally purchased a counterfeit online.

Not all of those that have purchased a counterfeit beauty and personal care product online did so intentionally. Despite the fact that 72% of those questioned are aware that these fake products are advertised and sold online, almost one in five (19%) have been deceived. Despite the high awareness rate, shoppers are still vulnerable when shopping online due to the sophisticated techniques used by cybercriminals.

Despite the fact that counterfeiters utilize the same digital channels to advertise and sell fake beauty and personal care products online, 31% of respondents are sure that they can identify counterfeit items when shopping online, 57% are unsure, whilst the remaining 12% concede that they are unable to tell.

Consumers were asked how they would respond to the scenario of unintentionally purchasing a counterfeit beauty or personal care item online, and the responses were alarming. 28% would warn friends or family about the dangers associated with shopping the official brand´s products, 20% would cease shopping with the official brand, whilst 19% would lose confidence in buying online and turn to more traditional offline channels. In fact, just 14% would continue shopping as usual.

Ignacio Muguiro, Branding Director at Smart Protection stated that:

Counterfeits within the beauty and personal care industry pose an even greater risk than those from other sectors as they are intended for use on the body and may pose a considerable health risk. Consumers are often unaware of the dangers of these not so glamorous products, which often fall short of the standards which legitimate products adhere to. A failure to follow minimum rules and regulations could result in a reputational nightmare if a legitimate beauty brand were to find itself somehow associated with a counterfeit, branded under their name which caused a serious consumer health issue.”

Fear around the dangers associated with these counterfeit beauty and personal care products was highlighted by the respondents. 68% admitted to being “absolutely” concerned about the dangers which these unregulated products pose to their health, whilst an addition 26% admitted to being a little worried. In fact, just 6% remain unconcerned about the risk to their health.

 

Marketplaces and Social Networks

 

Consumer confidence in relation to the beauty and personal care items advertised on marketplaces is relatively high considering the level of counterfeits seen on many of these platforms. One in four (26%) consumers believe that if a product is listed on a marketplace, then it must be genuine, 40% trust some marketplaces more than others.

Sentiment dropped when respondents were questioned about the authenticity of products advertised across social networks. One is five (20%) had complete trust in the beauty and personal care products promoted on social networks, an additional 36% admitted to being unsure of their authenticity, whilst 17% conceded that they do not trust these items. Perhaps this greater level of concern is understandable when we consider that 20% of consumer claim that they occasionally see counterfeit beauty and personal care products being advertised and sold on social networks, whilst others see them regularly (12.2%), and some claim to spot them on a daily basis (9%).

 

Changes in Shopping Trends and Consumption

 

65% of consumers are either buying more beauty and personal care items online than ever before (33%), or more than usual (32%). The global pandemic was also responsible for a change in the frequency in which respondents use beauty and personal care products with 20% using more than usual, and an additional 16% using more than ever before.

You can download the full Report here: https://smartprotection.com/en/brand/counterfeits-online-trends-beauty-industry

 

The ´Research Study: Counterfeits and online trends in the beauty and personal care industry´ is a global study conduct by Smart protection and Ipsos. The data published in this press release, as well as in the accompanying graphs, refer to the figures obtained from consumers in the USA, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

 

For More Information:

Ignacio Muguiro | [email protected] | 617 245 540

 

About Smart Protection

 

Smart Protection is a technology company that protects intellectual property rights online. They combat counterfeits and brand abuse on the internet through a combination of its SaaS technology platform and team of cybersecurity experts. Founded in 2015 and based in Madrid it protects content, products, and brands in Europe, the US, and LATAM. For more information visit: www.smartprotection.com