COVID-19 Fuels E-Commerce Product Counterfeiting
COVID-19 Fuels E-Commerce Product Counterfeiting

Jun 06, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has been disrupting and reshaping everything as it propagates; sales models aren’t an exception. As the restrictions on sales of non-essential goods get relaxed, e-commerce has begun showing impressive growth across the globe as social distancing promises to be the new normal. Though it’s quite early to concede the end of retail, the current pandemic has already paved the way for its dusk. Despite being the dark times for other industries, the overall e-commerce market has shown impressive year-on-year growth across the globe since April; over 100% in North America, 61% in Europe, 28% in APAC, and over 200% in other regions. This significant push is expected to continue for the next few years, and it’s projected to reach $18.8T by 2027. [1]

Threats to E-Commerce Consumers

This unprecedented boost leaves the e-commerce industry and consumers prone to potential threats and counterfeits. The product counterfeit market grows equally to the e-commerce industry at a rate of 15% CARG to reach $1.8T by 2020. This is something big that led the world’s largest e-commerce company to add counterfeit concerns in a regulatory filing for the first time, declaring that the firm may be unable to prevent third-party sellers from selling counterfeit goods via their stores. It also comes with major concern that more than half of the products sold on this platform are from third parties.

The US Department of Homeland Security, through its new policy, holds e-commerce platforms jointly liable for counterfeits and other fraudulent practices by imposing severe penalties wherein failing to take necessary measures immediately. Other countries are also expected to follow these footsteps in the near time, and India could be one of these as online shopping frauds registered with the National Consumer Helpline showed an alarming six-fold jump.

RFID Prevents Anti-Counterfeiting

RFID technology is an effective tool against product counterfeiting threats. Be it the most essential healthcare products of the hour or otherwise, RFID helps online retailers and consumers to overcome counterfeit threats. The programmable RFID tags are embedded or attached to a product’s packaging or directly by the OEM. The user can read each tag to retrieve the various information from the database to identify the genuineness of the product.

These RFID tags have unique identification (UID) codes, a digitally encrypted serial number for every product unit, and a thread identification (TID) for track-and-trace capability. This also enables the e-commerce player and consumer to track the complete supply chain of the product, beginning from OEM to consumer hands of consumers. As the above RFID tags IDs are unique, the counterfeit products wouldn’t map the UID and TID data of the OEM; this could easily help prevent the biggest threat to the e-commerce industry and its consumers.

With the latest developments in Near Field Communication (NFC), a subset of RFID technology, taking the above solution to every individual isn’t something too far because of its convenience and accessibility advantages. Dual tags with both NFC and UHF/HF parts are also a good solution that helps asset tracking and authentication. The addition of sensors for temperatures and humidity can add additional value for tracking the complete supply chain history of the product.

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets. We look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home Indian market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs in entering the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport. Additional road and rail connectivity links to the rest of India and beyond and infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force flexibility, both technical and manual, to scale to demand rapidly.

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