As new brands emerge, many of them are relying solely on the internet for sales and distribution. More established brands are experimenting with an omni-channel approach; i.e., hanging on to brick and mortar sales and traditional distribution channels, while also forging a presence in online and social media spaces. Unfortunately, both groups are facing new and dire challenges along the way.
E-Commerce Crimes & Fraud
Just like the American gold rush of the late 1840s attracted charlatans, robbers, and hustlers, the proliferation of E-Commerce has given rise to its own groups of fraudsters and criminals. These modern-day bandits are costing manufacturers and legitimate retailers billions of dollars per year. They are also diluting brands and damaging hard-earned reputations.
To add insult to injury, most of these unauthorized sellers operate freely under the internet’s vast cloak of anonymity. Many use false names and attempt to obscure their physical locations. They have been known to shut down shop the moment their illicit activities are detected, only to pop up using a new name or new website almost instantaneously. In other words, they’re not easy to catch.
Lamentably, law enforcement agencies are hesitant to become involved in investigations that may span multiple jurisdictions or even the globe. Often, they view illicit sales activities as civil disputes between a brand and rogue sellers. Additionally, criminal laws have largely focused on cybercrimes that impact consumers – identity theft and credit card fraud, for example. Laws protecting brands, manufacturers, and retailers are still few and far between.
For more information on how to address unauthorized sellers. Go to our Learning Center to learn more.