How data sharing partnerships can combat online counterfeit trade

Sep 22, 2022

With pandemic restrictions and social distancing, most people around the world preferred buying and shopping online while both online and brick and mortar retails revamped their e- commerce. As of 2016, international trade in counterfeit goods had a 3.3% stake in global trade and this steep growth in online usage has only increased counterfeit and fake products circulating in the market. Counterfeits are a violation of intellectual property and authorized business and they hurt consumers, businesses and the economy. 

Fake good organizations that run the manufacturing and distribution of these products exploit the often complex and inefficient supply chain process. They will use several transit points and complicated trade routes that will help them hide information about the fake product and confuse anyone trying to trace these products. They will also go so far as to label these products with imitated labels and fake logos and circulate them around, which makes it harder for authorities to trace these products to the country of origin. These organizations are global and adaptive and persistent and while they misrepresent the original traders and retailers, the latter suffer from financial loss and tarnished brand image. Consumers are led to believe the knock offs are the real and authentic product and may as well be harmed.  All of these issues are pushing governments and retailers to come together and implement measures that tackle this problem. 

One way that this can be solved is by data sharing.  For instance, manufacturers, retailers, delivery companies and consumers all share data about the product and every single partner has access to this data. The data can include information about the procurement of raw materials, manufacturing process and packaging system. It can also share what stage of processing the product is currently in, where it is exactly located and which partner is handling it.  Complex supply chain can have a transparent chain where everyone can access any information about the product, have that updated in real time and no one can change it because the data is permanent so data integrity is maintained. All partners can also draw up smart contracts that have the terms and conditions ingrained into the logic of the contracts. This makes transactions also seamless and reduces intermediaries which is how most of these counterfeit organizations try to enter supply chains.  

Blockchain can also help enhance data sharing process. It is a distributed ledger that is shared among every partner of the supply chain in a common network. It is a continuously growing link of blocks which are connected and secured using cryptography. Because of it’s decentralized and open nature, blockchain in inherently safe and trusted while eliminating the need to depend on a central authority. Organizations can digitize their products and construct an immutable log of all transactions. This makes tracking products right from production to delivery very easy. Transparency in supply chain and end-to-end tracking promises visibility to both businesses and consumers.

Blockchain can make supply chain efficient with its real time track and trace feature to help reduce and eliminate fraud and counterfeit products. It could also help organizations understand how raw materials and finished goods are passed through each stakeholder.  This earns original products a badge of authenticity so consumers know that they are getting the real deal. Profit losses from counterfeit and gray market trading is controlled and reduced and trust increases in customers by diminishing the impact of counterfeit products. Data sharing if implemented in a way that is agreeable to all the partners involved and if governments can introduce bills that will help with ethical data sharing –  this solidarity and partnership can tackle global fake and counterfeit trading. 

Creating a solid base for your brand is also very important to tackle counterfeiting. At MSRvantage, we provide services and solutions that will help you create an indomitable brand image while keeping your organization secure from becoming a victim of fake goods trading. We provide solutions that will boost your supply chain and make it more efficient and adaptive to changing demands. MSRvantage provides a platform that will keep your customers satisfied with a smart rewards and loyalty program that will provide them with redeemable purchase points. This loyalty program is easy to manage and will give your organization a head start into creating a brand that will be synonymous with authentic and good quality products. 

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