The online shopping explosion has swung the door wide open for counterfeiters to sneak false products into the supply chain. This counterfeit issue is particularly systemic within the online marketplaces, which may have different operating models than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. In many cases, the online retailer does not take actual ownership of the inventory—it simply facilitates the transaction, fueling the opportunity for counterfeiters to expand their operations.
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Explore This IssueAugust/September 2016
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Counterfeiters combine legitimate photos with enticing low prices to lure online shoppers into buying false products, all while they maintain anonymity.
When supply chain partners commit to product identification using GTINs, the incidence of counterfeit products significantly goes down. Online marketplaces have begun requiring valid GTINs for sellers to list their products and will not post the product listing if this is not in place.
Looking to the Future
Several years ago, many members of the industry did not think consumers would be interested in online grocery shopping. However, today’s consumer is proving that assumption incorrect. Analysts predict massive growth in the next three to five years in online grocery shopping, and retailers that embrace food transparency can grow sales up to 25 percent faster than their peers, according to IRI.
Attitudes and paths to purchase are changing and food companies recognize that they need to put the consumer’s concerns first or risk losing sales. New commerce options should not compete with traditional success—it is not “in-store versus online.” Those with a holistic and standardized approach will be able to capitalize on consumers’ interest in grocery shopping online.
Fernandez is vice president of Retail Grocery and Foodservice at GS1 US. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.