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Survey sees shoppers welcome smartphone app to check authenticity of goods and protect from rise in counterfeiting

Almost half of UK shoppers would be happy to use a smartphone app to reveal a counterfeit product before buying it, a survey has revealed.

The poll carried out by engage™, part of the Eltronis Group, discovered also that one in five Brits bought counterfeit products within the last year with shoppers agreeing that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the different between original items and replicas.

Technology is seen as playing an important role in helping counter this, with just under half of responders saying they ‘definitely would’ use an app to scan products in-store and check their authenticity and that they would be more inclined to visit stores rather than buy online.

In the findings, an alarming number of British people surveyed were unsure whether they had mistakenly bought something counterfeit, but encouragingly, 48 per cent of UK shoppers said were aware of how widespread counterfeiting is at a global level.

The survey comes after the Eltronis Group launched engage™, a new cloud-based software solution that provides brands with a simple, yet sophisticated tool to protect goods from skilled counterfeiters and at the same time, keep customers and brands safe.

Delivering trust and transparency to brands worldwide, engage™ is designed to meet the growing demand for a simple solution that allows consumers and brands to interact and communicate, as well as protect goods.

Across the world, counterfeit is becoming increasingly prevalent, with online sales making it easy for fraudsters to trick consumers and replace genuine items with fakes.

Pete Smallwood, Business Development Manager for Eltronis, said ““The fact that counterfeit manufacturers have become so skilled at replicating products is a major cause for concern, both for consumers and brands. Shoppers end up buying items that they believe are authentic and then lose trust in the designer brand which in return causes significant damage to its reputation.”

As part of the research, shoppers were asked how often they might use a smartphone app to reveal counterfeit products before purchase, and they said, ‘most of the time’. They revealed that they would ‘always’ use it if it allowed them to take part in promotions or loyalty campaigns, in addition to checking the authenticity of products.

Smallwood concluded; “The aim of the survey was to highlight how counterfeiting is becoming increasingly prevalent and how easy it is for fraudsters to trick consumers and replace genuine items with fakes.

“By adding engage™ to products, brands can help counter this trend, promoting the provenance of the item, and building protection against potential counterfeits, all through the use of our smartphones.”