We live in a world of convenience — smartphones in our hands, pictures of the products and services we require on our screen. As a result, we are always just one click away from buying anything we want, if we can afford it.
This is one picture.
The other one is a bit darker, the murkier side of e-commerce, marred by counterfeit products. These products are not just a waste of our money and time, but also a dangerous deal which might affect our health and physical well-being, other than being a big threat to economy.
How Deadly is Counterfeiting for the Ordinary Consumer?
A recent survey conducted by LocalCircles revealed that even the big names of the online marketing like Amazon have, on an average, 10% counterfeit products. If the products falling among this 10% belong to the dietary, cosmetic or pharmaceutical category, the jeopardizing of the consumers and the brand names is a problem worth many worries.
According to the WHO, the fake pharmaceutical trade is worth $30 billion and claims the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people around the world.
Fake cosmetics which are blatant rip-offs of popular brands are made in unsanitary conditions and contain cancer-causing compounds like arsenic and cadmium and a multitude of infection-causing bacteria. These cosmetic products are available at a fraction of the price of originals but are health time-bombs looking to unleash their horrors on unsuspecting customers. Like 18-year old Rachel Mclaughlin, who suffered a severe allergic reaction that left her struggling for breath, after she applied a fake Kyle Jenner lip kit.
simplyBrand to the Rescue
Presently, when countries, consumers and brands are trying hard to combat this threat posed by counterfeit products, they continue to hover around, and their danger has not been mitigated still. To solve this problem, simplyBrand has come with a unique and innovative solution — a combination of people, blockchain and AI to fight the menace of counterfeiting in e-commerce.
The vision of this platform is to create a world where consumers and brands are protected from counterfeiting. While the former can dodge all the harmful effects of the fake products, the latter can save its reputation from being tarnished.
On the simplyBrand platform, the e-commerce sites will be continuously scanned for product data. This database will be further analyzed by AI and crowdsourcing participants who would verify for a product being genuine or counterfeit. Once a seller is found to be selling fake products, it’s details will be put up on a “blacklist” that can be publicly accessed on a blockchain. This list can be accessed by customers as well as enforcement agencies to take action on unscrupulous online merchants.
Such a set-up will be convenient and beneficial for all the parties involved — brands, crowdsourced participants, enforcement agencies and the other third parties. Brands can get rid of their fake counterparts, participants can get a reliable market free of counterfeit products, enforcement agencies can have access to a large amount of info about counterfeit products for their elimination, and third parties like law firms which are associated with brands can also find business benefits.
To put it simply, e-commerce is currently suffering a major chaos created by the presence of counterfeit products. With the ease of buying things online, more and more people are turning to e-commerce and are being beguiled into buying such products. While governments and brands have failed at eradicating them from the market, the time, capital, health, and well-being of an average consumer is at stake. In such a situation, this anti-counterfeiting initiative of simplyBrand does not only has a potential of changing things in the bigger picture but also of making the lives of the ordinary people better by ensuring quality and genuineness in the stuff they buy.
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