Are you confident in the products you are buying online?

Next time you get out your credit card to do your shopping online, you should be aware that almost 10% of worldwide trade is in counterfeit goods. Granted there are people actively searching for fake goods, however, millions of consumers may have purchased a counterfeit product online without ever realising that they have bought a fake especially when it puts their health and safety at risk — and you could be one of them!

Buying on eCommerce giants and trusted websites such as Amazon and eBay doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the products you are buying are legit. A report conducted by the United States Government Accountability Office earlier this year revealed that not only are third-party sellers selling counterfeit products on these well-known eCommerce websites, but they are also putting their consumer’s life at risk.

Fake products can be dangerous

A smart consumer would like to think they are able to spot a fake, but this is proving to be difficult to do as these products are often the same price as genuine goods and listed on reputable online retail websites. Confident in the products that they are buying, consumers are purchasing from these sellers that advertise their products as new and unused with average ratings above 90% and with plenty of reviews on show to back up their legitimacy — factors that instil trust in the consumer. But what they could get are counterfeit goods that contain potentially dangerous materials. Counterfeit iPhone adapters pose the risk of lethal electrocution, counterfeit cosmetics contain poisonous substances such as cyanide, mercury and rat droppings and fake medicines are responsible for at least 100 000 deaths in Africa annually!

You may possess a counterfeit product without even knowing it! Makes you think right?

Major eCommerce sites can’t police counterfeit products

Buying from these major eCommerce website doesn’t necessarily mean you are buying a fake product, but it does mean that you should be vigilant and conscious that a lot of unassuming counterfeit products come from them.

These giants do their best to prevent counterfeit items entering their market, but with millions of third-party sellers buying fake reviews and editing or stealing pictures to make the products look legit, it is almost impossible to fight this losing battle as these scamming artists know how to get around their policy without raising any red flags.

Solving the issue of counterfeit products and fake reviews

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way consumers could shop online confidently and retailers didn’t have to worry about counterfeit items being sold on their platform, tarnishing their reputations? And wouldn’t it equally be great if consumers knew that the reviews that back up the seller’s claims are legit?

Blockchain technology could hold the answer to this problem. Based upon a complex cryptography, the blockchain effectively provides a permanent, incorruptible and irreversible record. This means that it leaves no room for fraud of any kind, be it counterfeit products or fake reviews.

Research now estimates that up to one-third of online reviews are fake, and posted falsely either by the merchant itself to boost their reputation, or by a competitor to damage the business involved.

The Omnitude solution prevents third-party sellers from making fake reviews as blockchain weaves the security into the data itself , providing a full audit trail that everyone can see and verify. Customer with an Omnitude Identity (OID) will enter their own identity and preference data one, which will then be verified by the merchant and then encrypted and recorded on the Omnitude blockchain.

The Omnitude Proof of Interaction will verify that every transaction took place and only after the delivery has been made will the system allow the consumer to leave a review, eradicating all fake reviews. Omnitude’s Supply Chain solution will allow individual items or shipments to be tagged with identifiers and tracked as they move along the supply chain. From raw materials, to components, to assembled goods, to finished products, to final customer delivery. Every single item will be recorded by trusted ‘witnesses’ and written immutably on Omnitude’s blockchain.

Using the Omnitude Tracker App, a customer can verify any item’s history matches the seller’s claims. This will help to reduce the potential for counterfeit goods entering the supply chain and damaging brand reputations and putting consumers health and safety at risk.

Once this system has been implemented, consumers can be rest assured knowing that they are spending their hard earned cash on verified and safe products and merchants will have one less thing to worry about so that they can concentrate on what really matters — getting the full potential of their business.

Find out how Omnitude can bring back trust to your business today.