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COVID-19 Fuels E-Commerce Product Counterfeiting

The Coronavirus pandemic has been disrupting and reshaping everything as it propagates, sales models aren’t an exception. As the restrictions on sales of non-essential goods get relaxed, e-commerce has begun showing impressive growth across the globe as social distancing promises to be the new normal. Though it’s quite early to concede the end of retail, the current pandemic has already paved the way for its dusk. Despite being the dark times for other industries, the overall e-commerce market has shown impressive year-on-year growth across the globe since April; over 100% in North America, 61% in Europe, 28% in APAC, and over 200% in other regions. This significant push is expected to continue for the next few years and it’s projected to reach $18.8 trillion by 2027. [1]

Threats to E-Commerce Consumers

This unprecedented boost leaves the e-commerce industry and consumers prone to potential threats and counterfeits. The product counterfeit market grows equally to the e-commerce industry at a rate of 15% CARG to reach $1.8 trillion by 2020. This is something big that led the world’s largest e-commerce company to add counterfeit concerns in a regulatory filing for the first time, declaring that the firm may be unable to prevent third-party sellers from selling counterfeit goods via their stores. It also comes along with major concern that more than half of the products sold on this platform are from third-parties.

The US Department of Homeland Security through its new policy holds e-commerce platforms jointly liable for counterfeits and other fraudulent practices by imposing severe penalties wherein failing to take necessary measures immediately. Other countries are also expected to follow these footsteps in the near time and India could be one of these as online shopping frauds registered with the National Consumer Helpline showed an alarming six-fold jump.

RFID Prevents Anti-Counterfeiting

RFID technology is an effective tool against product counterfeiting threats. Be it the most essential healthcare products of the hour or otherwise, RFID helps online retailers and consumers to overcome counterfeit threats. The programmable RFID tags are embedded or attached to a product’s packaging or to the product directly by the OEM. Each tag can be read by the user to retrieve the various information from the database to identify the genuineness of the product.

These RFID tags have unique identification (UID) codes, a digitally encrypted serial number for every product unit, and a thread identification (TID) for track-and-trace capability. This also enables the e-commerce player and consumer to track the complete supply chain of the product, beginning from OEM to consumer hands of consumers. As the above RFID tags IDs are unique, the counterfeit products wouldn’t be able to map the UID and TID data of the OEM, this could easily help in preventing the biggest threat to the e-commerce industry and its consumers.

With the latest developments in Near Field Communication (NFC), a subset of RFID technology, taking the above solution to every individual isn’t something too far because of its convenience and accessibility advantages. Dual tags that have both NFC and UHF/HF parts are also a good solution that helps asset tracking and authentication. The addition of sensors for temperatures and humidity can add additional value for tracking the complete supply chain history of the product.

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

Syrma, with its 4-decade old electronics design and manufacturing expertise, provides manufacturing for diverse markets. Since 1990, our group has provided full-scale custom RFID design and production services. Today our RFID products are used by more than 200 customers for various applications and the product anti-counterfeiting market has been the largest.

With our experience dating back to several decades, we understand our domestic Indian market, we’re familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs seeking to enter the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and it lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, which offers economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport, with additional road and rail connectivity linking to the rest of India and beyond, as well as infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force availability, both technical and manual, to rapidly scale to client demand.

To learn more about this topic, please contact us.

Syrma TechnologyCOVID-19 Fuels E-Commerce Product Counterfeiting

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