New research findings by Red Points, the Barcelona-based IP detection and enforcement company, shows that 1 in 3 shoppers would stop buying an electronic brand if they found fakes online. Furthermore, 15% of respondents said they would switch to a competitor or alternative as a result, which would directly affect brands’ sales.

This comes as Red Points’ analysts identified an average 20% increase in the number of IP infringements for its consumer electronics clients in the run-up to Christmas. Meanwhile, headphones, smartphones and cameras scored among the most popular items shoppers had accidentally bought a fake version of in the past.

With the consumer electronics industry projected to reach a global value of $1.7 billion in the next 5 years, growing strongly at around 6% per year, the industry has been plagued by design, trademark and patent infringements from low-cost imitation products in recent years.

The report highlights that the majority of shoppers (54%) are concerned about the problem of fake consumer electronics goods, whilst just over half of participants said they would find a brand less desirable if they became aware there were lots of fakes of this brand. This shows a clear undermining of brand value in the opinion of the consumer. This loss of brand value is then shown in the effects of fakes on buying behavior; only 11% stated they would not change their buying behavior after finding fakes online.

An additional concern for brands is that in the event a consumer does buy a fake, half will warn their social circle, and 26% would complain on social media, spreading the negative effects of counterfeits beyond the individual consumer.

Commenting on the survey findings, Laura Urquizu, Red Points´CEO, said: “With the holiday season right around the corner, brands need to do more to protect their consumers against online counterfeiters. It’s loud and clear from our report that fake consumer electronics, the fastest growing category of counterfeited good and one of the most popular category for shoppers to buy Christmas gift this year, have a tremendous economic impact on brands but also undermines companies hard-earned reputation.”