Will Covid-19 cause 2021 to see the biggest boom in counterfeit cosmetics?

As the pandemic forced consumers to purchase their beauty products online, in turn creating opportunity for the makers of fake goods, brands must prepare for a crime wave, writes Rachel Jones, founder and CEO of Snapdragon

The LAPD seized $100,000 worth of fake beauty products, including counterfeit Kylie Cosmetics lip kits

The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the cosmetics industry this year, rapidly altering where consumers shop and what they buy.

Lockdown and social distancing restrictions have tipped the balance dramatically towards online shopping.

According to consultants McKinsey, it is estimated that 2020 will see a 20 to 30% rise in e-commerce for the beauty industry.

Digital trade has been a lifeline for many brands, but such a sudden, unplanned shift brings its own risks.

Counterfeiters have seized on the surge in web searches to flood markets with fraudulent products, eager to profit off the back off the inexperience of some consumers, new to buying online.

Despite the hope heralded by news of a vaccine, it will be some time before the industry is ‘back to normal’ and the dominance of online shopping is likely to remain long after the beauty counter reigns again.

As counterfeiters adapt to the new landscape, developing ever more sophisticated methods and targeting . . .

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