Shoplazza Brand Voice | Get to know online fraudsters “evils under the sun”

Shoplazza may not currently be a household name for global online shoppers, but it’s gaining more exposure than ever among the online merchants. As we all know, Shoplazza, as a global leading SaaS platform, offers one-stop digital retail store building technologies and services to over 360,000 merchants, such as storefront customization, order and inventory system, fulfillment services, payment gateways, etc. In 2021, its annual growth bursted over 450% compared to previous year. Meanwhile, Shoplazza’s technological innovations and excellent services kept receiving recognitions and awards from our global business partners, like Google, Facebook Meta, PayPal, also from mainstream media, like Forbes, IQF, Effie.

However, as the platform GMV and merchant size exponentially exploded during the last few years. Unavoidably, Shoplazza did encounter some of the common challenges that were faced among all SaaS Shopping Cart contenders. Protecting the brand reputation for both the platform and merchants has been lying at the centre among all other priorities.

Signs to get spotted

It’s always a big challenge to spot and contain the shopping scam related risks from online retailers. Shoplazza has invested heavily in the necessary measures to help global shoppers. Throughout the years, some of the common scam related behaviours and signs are concluded as follows.

Online Shopping Scams:

For products advertised at an amazingly or unbelievably low price, or with incredible benefits or features that sound too good to be true, or sound like a big win in the lottery. Then probably, it may be a scam. For those stores based on social media platforms, when shoppers get redirected to their online stores while finding very little or limited information about company information, delivery and other policies. It could be a scammer.

If you are required to make those immediate payments, or payments by electronic funds transfer or through e-transfer services, in some cases, you may also be required to pay an upfront fee before you get to acquire the access to a unbelievably cheap deal. Then, please be aware that it may possibly be a scam. Because no law-binding merchants would ask any shoppers to pay for their promotions or e-vouchers. An online retailer does not provide adequate information concerning policies like privacy, terms & conditions of use, dispute resolution or contact details. If the retailers do not allow payment through any secured payment services such as PayPal, Stripe or a credit card transaction.

Brand Abuse:

Nowadays, businesses have to create online presences and during the process, have made themselves susceptible to be exposed to the risks of duplicity and identity theft on an unprecedented scale. As Shoplazza has observed, present fraudsters are technologically permitted to recreate a website that looks exactly like the original one. They may even create social media pages claiming to the storefront and do the voicing for your brand. And online shoppers are not able to tell the difference.

As more than 60% of the online shoppers’ survey indicated that they use social media as a tool during the decision making process, in simple words, social media helps shoppers to make a “buy” or “no buy” decision. In many cases, shoppers are essentially looking into social media for social proves, product presentations and reviews.

Consumers raise complaints or an issue on one of “merchants” pages and start to trust your brand less and less. Negative and angry reviews start to drift your potential and existing consumers further away. So what have fraudsters done?

“Evils under the sun” scenarios may come in many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Counterfeiting

  • Rogue websites

  • Copyright piracy

  • Trademark squatting

  • Patent theft

  • Social media impersonation

Generally, what they do refers generally to an outside party infringing on a brand’s intellectual property in order to take advantage of its well-respected reputation. Besides, there are a number of ways that trolls and scammers can do harm.

Traffic diversion

It is one way by which scammers may be targeting shoppers. Using the brand name as a ranked keyword making search engines show results to websites that are not linked to the real brand website. For example, scammer starts a new website called “Walmart” and use it to execute its evil plans. When a customer looks for “Walmart” to shop groceries online, that “Walmart” result may pop up and deceive anyone who clicks on it.

SEO manipulation

It is considered a black hat SEO trick. Brand name, logo or slogan may be inserted in scammer’s website header, meta description or even HTML tags. Consequently, a scammer's website who is not associated with the original brand, ends up ranking higher for a particular keyword than the real brand does.

We will go deeper to understand and analyze the scammer scenarios in next few Shoplazza Brand Voice articles.

What can you do to protect your brand?

For the legal owner of your online brand, there are a few measures you can take to prevent and protect from brand theft under extreme scenarios.

H4: Trademark registration

No doubt, there is no better measure other than registering your trademarks. Yes, it is time consuming to apply and receive your rights. But once your trademark is in place, any type of the brand abuse will be dealt with seriously and fraudsters may face severe consequences.

H4: Verified social media accounts

Some of the popular social media platforms offer services as verifying the potential fraud websites, once verified, those websites or pages will be closed immediately. Besides, their funds will be frozen. Utilize public platforms’ privacy protections as a tool for your own brand.

H4: Establishing brand guidelines

Develop a unified brand guide will help anyone from your brand with identifiable and universal expressions on many external communications. It will help shoppers to better recognize and distinguish real brand from a copycat one.

H4: React immediately to brand abuse cases

Under any circumstances, if you do find such piracy cases, reach Shoplazza Complaint Portal immediately. Meanwhile, gather as much as possible, such as screenshots of the websites including URL, chatting history with the fake customer services, order credentials or anything helps identify the scammer website.

What Does SHOPLAZZA do to help merchants and customers?

SHOPLAZZA is always committed to protect the merchants and shoppers against the online shopping scams and scammers. Even though we have noticed an increasing number of unverified complaints appearing on certain websites claiming that SHOPLAZZA is a scam website. We have already taken proper legal procedures and actions to protect its reputation.

SHOPLAZZA is the official partner to Google and Amazon for acquiring system and data security. Regarding transactional security, SHOPLAZZA works closely with its global payment partners to ensure merchants and shoppers are properly protected, the partners like PayPal, Stripe and many more.

Through these systems, any shopping or transactional disputes will be handled by payment partners for reviewing and proceeding to the resolutions between merchants and shoppers. In any instances, if a merchant has been complained or involved in too many transactional disputes, payment partners will freeze the funds or accounts of those problematic merchants and give feedback to SHOPLAZZA. Through the end of SHOPLAZZA, we will investigate matters and communicate with relevant merchants. If the answers or measures do not satisfy SHOPLAZZA regulations, their stores will be closed permanently.

Other measures have also been taken to ensure healthy and pleasant online shopping experiences with SHOPLAZZA powered stores. All our merchants have been introduced and agreed upon the updated policies against online shopping scams. On the other hand, SHOPLAZZA is expanding its payment and risk control team to consistently maintain and scan each online transaction, also closely following up with emerging transaction risks related challenges.

Many new entrepreneurs are preoccupied with sales and business scalability, often neglecting brand protection. But just keep in mind and keep an eye out for potential scams and piracy, Shoplazza is always a responsible platform and fight online scams and piracy alongside with our merchants and global shoppers.

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