[PRESS] USA TODAY: The Fake Web: Why We're So Apt to Believe Fake News, Apps, and Reviews

Google Play Fake App

Why people are subscribed to believing in fake news, apps, and other content they see on the web is explored in a story by USA Today and this TalkingTech podcast. Both include commentary by Branding Brand CEO, Chris Mason. 

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Fake app whack-a-mole

Fake apps for Apple and Android operating systems are increasingly becoming breeding grounds for fraudsters who see an opening to peddle bogus products and collect sensitive personal information.

Chris Mason, co-founder of Branding Brand, a Pittsburgh-based app developer, started noticing “hundreds” of phony apps on those virtual stores in September as the holiday push neared.

“Mobile shopping has finally really taken off this year,” Mason says. “And only one out of three retailers has an app, so there was a void.”

He alerted Google and Apple and many were taken down, but not all of them. There are still “dozens” that look like the real thing, Mason says, pointing to phony apps for retailers such as Dillard’s, Foot Locker, Nordstrom and Pandora Jewelry.

Mason suggests downloading the app from the retailer’s website — not the app store — to ensure it’s authentic and check reviews. If they are from upset customers, odds are it's fake, he says.

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[PRESS] CBS This Morning: Cyber Shoppers Report Being Hacked

Chris Mason CBS Evening News Fake Apps

Chris Mason, Branding Brand's CEO and Co-founder, appeared on CBS Evening News on Cyber Monday to warn consumers about the fake shopping apps he discovered in app stores. 

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[PRESS] CBS This Morning: Fake Shopping Apps Offer Back Door for Thieves

Cyber Monday CBS News Fake Apps

Branding Brand's CEO and Co-founder, Chris Mason, appeared on CBS This Morning on Cyber Monday to warn consumers about downloading fake shopping apps during this holiday season. 

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[PRESS] CBS This Morning Features Branding Brand in Fake Apps Story

CBS This Morning Fake Apps

CBS This Morning featured Branding Brand's CEO and Co-founder, Chris Mason, in a segment urging consumers to beware of fake apps in the App Store and Google Play Store. 

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Retailers: Is a Fake App Compromising Your Brand?

App Store View

App Store view of fake apps by a non-branded publisher. 

Fake apps are posing as real brands for consumer consumption in app stores, as Branding Brand recently discovered. This isn’t just a problem for shoppers. Two-thirds of retailers don’t have an app, which can make them particularly susceptible to fraudsters looking to harness a brand’s identity by creating a fake app. Retailers that do have an app aren’t in the clear, but having a presence in The App Store or Google Play Store helps.

Even though multiple fake apps were pulled following this story from The New York Times, they are still popping up. Now that consumers are more aware of the problem, retailers have an opportunity to either create or better-promote their app.

No App?

Take control of your brand's identity by building an app. Consumers who want to shop your brand are looking for it in app stores. In the meantime, make app monitoring a routine by searching your brand name in both the App Store and Google Play Store.

Have an App Already? 

Don’t let your brand’s app be mistaken for a fake because of a broken experience. How?

Pull it or maintain it

If it’s not maintained, having an old app available to potential customers can be just as damaging to your image as a fake. Apps that are outdated can offer a poor experience to your shoppers, which will make them stay away from your app.

Keep up with monitoring
Regularly read user reviews to ensure your app is meeting shopper expectations. In the app stores, continue to keep an eye out for imposters so you can report them.

Ensure current branding is clean, clear of typos, and extends across your app, website, and in-store sales channels. The name of both your app and the publisher should be your brand name to eliminate any questions on whether your app is the real deal.

Boost Awareness 
Make sure people know about your app by marketing it. Advertise it in stores and link to it on your site. Share it on social media and via email campaigns. Apple’s Search Ads is a helpful tool.

Shoppers Want Apps! 

Loyal customers want to shop their favorite retailer via app. Branding Brand’s recent App Survey found that 69% enjoy using shopping apps because they are more convenient than websites. A shopper’s main expectation from a retail app is simple: to purchase products, as 74% said in the same survey. Getting the basic app experience right, then following up with routine optimizations will keep customers coming back to shop.

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Branding Brand is the retail industry's leading digital commerce platform, powering mobile apps, sites, and in-store shopping experiences for over 200 enterprise brands. In addition to being named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" of apps, the Company is also the 2016 Forrester Wave Leader in "Mobile Commerce and Engagement Platforms."
Topics: Trends Fake Apps Company