Promo Fraud Will Make the Post-COVID Landscape Even Worse for Brands

No one knows when the COVID-19 pandemic will be over. Unless a vaccine drops into our laps by the end of the year, it most likely won’t be over anytime soon. This has brands and marketers thinking existentially about the future, attempting to define what they can do right now as opposed to projecting potential outcomes into subsequent quarters. What worked in general in the past simply won’t work as well going forward. The same goes for discounting and promotions.

The digital age has completely changed the way brands rollout the same tried-and-true promotional programs that worked over the past few decades. People may still clip coupons out of papers and magazines, but by and large the way to generate brand awareness, build a bigger customer database and keep loyal customers is through digital channels.

These three tenets are important now more than ever. As the industry reels from waves of brick-and-mortar closures, U.S. retail sales were rocked by the biggest single-month drop ever, and economists are predicting a deep recession that could sink consumer habits even further.

To stay afloat in the uber-competitive marketplace, some brands took a pervasive Cyber Monday and Black Friday mentality, offering big promotions to consumers as a way to spur demand. They want to retain as many customers as possible by driving as many sales as each brand can because the economic future is so uncertain. But just as most brands have joined the discount blitz, so have bad actors taking advantage of this overwhelming shift to ecommerce.

A multi-channel integration of promos across brick-and-mortar, digital, and social media meant to drive results from maximum engagement and exposure is all for naught if brands experience significant promo fraud on marketing campaigns now and beyond the pandemic. 

These schemes attempt to significantly impact revenue for brands, essentially adding insult to injury as brands try to navigate the pandemic’s downturn. Promo fraud takes many forms, but regardless of the method the fraudsters will find loopholes or clever ways to circumvent promotional rules for their own financial gain — and a brand’s ultimate loss.

These brands are so eager to attract new customers and keep loyal ones that they may not have clarity on whether the spectrum of engaged customers are legitimate. When there’s a frantic economic environment such as the one we have now, brands need planning and strategy via intelligent discounting and optimization.


Slashing prices across the board as a pervasive strategy may convince shoppers to spend fast now and stay beyond the pandemic, but doing so without proper checks and balances will hurt profitability in the long-run.

Adapting strategies and offering targeted discounts to legitimate customers with an offer management platform (OMP) like RevTrax is a smarter, safer, and more lucrative strategy that will preserve sales and gross-margin at the same time. 

OMPs equip marketers with the control, data-driven insights, and cost-saving bulwarks while safeguarding a brand’s ultimate goal to stop fraudulent offers altogether. By sending secure email offers through seamless ESP and CRM integration, an OMP facilitates rapid and safe promotions, while ensuring there is no over-redemption to the right customer at the right time.

Brands are offering promos as a way to boost sales, with consumers more than willing to take advantage of the cost-savings. But at the same time, bad actors will try to simultaneously use that uncertainty to take advantage of both. With millions of dollars and consumer financial well-being at stake now and beyond the pandemic, each should be protected at all costs since there aren’t many companies which can withstand this type of pervasive fraud.

We’ve helped hundreds of brands over the past decade enhance their discounting and promotional strategies. If you’d like to learn how RevTrax’s patented security suite can help protect your brand, contact us to speak to a specialist.

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