E-commerce is on the rise, and counterfeiting on Amazon has become an increasingly problematic reality. It's a challenging time for brands as the rate of fraudulent activity rises, resulting in a loss of time, money, and effort. According to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, fake products now estimate 3.3% of the global trade and it is incredibly prominent on Amazon.
So, what’s Amazon going to do about it?
Amazon Project Zero and Amazon Counterfeit Crime Unit are initiatives to reduce the number of counterfeit sellers on the platform. If these issues are not addressed, the legitimacy and brand image become threatened, and Amazon sinks into the position of less of a reputable marketplace. It’s a lose-lose situation that likely sparked the e-commerce giant’s proactiveness.
Amazon Project Zero consists of 3 main components which contribute towards the sweep of fraudulent sellers on Amazon.
Powered by Machine Learning, Amazon identifies key brand information, scans over 5 billion daily listings for update attempts, and detects/removes whenever there is suspected counterfeit.
Self-Service Counterfeit Removal
Through Project Zero, brands aren’t required to contact Amazon every time they are faced with suspected counterfeit. When enrolled, sellers can access a self-service platform and remove threats themselves.
Product serialization protects your products further by applying a unique code to each enrolled product. This code then gets scanned by Amazon to confirm the authenticity making it easier to identify and prevent counterfeit.
Are you eligible?
Amazon Project Zero is eligible to those who meet these criteria (1) Enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry with a government-registered trademark, (2) Be the rights owner of the trademark. (3) Have an Amazon account with access to Brand Registry, (4) Have submitted reports of potential infringements with an acceptance rate of at least 90% in the last six months. If you meet these requirements, this could be the game-changer you need to crush competitors and dominate your space.
THIS WEEK'S BITES
Amazon Spends $42 Billion On R&D But The 10K Discusses R&D In 300 Words
March 19, 2021, Amazon's The New Unsuitable Inventory Investigations Policy goes into effect.
April 5, 2021, you will be required to provide the carrier name (that is, the carrier-code field) when you confirm shipments via bulk feeds, APIs, or integrators. Some of the commonly used carrier names are USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
May 3, 2021, Amazon will validate tracking details (including the carrier name and tracking ID) for all seller-fulfilled orders and show warnings for invalid tracking details.
May 31, 2021, Sellers who continue to use a bank account from a non-participating PSP after this date will be subject to an extended disbursement reserve period of up to 21 days after the latest estimated delivery date.
July 15, 2021, Amazon will stop disbursements to sellers using non-participating PSPs until they switch to a participating PSP or use a bank account directly issued by a deposit-taking bank
NEW ON AMAZON
Beginning March 19, 2021, Amazon will be updating their policy that claims that if your products are suspected of being counterfeit or illegal goods, and sellers are unresponsive to these suspicions, that Amazon has grounds to confiscate or dispose of them. Amazon has been under fire for the last little while, scrutinized for the high-rising number of fraudulent products on the marketplace. Regulators, sellers, and customers are more aware now and are concerned about their purchase's legitimacy (not to mention the negative press).
"Under the new policy, if we suspect that you may have been engaged in the sale of counterfeit products or other illegal goods, we may require additional information about the affected Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) inventory. If you do not provide the requested information, or we investigate and find that the inventory constitutes unsuitable units, we may dispose of it" - Unsuitable Inventory Investigations Policy
While many could argue this policy doesn't affect their day-to-day life, some are concerned about a specific claim in the statement that allows Amazon the power to act based on suspicion. Sellers are afraid of this power's potential abuse resulting in inventory issues or overdrawn back and forth cases in attempts to validate their products. In the end, both Amazon and Amazon sellers want the same thing - to combat fraud in the marketplace. Hopefully, a middle ground is found and fraud can be tackled easily for both sides as these initiatives continue to roll out.
TRENDS TO FOLLOW
When people think about listing products on Amazon, it's assumed a single ASIN for one item. This is obviously the typical way to sell things, however, keep in mind product bundling is a thing and can be used as a method to protect your products from hijackers on Amazon.
Product bundling is a method of selling products in a group. It typically provides higher value to the customer by including complementary products under one ASIN. Setting up offers in this manner makes it more difficult for hijackers to take over because rather than piggy-backing off a single item, they now have to mimic the entire ASIN. Product bundling eliminates the ease of taking over a listing and creates a roadblock that prevents your listings from being imitated.
Other Benefits of Product Bundling
Want to secure your listings even further?
Here are other ways to deter hijackers from your brand on Amazon:
Dealing with hijackers is never fun, and it isn't always easy. Product bundling is one proactive measure to protect your brand and listings while providing outstanding value to your customers. So if product bundling is a feasible option for your products on Amazon, consider it as the solution you are looking for to protect your products on Amazon.
If you shop on Amazon, you know how valuable product reviews can be on listings. With the vast amount of products flooding the marketplace, it becomes near impossible to differentiate them from one another.
As a shopper, having people vouch for a product gives an enormous amount of credibility and strongly influences the purchase decision. Never underestimate the power of reviews, especially when selling on Amazon. Do your best to address customer concerns ASAP and don’t risk the chance for negative feedback, which can directly harm your sales.