With thousands of eCommerce sites popping up every year, it is difficult to ensure that shoppers will get the real deal when acquiring a new product. With this in mind, the ecommerce giant, Amazon, launched Brand Registry in 2017 and it has now expanded to 15 countries with over 200,000 brands enrolled. This program aims to protect the rights of brand-registered companies by identifying and shutting down sellers operating on the platform under unethical practices.
According to the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018, it was estimated that by 2020, the amount of total counterfeiting would reach 1.82 Trillion USD globally. Therefore, it is critical that brands invest their efforts to safeguard their intellectual property.
We’ll walk you through some of the most important aspects of this program so you can make informed decisions to safeguard your brand reputation and to steer away from ‘black hat’ sellers.
A Closer Look into Amazon Brand Registry
Brand Registry is an exclusive program designed to legitimize your brand. Enrolling in this program will grant you access to powerful tools that will help you protect your trademark, proprietary text, image search and predictive automation.
Additionally, Amazon’s Brand Registry unlocks a powerful suite of programs and features to also build your brand presence and grow your business.
Let’s start out with the positive aspects of this program, because it’s a long list.
Pros of Amazon Brand Registry
The success of Amazon Brand Registry is largely due to the list of advantages and control it provides sellers over their brand. Although it’s not a perfect tool yet, it does get rid of a bunch of pain points and makes selling online much easier.
This feature proactively removes suspected infringing or inaccurate content by using the information about your brand.
Therefore, the more information you provide to Amazon’s Brand Registry program, the better protection you’ll have.
For example, Amazon can remove:
- Product listings that falsely use your trademarked terms in their titles
- Images containing your logo from products that don’t carry your brand name
- Sellers shipping products from countries in which your brand is not present
- Product listings with your brand name that are not part of your full product catalog on Amazon.
Amazon has also appointed a dedicated internal team on standby to be able to help you with different issues to protect your intellectual property and content.
This team can help you with:
- Reporting marketplace violations, including complaints from customers
- Reporting issues with your listing, including incorrect product details and product variation information
- Submitting or retracting IP infringement claims
- Reporting technical issues regarding page loading or your Seller Central homepage operations
- Escalating previously submitted claims
This program offers additional security from counterfeiters with product serialization.
Transparency allows brands to assign a secure, unique, alphanumeric code to every product unit manufactured.
Enrolling is very simple:
- Enroll your products in Transparency.
- Apply Transparency codes to your products.
- Amazon scans your products to ensure only authentic units are shipped.
- Customers can use your Transparency code to verify the authenticity of your products anytime, anywhere.
Transparency enables Amazon to detect and stop counterfeiting for every product unit before it reaches your customers.
Amazon Project Zero
To make a better effort in protecting sellers, Amazon launched Project Zero. This program. powered by Amazon’s machine learning, leverages the combined strengths of Amazon and brands to drive counterfeits to zero.
One way to achieve this is through automated protections, which continuously scan Amazon’s stores and removes suspected counterfeits.
Brands provide key data points about them (e.g., trademarks, logos, etc.) and Amazon scans over 5 billion daily listing update attempts, to get rid of any suspected counterfeits.
Recently, Amazon launched the Self-service Counterfeit Removal tool, which allows brands no to remove counterfeit listings without having to get in touch with Amazon.
Powerful Report Tools
Brand Registry simplifies the search with a set of custom features designed specifically for brands to find cases of potential infringement:
- Global search: look for content in different Amazon stores from the same screen.
- Image search: find product listings on Amazon that match your product(s) or logo(s) with the use of images.
- Bulk ASIN search: search for a list of ASINs or product URLs in bulk to explore and report potentially infringing content fast. You can also enlarge image thumbnails in this tool for easier identification.
- Sort view of average customer ratings of ASINs to measure popularity.
Once your search is done, Brand Registry offers simple and guided workflows to submit a report of potential infringement. Then, Amazon can review it and take appropriate action.
A+ Content is one the best tools that Amazon Brand Registry has to offer. Mainly because it can actually increase your sales’ rate. It’s the easiest way to enhance your listings by adding images and text.
Amazon has a simple template with different module layouts and media upload options available to sellers. You even have the option of adding a product video to your listing. Buyers love to see a product or service in action so they don’t have to guess how it looks or how it works.
A+ Content can help you build a solid customer base by allowing you to present your products in an appealing way.
Better Understanding Your Customers
While Brand Registration does provide a wide range of services, not all sellers need to use them all. To make the best decisions about which tools you’ll use and how, the key is understanding the metrics of your customer base.
Brand Analytics aggregates customer search and purchase behavior data to improve your business operations.
Brand Dashboard: you’ll have access to the Performance tab on Seller Central’s main navigation bar. It’ll grant you a holistic view of your brand performance, with extra features and metrics.
Amazon Search Terms: discover what products are getting the most clicks and conversions on strategic search terms.
Market Basket Analysis: find out which of your products customers are purchasing together and take advantage of cross-selling opportunities.
Item Comparison and Alternate Purchase Behavior: learn which products are frequently compared to yours and see which one the customer picked after viewing your product.
Demographics: you can look at charts that display your customer’s attributes such as age, household income, level of education, gender, etc. This way, you can select reporting range dates and export to CSV.
Cons of Amazon Brand Registry
Anything that sounds too good to be true, isn’t. Amazon’s brand registry still deals with a list of its own problems that you should know to make an informed decision. Here’s a list of issues that you may have to deal with, even if you are part of the program:
- ‘Hijackers’ can still list similar or knock-off products on their private label product listings.
- Chinese suppliers may still sell products similar to yours at a lower cost.
- A high level of competition is likely to drive down prices.
- Maybe you’ll be limiting other sellers from selling your brand.
- Allow someone other than the brand owner to submit infringement claims against other sellers.
Recommended: Beat Amazon “Black Hat” Sellers with These Tactics
The Global Impact of Brand Protection
The short list of risks you’ll still have to handle if you join the program do not compare to the benefits it can bring you and here are Amazon’s stats to prove it:
- Over 1 million of “black hat” accounts have been stopped before publishing a single listing for sale.
- Over 3 billion suspected bad listings have been blocked before they were published on Amazon.
- Over 300,000 suspected counterfeits were prevented from reaching customers.
- Over 7,000 brands have enrolled in Project Zero in 12 months and 500 listings have been removed after an infringement notice by a Rights Owner.
Amazon Brand Registry helps you protecting you brand and therefore, your customers. It is a fantastic tool to keep track of what products your customers are buying and their behavior overall. This information is valuable to make decisions regarding your inventory and your online store.
Keep in mind that whether you decide to sell on Amazon or on any other eCommerce site, it is paramount that you seek legal advice, regarding your brand protection, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
AMZ Advisers is a full-service eCommerce consultancy focused on creating growth opportunities for brands, manufacturers, and private labels across the US, Europe, Canada, and Asia. The AMZ Advisers team has been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.