Quite simply, no brand can afford to ignore Amazon. As the leader in retail technology, Amazon has created programs empowering companies to control and protect the displayed content of their brand.
There are currently over 60,000 brands which have registered their products in the Amazon Brand Registry. In the previous blog post, we discussed the importance of controlling content and the Amazon Brand Registry is a tool which every supplier should consider. The benefits include:
- Accurate brand representation – Companies have control of their brands’ listings
- Enhanced Search Tools – Quickly find content in Amazon stores. Search for content using images, keywords, or a list of ASINs in bulk and report suspected violations.
- Proactive Brand Protection – Integrated automation is able to use information about your brand to proactively remove suspected infringing or inaccurate content.
There is no cost for companies to register on the Amazon Brand Registry. Eligibility in the program requires;
- An active registered trademark for your brand that appears on your products or packaging.
- Verification that your company is the legal rights owner or the authorized agent for the trademark.
- An Amazon account. You can use an existing Amazon account (credentials associated with Vendor or Seller Central) or create a new one for free.
As part of our GS1 Barcode Service/Support programs, we provide basic assistance with product data management and UPC barcodes. To learn more about the benefits of the Amazon Brand Registry, please visit, https://brandservices.amazon.com/benefits
As a mechanism to combat counterfeit products, Amazon has created a traceability and assurance program. In 2017, Amazon launched the pilot of their “Transparency Program”. The initiative is designed to provide customers the peace of mind of the authenticity of the products they purchase. Amazon created Android or iPhone mobile applications which consumers can use to validate the authenticity and also view detailed product data.
Registered companies will identify the products they wish to be enrolled in the Transparency Program. The brand owner (company) will then purchase a certain number of traceability identifiers (unique 26-digit alphanumeric codes) from Amazon, which is provided in an Excel/CSV file. From that point on, the company will create 2D barcode labels from the individually unique identifiers and apply the 2D barcode label on each unit of that SKU that it produces. Essentially each item of the same SKU will have a different identifier code from all other items, like serialization. A condition of joining this program is that a company agree to mark all of their items of the designated SKUs, regardless of which channel is used. As part of the transitioning to the Transparency Program, there is a “flushing” period during which the brand’s existing non-2D barcoded items can continue to be sold globally. After the “flushing” period, all items of the SKU shipped to Amazon will be accepted only if the 2D barcode is on each unit. For any product that is not 2D stickered with a unique code provided by Amazon, Amazon will not accept the inventory, whether sold by the brand, another third-party seller or even Amazon Retail. At this point, only products with a 2D code will be considered authentic by Amazon, and only these units will be allowed for sale Amazon.
If a company enrolls in the program and one of its registered SKUs gets too many complaints from regarding validity, the brand will lose its accreditation in this program, and those previously enrolled products will be removed from the Transparency program.
The program in 2017 was free during the pilot period and companies should now expect to start charged fees for traceability identifiers in 2018. Initially, pricing is expected to be $0.04-$0.05 per identifier for fewer than 1 million identifiers $0.03/identifier for 1 million to 10 million identifiers, and about $0.01 per identifier for more than 10 million identifiers.
To learn more about the Transparency Program, please visit https://brandservices.amazon.com/transparency.
Bar Code Graphics has been working with many of the pilot brands and has available labeling solutions. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-662-0701 x220.