Solution Case Study
In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, and launched Amazon.com the following year. From its beginnings as one of the first online shopping websites, Amazon.com, has focused on the logistics of distribution as central to the online retail experience. Amazon has disrupted the entire brick and mortal retail industry. While the firm started off hand-delivering books, today it sells almost everything and has redefined the shopping experience.
Much of Amazon’s success comes down to supply chain management and a focus on customer satisfaction. Accurate item identification is a critical component which impacts everything from online product display to product storage within Amazon’s automated distribution centers. Improper and non-standardized identification has resulted in duplicate listings, brand confusion, and product counterfeiting. These problems erode the reliability of product reviews and ultimately cause consumer confusion and dissatisfaction.
Recent Changes Towards Standards
Due to Amazon’s astronomical growth, their early specifications did not adequately address product identification requirements and consequently many items were improperly identified. Inaccurate information online also created an environment which resulted in vendors incorrectly creating their own UPC identifiers or purchase UPCs from illegitimate sources. In May 2016, Amazon’s Vendor Central and Seller Central documentation was updated to explicitly require all vendors’ UPC barcodes to have a GS1 Company Prefix in their own brand name. In addition, Amazon began using GS1 lookup tools (Data Hub and GEPIR) to validate that a vendor was using a UPC with a prefix in their own name. The Amazon Brand Registry was also created to give brand owners greater control and protection over their products.
Although Amazon revised their UPC/ISBN identification requirements on their vendor portal, many existing and new vendors required individual personal assistance to become compliant. Consequently, the Vendor Central and Seller Central now direct these inquiries to Bar Code Graphics. Certified GS1 Standards and Barcoding consultants educate vendors on their identification responsibilities and provide the following assistance:
- GS1 Barcode Service – Enabling companies to create UPC barcodes with a licensed UPC Company Prefix directly from the GS1 US and manage the UPC product data.
- Fulfillment by Amazon FBA labels – Under the FBA program Amazon requires every item to be properly marked with an FBA label. Although Amazon does offer a label printing service to vendors at $.20 per label, vendors can also purchase FBA labels at a substantial discount directly from BCG. For additional information, please visit https://www.barcode.graphics/amazon-product-id/ .
- Amazon Brand Registry Assistance – The Amazon Brand Registry helps vendors protect their approved, registered trademarks on Amazon and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers.
- ISBN barcode assistance – As an authorized US ISBN Channel Partner, the Publisher Services division of Bar Code Graphics provides ISBN and barcodes for Amazon and CreateSpace self-publishers