Many brands have massive problems with counterfeit copies of their products being sold online. Not only does this have a huge impact on profits, but it can sink your reputation as customers receive inferior, poor quality products with your company’s name on them.
By 2016, global sales of pirated and counterfeit goods had soared to $509 billion, and this number continues to climb. Amazon’s Project Zero is its second attempt at cracking down on counterfeit listings on its marketplace after the company issued a warning about counterfeits in its February earnings report.
What is Project Zero?
Project Zero was created with the goal of allowing brand owners to combat counterfeit products themselves. Prior to this, the only way a brand could have counterfeit listings removed was to first report them to Amazon. Amazon would then conduct its own investigation and take action.
With Project Zero, brands can automatically remove counterfeit products themselves. It also offers a new product serialization system and automated counterfeit protections. These are powered by machine learning, which continuously scans over 5 billion listing update attempts each day.
According to Amazon, brands provide key data points like logos and trademarks, and Amazon’s automated protections remove suspected counterfeits. Brands also apply unique codes for each unit they manufacture so Amazon can scan and ensure authenticity for each product purchased in the marketplace. With this service, counterfeit products are detected and stopped before they reach customers.
How do brands use Project Zero?
Companies that are using Project Zero have the power to remove products without needing to ask for Amazon’s approval. This is a huge change, and obviously a big privilege for these brands.
For this reason, brands must be invited to Project Zero before they can use the program. They must also be enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry and have a government registered trademark.
Brands can be added to the waitlist for Project Zero, however, Amazon currently hasn’t released details about how long you can expect to wait. It’s planning to make Project Zero available for all certified brands, so it’s a good idea to watch out for any upcoming developments.
Brands will be able to enroll for free. However, the product serialization feature will cost anywhere from 1 to 5 cents per product, depending on store volume.
Ultimately, if Amazon wants to continue building its 3P and 1P marketplaces and growing its customer base, it needs to ensure that brands feel confident selling on its platform. The same is true for its customers, who don’t want to be purchasing counterfeit products.
Project Zero will make it possible for brands to crack down on illegitimate resellers who are counterfeiting their products. Each time Amazon sells one of your products, it can confirm it’s authentic by checking for a legitimate code.
If you’d like to learn how you can protect your brand on Amazon and other marketplaces, get in touch today.