Brands selling on marketplaces like Walmart and Amazon can get so focused on marketing their products and optimizing their listings that they don’t devote as much time as they should to one crucial aspect of ecommerce: brand safety.
For example, it’s not uncommon for unscrupulous businesses to steal the image and name of a different brand’s product to use to sell their own low-quality counterfeits. This horrific reality can lead to a drop in your brand reputation, higher customer dissatisfaction, and fewer profits, even though you did nothing wrong.
We’ve already covered Amazon’s Brand Registry program, which allows stores on its platform to gain access to advanced brand protection features and prevent this sort of fraud, but it’s time to talk about Walmart. Walmart has recently decided to release a similar ‘brand registry’ program with its own Brand Portal feature to defend the interests of merchants on the platforms. Introducing: Walmart Brand Portal.
It’s a significant milestone for this top retailer and will have a massive impact on merchants using Walmart to sell their products. Sellers will be able to defend themselves in counterfeit cases, while customers will be guaranteed to buy the best, high-quality product.
Let’s see what Walmart’s Brand Registry answer is precisely, the benefits of the new portal program, and what stores can do to enroll in it officially.
Similar to Amazon Brand Registry, Walmart’s Brand Registry, or Brand Portal, allows businesses to manage their property rights on products and protect themselves against improper representation. Walmart’s Brand Portal is a dashboard that keeps track of all a seller’s brands, authorized representatives, and property claims in one place.
“The Walmart Brand Portal has been designed from the ground up to be a single, unified experience where you will manage your brands and claims,” says Walmart in one of their official announcements.
According to Walmart, online sellers can register as many brands as they’d like, but similar to Amazon each brand will require an active trademark registration with the USPTO. Brands representatives will also be able to submit and track intellectual property claims, manage authorized representatives, and get up-to-date reporting. Every feature a seller needs to manage the protection of their brand is combined in one convenient place.
Before Brand Portal, protecting your walmart product listings from Intellectual Property (IP) violations was a much more challenging process. When a brand suspected fraud was occurring on the platform, they had to contact Walmart Support, prove that suspicious activity was going on, and file a case with Walmart support to request the removal of the incorrect product listing.
Walmart Brand Portal will make the process of managing an ecommerce brand effortless with access to Intellectual Property claims, authorized representatives, and up-to-date reporting all in one place. Merchants can oversee trademark, copyright, counterfeit, and patent claims in a much more straightforward way and save time–and back and forth with Walmart’s support team–on the resolution.
There are many reasons why Walmart wants to adopt new preventive measures to protect its marketplace brands. Here are the negative consequences that unauthorized sellers have on your business:
Maintaining a solid brand reputation is one key pillar of customer loyalty and building confidence in your market. And with the rise of technology and social media, even a tiny mistake could plunge your brand reputation in an instant.
There are various ways that unauthorized sellers on Walmart can cause your brand reputation to take a hit. For example, if they’re selling counterfeit versions of your products, it’s likely going to be low-quality, and customers will have a negative perception of your brand.
As a result, customers may decide to drop a negative review about your brand and discourage other shoppers from buying from you. By protecting your brand from intellectual property infringement, you can better hold your hard-earned reputation.
The rise of the internet has made it easier than ever to sell across marketplaces, even if your product information, pricing, and content isn’t up to snuff. Unauthorized sellers could be selling under your same product names, but with low-quality images, incomplete descriptions, and poor customer service.
If customers find an unappealing version of your product from unauthorized sellers first, they may be turned off to your product altogether. This leads to a decrease in your brand’s sales, profitability, and customer retention. By stopping unauthorized product listings and sellers with Walmart’s Brand Portal, you can continue to attract sellers to your legitimate, helpful information and will be more likely to continue converting customers.
Beyond lost business and a poor brand reputation, unauthorized sellers on Walmart can make it harder for you to work with other retailers and sellers. No seller wants to sign up to promote products that have low conversion rates, poor market reputation, and unhelpful information. By providing strong listings, and protecting your listing with Walmart Brand Portal, your brand and products will be better ready for other authorized sellers to come in and piggy back on your success.
Brands selling on Walmart have a lot to gain out of signing up for Brand Portal, Walmart’s version of Brand Registry. Here are some of the main benefits that should convince you:
As your business starts to scale, you must look out for any signs of fraud that could put your brand in danger. Walmart Brand Registry offers businesses high-level protection on their brand and products to reduce risk and give peace of mind.
Brands will be able to file a claim for the following factors: trademark, counterfeit, copyright, and patent. After filing a claim, Walmart will then proceed to investigate the suspicious activity and take action to solve the issue and defend your brand.
Walmart Brand Registry allows you to add as many brands as you want to the platform, as long as they each have an active trademark registration with the USPTO. In addition, businesses can perform various actions for their brands, such as submitting intellectual property claims, running reporting, and managing authorized representatives.
Walmart Brand Portal makes life easier for sellers by allowing them to keep track of all their claims in one place. That way, they can monitor their progress and status over time without having to reach back directly to Walmart’s customer service team for updates on their claims.
As a bonus, Walmart Brand Portal comes with an option to allow third-party representatives to submit claims for your brand. Thus, it facilitates the process of managing your claims.
While they share the similar goal of protecting brands from brand-compromising activity, Walmart Brand Portal and Amazon Brand Registry do have their differences.
Even though both programs are intended to allow the brand’s IP to be used as the brand intended, the programs differ when it comes to the level of protection capabilities they offer. While Walmart’s version of Brand Registry does a great job allowing businesses to easily submit claims and monitor claim status, Amazon Brand Registry goes further with extra preventive measures.
For example, Amazon Brand Registry allows you to protect other brands from altering your description or title, which can protect brand reputation, sales, and relationships with authorized sellers. Customers on Amazon can also authenticate your product with a QR code that they scan through their app.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Amazon Brand Registry has been available for a much longer time. In other words, it’s had more time to include new features within its platform and adapt to the changing needs of users.
However, it's only a matter of time before Walmart catches up and starts including more updates. We can see the platform including more preventive measures within its Brand Portal and tools to facilitate the job of its merchants.
As mentioned earlier, only brands with active trademarks registered in the United States can benefit from Brand Portal. Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t currently accept WIPO or EUIPO trademarks.
If you’re not currently eligible for Walmart’s Brand Portal program, don’t worry: the platform also comes with file claim assistance to report any IP infringement via its webform. You’ll just have to select the claim type and enter all of the relevant details.
Once you meet the requirements and have a Walmart marketplace account, getting started with Walmart Brand Registry is a simple process. Here’s how your business can sign up for the program:
Walmart will then review your application and follow up to let you know whether you’re accepted into the Brand Portal program. It’s worth noting, however, that Walmart has a very selective process for businesses that want to gain access to Brand Portal.
Aside from signing up for the Brand Portal program, there are extra ways that you can protect your brand on Walmart’s marketplace.
To start, being on Walmart is the best way to ensure your brand’s reputation on Walmart. Unfortunately, if you aren’t on marketplaces, someone else will be with your brand, and they’ll likely do a worse job than you would like. By being the creator of your brand’s listings, images, warranty, customer support, shipping and pricing, you control the narrative consumers receive about your brand.
Also, make sure to have a trademark for your products to differentiate your listings from others in the marketplace legally. Your trademark could take the form of a logo, symbols, templates, a phrase, design or more. It gives you legal rights to defend your brand anytime someone else tries to copy it and profit from it.
Walmart businesses should be using all the tools at their disposal to protect their brand. Walmart’s new Brand Portal offers new ways for sellers to defend themselves from fraud, which in return, will boost their reputation and drive sales.
If you need help enrolling in Walmart’s Brand Portal program and driving the best results for your platform, Pattern can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.