Baby Yoda Knockoffs Show Why You Need to Protect Your Brand Online

Pattern Data Science

December 13, 2019

When you have a product in high demand by consumers, brand protection on ecommerce becomes ever more important as knockoffs and fakes inevitably pop up in nearly every channel. Case in point: Baby Yoda. Jungle Scout estimated that Disney will lose $2.7M in potential Baby Yoda sales due to lost sales opportunity.

Who is Baby Yoda and what’s the craze about?

Baby Yoda is a cute, new character in Disney+’s The Mandalorian who has been widely popularized through various viral memes. And of course, demand for Baby Yoda toys has skyrocketed since the show premiered on Nov. 12.

The release of the Mandalorian has been accompanied by Baby Yoda memes and fake products across different marketplaces, often affecting sales of Disney products.
Baby Yoda memes have sprung up across the internet just as Baby Yoda knockoff items have sprung up across different marketplaces on ecommerce, showing the importance of creating a brand protection strategy online.

Meme screenshots from Bored Panda

For example, Pattern Senior Brand Manager Newel Cobb did a short analysis of the search term “Baby Yoda” on Amazon and found it’s in this week’s top 25 search terms. For perspective, even during the fidget spinner craze of the 2017 holidays, “Fidget Spinner” barely made the top 500 search terms on Amazon.  

Last week, Jungle Scout also reported that “Baby Yoda” searches on Amazon have had more than 90,000 searches on Amazon alone in the last 30 days, a 7,203% increase from the month before that. Plus, “Baby Yoda Plush” searches increased by 4,782% during the same time frame.

Baby Yoda knockoffs inundating the marketplace

Independent sellers have popped up ahead of official Disney merchandise on every conceivable marketplace, from Amazon to eBay to Facebook Marketplace. Although we can’t know how much Baby Yoda knockoffs are impacting Disney’s sales, we do know that consumers are less likely to buy real products later when they’ve already purchased a Baby Yoda.

“Some of the people who buy the knockoffs will not come back to buy the real product,” Newel said.

Normally, Disney wins with merch like no other. They prepped Frozen II toys to be ready by the time the movie came out last month, and new Star Wars toys are already available ahead of the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker later this month.

Baby Yoda knockoff products have popped up on various marketplaces on ecommerce, showing the importance of brand protection for ecommerce.

Screenshot from Facebook Marketplace

So what about Baby Yoda merch? Unfortunately, official Disney Baby Yoda toys are currently only available for pre-purchase. The earliest are set to arrive by February; the latest, by May. With major holidays right around the corner, that’s not exactly quick enough for most avid fans. Some of the Baby Yoda knockoff items that have popped up on various marketplaces include hand-knitted toys, stickers, 3D models, mugs, and t-shirts of every variation imaginable.

Because Disney is, well, Disney, Newel used Jungle Scout’s estimator to calculate that they can still expect around 15,000 pre-orders in December for their top two Baby Yoda toys. And since The Mandalorian currently has a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s likely the show will earn a second season—giving Disney plenty of time to get on top of merch the next time around.

How Baby Yoda knockoffs illustrate a broader problem

Of course, the vast majority of brands aren’t Disney. Most don’t have to worry about a Baby Yoda-sized inundation of fake products across marketplaces. 

However, Baby Yoda illustrates just how easy it is for a great number of sellers to create fake products and steal opportunity sales from established brands. Without brand protection measures in place, brands can lose out on sales opportunities that have an effect on their brand equity at the least, their revenue stream at worst.

Protecting your brand with a brand control expert like Pattern is important for any brand wanting to avoid the problems that counterfeit products, like all the different Baby Yoda products, pop up on different online marketplaces.

“It shows how much of a wild west ecommerce is and why it’s important to have Pattern around,” Newel said. “This is an exaggerated example of how bad it can get, but there are a lot more subtle examples out there that we do an amazing job with.”

At Pattern, we help brands attain cross-channel ecommerce brand control and deal with more common problems that affect brand control and brand integrity. For example, Pattern does product purchases for our brand partners to verify products and notify our brands about sellers with counterfeit goods.

“You never know if your product is going to go viral, but if it does there are going to be knockoffs right away, and protecting your brand on marketplace is one thing that we do well at Pattern,” Newel said. “We make sure that your brand is protected online.”

While we don’t know how much Disney has lost in future sales because of Baby Yoda knockoffs, we know that it demonstrates why it’s ever-increasingly important to have brand protection measures in place beforehand, Newel explained.

By partnering with Pattern, you can take control of your product listings on Amazon other marketplaces. Reach out to us through the form below to learn about our monitoring software and more about how we do it.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

Sept 6, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360]( Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance]( Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times]( [Read more on the Guardian]( One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](
Aug 30, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC]( Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve]( Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard]( Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](
Aug 23, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail]( GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian]( Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire]( H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](