Amazon is a sea of resellers, all looking for that next big product to promote. But sometimes, those resellers don't play fair.
Counterfeit products might sound like an Old Wive's Tale, but it happens all the time. We had a product arrive from an unauthorized reseller that was wrapped in duct tape. Was the chair we ordered inside? No. It was a ruddy counterfeit.
Imagine that happening to your products. We see it every day. The market is more competitive now than ever, and many overseas sellers are doing their best to take your sales on Amazon. Sometimes, at any cost.
Luckily, there's a solution that we give our brands when they find themselves under siege by unauthorized, low brow resellers and counterfeiters.
It's called Transparency, and in the following article, we'll show you what it is, and how to set it up for your brand.
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So, what is Transparency in a nutshell? It's a service that makes you the one and only legitimate seller of your products. No counterfeits. No sellers claiming to be you. Just your brand selling your products (or, other sellers you authorize), resulting in trust.
Here are seven reasons you need Transparency...
It Deters Unauthorized Sellers: With traceable products, it's easier to identify and take action against illegitimate vendors. By ensuring each product has a unique, traceable code, it becomes much harder for unauthorized sellers to infiltrate the marketplace.
It Builds Customer Trust and Confidence: Customers are more likely to trust and feel confident purchasing products when they can easily verify their authenticity. This increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.
It Protects Your Brand Reputation: Protecting your products from counterfeiting helps maintain the integrity and reputation of your brand. It ensures customers associate your brand with quality and reliability.
It Can Increase Sales: Trust and authenticity can lead to increased sales. Customers are more likely to purchase, and possibly at a premium, when they confident they're receiving a genuine product.
It Sets You Apart: In a crowded online marketplace, offering verifiable authenticity can set your brand apart from competitors, giving you the competitive edge.
It Reduces Costs and Risks: By minimizing counterfeit sales, you reduce potential costs associated with customer complaints, returns, and damage to your brand's reputation.
It Ensures Regulatory Compliance: For certain products, ensuring authenticity is not just a value-add, it's a regulatory requirement. The program helps you comply with these regulations.
Amazon Transparency is here to protect you.
Here's How to Set Up Transparency for Your Listings
Using Transparency on Amazon means setting up an item-level tracing service designed to verify the authenticity of your products and combat counterfeit goods. This service allows you and other consumers to ensure your product is real and authentic with unique codes on each or your listed items.
Each item enrolled in the Transparency program receives a unique code that when scanned, certifies its authenticity.
Once your product has this code, it's known as "protected." If someone sends in your product to Amazon without this manufacturer-affixed Transparency code, Amazon will deny the order.
In short, once you have Transparency, no one can sell your products but you, or who you authorize.
The Process of Signing Up
To participate in the Transparency Program, you'll first need to demonstrate proof that you own your brand through Amazon's Brand Registry. After that, you'll need to provide information about the manufacturing process of your products, enrolling each one to get your unique transparency codes. Then, you'll need to apply these codes to each unit you manufacture.
Your enrollment in this program lets you track your products from production to purchase, ensuring the items your customers receive are always genuine, and always yours.
Before you set up Transparency, you will need to...
Establish your policies: Draft clear, comprehensive policies on how you handle data, information sharing, and communication.
Ensure your products are all in compliance: Make sure they meet all of the relevant regulations related to your industry and data transparency.
Invest in the necessary technology: Obtain the systems you'll need to track and share your information accurately and securely.
How Much Does It Cost?
As much as we wish it was free, Transparency does come with a cost. These costs include registering your brand, buying the necessary labels, and integrating the system into your supply chain.
The following table summarizes those cost factors:
If the possibility of costs are intimidating, consider the cost of not adopting Transparency, including potential losses due to counterfeit goods, which could outweigh the cost to implement.
KEEP IN MIND: A brand of ours lost over $50,000 of revenue in one month from one rogue reseller imitating four of their products. Imagine what this could cost you.
A Few Business Operation Notes to Remember
Integrating Transparency into your existing operations will require a strategic approach. You will need to update your product packaging to include Transparency codes and adjust your logistics to handle additional scanning requirements.
Your IT infrastructure may also need updates to support Transparency's data requirements. This means you'll have to make sure your ERP systems and inventory management platforms are compatible with Transparency's technology.
This process could involve software updates or replacements and employee training to get familiar with these new operational procedures, and changes to the product manufacturing process to include Transparency codes right from the production line.
Remember, a seamless integration minimizes disruption and promotes efficiency in the adoption of Transparency.
If this seems intimidating, we get it! Our team has spent years studying Transparency to the point that it's almost automatic. We can implement it seamlessly for you, saving you hours of wasted time and frustration.
A recent brand of ours recovered dozens of ASINs from counterfeit overseas sellers, representing tens of thousands of dollars in monthly revenue.
Without transparency, they were helpless to stop these eCommerce pirates. With it, Amazon quickly blocked them and returned sales to the brand.
Money saved, crisis averted. That is why Transparency matters.
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