Brand Hijacking and How to Combat It
Selling on Amazon Marketplace has exploded in popularity over the last few years. According to the most recent figures for 2021, there are 6.3 million overall merchants, with nearly 1,785 new sellers joining each day. As a result, Amazon (and many vendors) have had a slew of issues. Brand hijacking, also known as listing hijacking, is a problem that arises when unscrupulous sellers create phony products and sell them on Amazon. We'll go through what a hijacker does and how brands should avoid them in this article. Protecting your brand's reputation will help you be more successful on Amazon and keep your e-commerce business running smoothly in the long run.
Amazon groups all of the products on the platform into one ASIN-specific detail page. Customers will be able to find the best deal faster, and the buying experience will be streamlined because they will be able to see all product reviews and information in one place. Hundreds of sellers can be found on listings of major brands and products. Many sellers have gone above and beyond to develop their own brand or a private label brand on Amazon so that they may manage the detail page and always have control over the buy box. We're all aware that huge, well-known brands (such as athletic shoes or designer apparel) are vulnerable to counterfeiting. However, when a private label brand has several sellers, this can signify a few things.
Someone is buying products from the brand and reselling them legally. This could be the result of retail arbitrage or a brand's lack of distribution control.
Another vendor was approved by the brand. This would be a permitted strategy.
Without the brand's knowledge, a hijacker is counterfeiting the product. This option can cause serious issues for vendors.
Why it is an Issue
Hijacking has a significant negative impact on legit businesses. Customers who acquire counterfeit merchandise are likely to be dissatisfied. These things are frequently sold at a lower price, allowing them to attract customers. Everyone enjoys a good deal, but some are too good to be true. Customers will occasionally receive an item and be displeased with the poor quality or claim that it is a fake. This will result in a high return rate and negative consumer feedback, both of which are bad for the real brand and seller. Even one incidence of this can be problematic, but over time, this issue devalues your brand and reduces your profits significantly.
What Can Be Done
There are various steps you can take as a brand owner to protect your brand in advance. Because counterfeiting is so common, Amazon is always developing new procedures and tools to assist legitimate vendors. It's a good idea to stay on top of this from the beginning so you can reap the rewards and maximize your Amazon success.
Register Your Brand
Brand Registry was created to provide a way for Amazon to escalate and deal with IP infringement, counterfeiting, and brand ownership issues. It was launched in 2017 primarily to help brand owners and businesses safeguard their intellectual property. It is a self-service tool for sellers and suppliers to ensure an accurate and authentic consumer experience. Amazon is constantly adding new capabilities to this program, including A+ Content, Brand Stores, and Sponsored Brands advertising.
Before you even begin selling on Amazon, you should consider the image you want to project as a brand. Having a prominent logo, strong design elements and visuals, and packaging that is clearly recognized as yours can go a long way toward preventing problems in the first place. This is due to the fact that hijackers prefer simple targets over intricate schemes that do not pay out quickly. Make sure to trademark your logo and brand name in the country where you plan to market. Maintain a consistent, professional look across all of your material if you're employing graphics. This can be used on Amazon's main images, A+ Content, Brand Stores, your own website, social media, and advertisements.
Brand Stores are a terrific way for Brand Registry vendors to take responsibility of the customer experience and are completely free to create. This is an Amazon one-stop shop dedicated to showcasing your business. Customers will be able to shop your brand quickly and easily across all of your product detail pages. On product listings a link to the Brand Store appears just below the title.
Monitor Your Listings
Even well-prepared brands can be subjected to brand hijacking, which is an infringement on their intellectual property. Aside from regularly checking up on your live listings, Amazon has released a tool to track the amount of sellers who have current listings on your brand. The Brand Catalog Manager allows you to see all of your brand's Amazon listings at any moment. It allows you to see who is selling your products, what type of experience your customers are having, and how much money each item is expected to make.
See any problems? It should be reported as soon as possible. Sellers can report infractions and take action against the suspected infringement utilizing their Brand Registry position as a brand owner. A hijacker is usually removed within 24 hours of being reported. You can also create a boilerplate email that you can send to violators anytime you notice one. Lower-level hijackers who don't want to get into legal trouble may be put off by this. Monitoring your listings is an excellent technique to ensure that nothing suspicious reaches your clients and devalues your reputation.