Does the Amazon Transparency program really work?
In full Transparency, does the Amazon Transparency program really work? It’s a great question and one that sellers of all sizes commonly ask us. In the competitive world of e-commerce, Amazon is the crème de la crème of the global marketplace.
Programs like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) have revolutionized how retailers sell products. That said, Amazon’s third-party programs are far from perfect. For instance, the e-commerce giant has come under fire in the past for failing to control counterfeiting on the platform.
Unscrupulous merchants took advantage of some of Amazon’s lax policies to sell knock-offs through the platform. Since counterfeit products negatively affect customer experience, policymakers at Amazon have been brainstorming an effective solution to the problem.
The Amazon Transparency Program is the platform’s way of combating counterfeit products. The product serialization service guarantees that all sellers only stock and trade legitimate items.
So how does the Amazon Transparency Program work? Is it a valuable resource for sellers on the platform? Let’s take a closer look at the program and find out.
Who needs the Amazon Transparency program?
The Amazon Transparency Program is essential to your business. Think about it; the program gives you the tools you need to keep counterfeiters at bay. The Transparency barcodes make it impossible for unscrupulous sellers to hijack your listings.
Transparency barcodes are a godsend to sellers trading high-value items. Black hat traders can’t sell on your listings since they can’t replicate the unique 2-D bar codes. A counterfeiter trying to sell a knock-off version of your product will be flagged if they can’t produce your Transparency codes.
Enrolling your brand in the Amazon Transparency Program is an excellent way of boosting your brand’s image. The Transparency codes prevent hijackers from selling low-quality, copycat items and ruining your brand’s reputation.
Most of all, the Transparency program protects the seller from the many risks posed by counterfeit products. The problem is that Amazon will shut down your account for investigation if customers complain about receiving counterfeit products. You are better off enrolling in the Transparency program than losing revenue due to the lengthy and unpredictable appeal process.
Finally, the Transparency program helps funnel all potential revenues to the authentic seller account. A common black-hat seller strategy is to undercut the original product price by huge margins allowing them to draw away potential customers.
The unique codes available to sellers in the Transparency program make it impossible for shady sellers to trick customers with cheap imitations of your products. Ultimately, the Amazon Transparency Program is a valuable resource for sellers who want to protect their brands from the adverse effects of counterfeiting.
How does the Amazon Transparency program work?
The Amazon Transparency Program is centered around a dynamic labeling system that prevents black hat sellers from accessing your customer base. Once you enroll in the program, Amazon provides unique codes for each unit you produce.
This extreme measure makes the Transparency program more effective than CTINs and UPCs, which are only specific to your brand. Moreover, the codes offer an extra layer of security since they are effective even when you don’t sell the product through Amazon.
The Transparency program foils black hat sellers by flagging products that don’t have valid barcodes. Additionally, customers can verify the authenticity of a product using the Transparency mobile app provided by Amazon.
Once customers scan the attached code, the app will display a green check mark if the code is valid or a red X sign if it’s not. The responsive app puts customers at ease since they have an airtight guarantee on the authenticity of your listings. And with Amazon being customer-centric, this is a great way to remain in good standing by providing a good customer experience.
How to sign up for the Amazon Transparency program
The good news is that signing up for the Amazon Transparency Program is a straightforward process. The bad news is that Amazon sellers often feel it is a bit of a hassle. That said, it’s always worth it to protect your brand and company assets. The following steps can help ensure a painless onboarding experience.
Step #1 – Verify yourself as the brand owner
Securing the trademark over your product is the first step in signing up for the Amazon Transparency program. In short, Amazon won’t consider you eligible for the program unless you own the rights to your products.
Now get this; the Amazon IP Accelerator Program allows you to partner with Amazon-accredited firms and fast-track your application process. Undoubtedly, the accelerator program is instrumental in streamlining your enrolment in Brand Registry.
Step #2 – Secure Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
Amazon requires that all sellers use valid GTINs such as EAN barcodes over their products. Acquiring your GTINs from official sources is in your best interest since Amazon will run your entries through the GS1 registry.
Step #3 – Guarantee the ability to apply the Transparency codes
Finally, it would be best if you had sustainable means of applying the codes for each unit you manufacture. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is by working with a Transparency Service Provider.
Additionally, you can carry out the process yourself. All you have to do is print the labels and then stick them to each unit. Furthermore, sellers can integrate the codes in their packaging using the versatile design-in packaging.
Step #4 – Enrolling in the Transparency program
Sellers who meet all the set requirements can proceed to the Transparency website to enroll in the program. After verifying your contact and brand information, Amazon will contact you a few weeks after your initial application.
Sellers can start ordering Transparency codes for registered products after finalizing the onboarding process. Finally, the Transparency portal allows sellers to control the number of codes released and which products fall under the program’s protection.
Remember that while Amazon doesn’t charge sellers when signing up for the program, it will bill you for every code you order. The standard price is 5 cents per code when purchasing less than one million codes at once.
So, should you sign up for the Amazon Transparency Program? It depends on whether the program is a good fit for your brand. Sellers trading valuable products should enroll in the program since high-value listings attract black-hat sellers.
Sellers who already own trademarks for their products should also sign up for the Transparency act since they already have all the necessary information. The best part is that Amazon offers volume discounts for sellers ordering the codes in bulk.
It’s easy to see that the Transparency program is the best preventive measure available to sellers on Amazon. While it has flaws, the Amazon Transparency Program provides practical tools to help sellers protect their brands from counterfeiters.
Contact us today for help with enrollment in the Amazon Transparency Program.
Lesley is co-founder and co-owner of Riverbend Consulting, where she oversees the firm’s client services team. She has personally helped hundreds of third-party sellers get their accounts and ASINs back up and running. Lesley leverages two decades as a small business consultant to advise clients on profitability and operational performance. She has been an Amazon seller for almost a decade, thanks to her boys (21 and 15) who do most of the heavy lifting.
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