April 11, 2019
Anna Hubbel, writer at AdvertiseMint, Facebook ads agency
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but brands would agree that this philosophy does not stand with counterfeit products. Fortunately, Amazon recently introduced Project Zero, a program that helps businesses fight counterfeits.
Using advanced technology, machine learning, innovation, and property information supplied by brands, Project Zero detects counterfeits before they reach the customer. According to Amazon’s announcement of the program, Project Zero consists of three new tools to make this possible.
This tool uses Amazon’s machine learning to perform a continuous automated scan of the platform’s stores to identify and remove any detected counterfeits. The scan uses information provided by brands such as logos, trademarks, and other brand data to inform its search of more than five billion daily product listings.
“We’ve been testing these automated protections with a number of brands, and on average, our automated protections proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to what we reactively remove based on reports from brands,” Amazon says in its description of the tool.
Self-Service Counterfeit Removal Tool
With this new tool, brands now have the ability to remove counterfeits themselves without contacting Amazon. If a brand identifies a counterfeit of its product, it can easily remove it if Amazon’s scan somehow missed it.
“This information also feeds into our automated protections so we can better catch potential counterfeit listings proactively in the future,” says Amazon.
As an extra precautionary measure to prevent counterfeits from reaching customers, the product serialization service gives every manufactured unit a unique code. Brands include these codes on their products so that Amazon can scan and verify whether a product is authentic or counterfeit.
“With this product serialization service, we can now detect and stop counterfeiting for every product unit before it reaches a customer,” says Amazon.
So far, the feedback Amazon has received about Project Zero has been positive.
“Project Zero, with its automated protections and the self-service removal of counterfeit products, is a significant development that will help ensure our customers receive authentic Vera Bradley products from Amazon,” says Mark Dely, chief legal and administrator officer at Vera Bradley in Amazon’s blog post about the announcement.
Like Dely, CEO and founder of Thunderworks Phil Blizzard also sees value in the new program.
“When we were offered the opportunity to enroll in Amazon Project Zero, we jumped on it. Every unit we sell through Amazon has a unique, serialized barcode, and our counterfeit problem has nearly disappeared in the United States,” says Blizzard in the same Amazon blog post.
Amazon says at this time, Project Zero is “an invite-only experience.” Interested brands can learn more and sign up to join the program.