What is Amazon project ZERO?
Fake products are a big problem for Amazon. The bigger the product palette is on the marketplace, the more likely it is for some black sheep that don’t sell original products, to romp about the place. Fake brand-products are a problem in two ways: on the one hand, they harm the authenticity of a brand because they’re often of a lower quality and therefore don’t meet the expectations of the consumers. On the other hand, the fake electronic products can have fatal consequences because they often haven’t been verified so they aren’t certified either. To stem this problem, the “Amazon project ZERO” was launched – a sort of self-service platform on which brands can delete potential fake products without the help of an Amazon employee.
How does Amazon project ZERO work?
Let’s take a look at the main “mechanic” behind Amazon project ZERO, to understand how it functions, or what is allowed to be expected from it:
Based on Amazon’s machine learning, all listings on the marketplace are both automatically and proactively scanned and supervised. Thanks to data that’s previously been submitted by brands, such as brand names, logos, claims and so on… 5 billion ASINs are being daily checked for possible trademark infringement.
Amazon project ZERO self-service
If a trademark infringement occurred, the responsible vendors or sellers must always proactively contact Amazon first. This is now over thanks to Amazon project ZERO, because a self-service platform is provided here with which, the previously marked potential falsifications can be conveniently deleted with a single click by the concerned party.
Serialization of products
Besides the baseline data such as brand names and logo, brands can instantly transfer to Amazon a unique serial number to each product. This number is invisible to third parties and makes it easier and faster to spot falsifications.
Benefits and disadvantages of Amazon project ZERO
The benefits of the program are obvious: Amazon proactively fights product falsifications on its marketplace through this, and makes it simpler for its brands to delete the spotted falsifications through the self-service platform. The serialization of the products is a further advantage of project ZERO, because even with the best machine learning system, certainly not all falsifications can be instantly and simply noticed.
Two major disadvantages are currently (since April 2019) existing:
- Amazon project ZERO is a purely “invitation-only” program, which means that one can register and join the waiting list, but Amazon doesn’t give any information at all about when an activation is to be awaited. It’s obvious that primarily big brands can benefit from Amazon project ZERO.
- Project ZERO is unlike “brand gating”, in other words, it is aimed exclusively at obvious counterfeits of products. The correctness of the uploaded product data from 3rd party sellers (resellers) is not checked here. Even the unjustified “holding on” to an ASIN isn’t a part of the automated verification.
How much will Amazon project ZERO cost?
Because the project is still in the beta status, a concrete price is still unknown. For the moment is Amazon project ZERO still for free, which will most likely change after the official launch. Sellers and vendors may calculate charge with i.H.v. 0,01 to 0,05 cent per product. The charges are to be paid as a one-time fee when serializating the products.
Which requirements must be met for project ZERO?
To be able to participate at Amazon project ZERO, two conditions are necessary for the moment:
- An official registered brand (at DPMA for example)
- A registration at the Amazon Brand Registry
The serialization itself is no requirement for brands – it’s an additional feature, that makes a fake product faster to notice.
How do you make sure that brands in Amazon project ZERO delete the “right” products?
The official statement of Amazon to this question:
„We are providing brands with an unprecedented level of responsibility, and we are willing to do so because we believe that the combined strengths of Amazon and brands can drive counterfeits to zero. Brands must maintain a high bar for accuracy in order to maintain their Project Zero privileges. We have a number of processes in place to promote accuracy, including required training as part of Project Zero enrolment and ongoing monitoring to prevent misuse of our tools.“
In other words, it is up to the brand to remove the product or not. On Amazon’s side, they trust their recognition’s algorithms and the instruction of the participating brands.