Ever since Amazon opened its Brand Gating program to all sellers in 2016, e-commerce analysts have discussed the merits and potential drawbacks of this measure. For the most part, Brand Gating is ideal for sellers who intend to build their brand by means of exerting full control over their intellectual property, their product catalog and their sales. However, there are two issues that e-commerce sellers should keep in mind. First of all, some brands will find it difficult to grow if they are overzealous and never allow third parties to become distributors. Second, Brand Gating is not a silver bullet since rogue sellers can find ways to get around it.
How Brand Gating Works
In the beginning, Brand Gating was only available to major brands that had stayed away from the third-party Amazon Marketplace due to counterfeiting concerns; in fact, the program was tailor-made for sporting goods giants like Nike. Brand Gating is the most advanced level of retail protection offered by Amazon. It requires sellers to first present their trademark registration and sign up for Brand Registry.
In essence, Brand Gating throws fences around the Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) registered by sellers. These must be ASINs of new items that had never before been registered in the marketplace; once they are fenced, third-party sellers are not able to interact with these products, which means that they cannot work their way into the Buy Box, modify the product listing page or carry the items in their online stores.
Is Brand Gating. Is it Really Necessary?
As previously mentioned, Brand Gating works for sellers who have resolved to do all trading on their own. Let’s say you are an inventor, manufacturer, wholesaler, or exclusive white label distributor. As you venture into the marketplace, you may want to protect your brand if you are just starting to shape it. You certainly will want to apply for Brand Registry unless you feel like taking the risk of leaving your brand name and logos wide open to copycats. You will only be able to apply for Brand Gating after you have submitted your Brand Registry application.
The approval process for both Brand Registry and Brand Gating is not automatic. Moreover, not all sellers will be eligible for Brand Gating. You may start selling your products in the meantime, but you will not enjoy the protections of these programs until you receive an approval notice.
Brand Gating Versus Real-Time Protection
Even major brands such as Nike know that the protections offered by Amazon are not sufficient to stop counterfeiters, ASIN hijackers and unauthorized sellers. The most effective method to ensure brand protection is with real-time monitoring of retail activity on the marketplace; this is what smart sellers are doing through subscription services such as Brandlox.
So, is Amazon Brand Gating Good for Your Brand?
If you have registered 10 or more new ASINs on the marketplace, Brandlox can keep an eye on your products and alert you about any suspicious activity; with these notifications, you can contact the merchant support department at Amazon and allow them to take action against stubborn sellers who do not play by the rules. This is when Brand Registry and Brand Gating come into play since they give Amazon legal reasons to intervene and protect the brands of sellers who wish to do so.
Brandlox can be thought of as an online loss prevention system for Amazon sellers. Learn how you can protect your e-commerce venture by contacting an online retail specialist at Brandlox today. Call 866-848-6072 for more information.