The future of retail is here, and its name is Amazon. In early September, shares of Amazon reached $2,050 on Wall Street, thus making it one of the few companies to reach a market capitalization value of one billion dollars. Even though Amazon shares eventually retreated towards the more common $2,030 level, quite a few analysts believe that the company will soon catch up to Apple in terms of market cap; however, it should be noted that AAPL has been around nearly twice as long as Amazon.
Something else that should be noted about Amazon is that its meteoric rise and ongoing expansion comes with a few caveats related to risk and security. In September 2018, Detroit news station WDIV reported an incident involving an Amazon delivery truck near the U.S. Post Office branch on Joy Road; a suspect armed with a revolver attempted to hijack the truck but ended up robbing the driver and stealing some of the cargo. Thieves trying to hijack Amazon trucks is something that will likely happen again in the future, and a similar situation unfolds in the third-party Amazon Marketplace on a daily basis.
ASIN Hijacking by Cyber Thieves
The greatest problems faced by Amazon independent merchants involve counterfeiters, scammers and unauthorized sellers; what these problems have in common is that they often begin with the hijacking of Amazon Standard Identification Numbers. Cyber thievery on the Amazon Marketplace differs from brick-and-mortar retail losses in the sense that it appears to be more sophisticated on the surface, but ASIN hijacking is actually very simple.
Let’s say an unauthorized seller has a dubious inventory of Swedish wooden clogs that she wants to get rid of; her first step would be to find an ASIN she can hijack, and B005CB726M could be a target since it is not subject to Brand Gating. ASINs that display the “Have one to sell?” option on the right sidebar are the most vulnerable in this regard because anyone with an Amazon seller can list them. From this point on, cyber thieves will use various black hat tactics to win the Buy Box.
Preventing ASIN Hijacking
The best method to prevent ASINs from getting hijacked is to protect them with Brandlox, a subscription service recommended for Amazon sellers who have generated 10 or more unique ASINs. With Brandlox, sellers can simply enter the ASINs they wish to monitor and the seller accounts approved to list them. Brandlox will issue an immediate notification the moment an unauthorized seller attempts to list a product.
Many Amazon sellers do not become aware that their ASINs have been hijacked until they notice a sudden rash of negative reviews, return requests or shopper complaints. When ASINs are protected by Brandlox, cyber thieves can be dealt with before they get to do any damage.
ASIN Protection Tools
In addition to notifications, Brandlox subscribers also have access to an e-commerce loss prevention toolbox for added ASIN protection. One of these tools is the ability to generate and track cease-and-desist letters to unauthorized sellers; these notices and their digital trail can be presented whenever Amazon seller support representatives need to get involved.
Brandlox also gives subscribers the ability to conduct test purchases to deal with relentless counterfeiters. Test purchases can prompt the Amazon legal department to terminate seller accounts in violation of trademark and intellectual property rules.
Interested in a free trial of Brandlox? Contact our office and get in touch with one of our e-commerce consultants.