Gating is an e-commerce term to used to describe certain practices that business owners can enact to protect their brand. Within the world of the Amazon Marketplace, brand gating is designed to prevent unscrupulous third parties from taking advantage of your products and of your online presence.
There are five reasons why you should take advantage of brand gating when doing business on the Marketplace. Before listing these reasons, it is important to understand why your brand needs to be protected in this e-commerce platform.
Cheating is Too Easy on Amazon
As the world’s largest online bazaar, the Amazon Marketplace lists more nearly 500 million products ranging from smartphones to household cleaners and from cosmetics to designer jeans. The development of the marketplace owes a lot to the vision that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has always had for the company, which is to allow a completely open retail environment where perfect competition between merchants creates greater value to consumers.
How Selling on Amazon Has Leveled the Competition
By making it easy for anyone to become a third-party marketplace seller, Amazon has succeeded in creating perfect retail competition. Let’s say a young woman feels that she has a knack for selling fashion; she can join the Amazon Marketplace without having her own inventory or even connections with distributors. Using her knowledge of fashion, this budding entrepreneur can browse through Amazon and select products that she knows she can easily sell through strategic online marketing; she doesn’t even have to secure inventory if the products she selects are handled at Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) centers.
Unfortunately, the ease of joining the Amazon Marketplace as sellers is something that motivates unethical e-commerce players who wish to ply their wicked trade at the expense of others. Counterfeiters, dropshippers, unauthorized sellers, ASIN hijackers, and rogue sellers are the scourge of legitimate brands, and they are the reasons you should take steps to implement brand gating.
1 – Counterfeiters
Fake goods and cheap knockoffs are widely sold on Amazon with impunity. Counterfeiters account for more than 40% of the products listed on the marketplace.
2 – Dropshippers
These unscrupulous merchants are skilled at noticing products that are selling well on Amazon; their modus operandi consists of either taking advantage of FBA products or building up an inventory before impersonating your brand and selling your products at a much higher markup.
3 – Unauthorized Sellers
These third-party sellers will find ways to get around the Amazon Brand Registry program to sell your products without permission.
4 – ASIN Hijackers
When you introduce new products to the marketplace, you will have to register them with new and unique Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASINs). The boldest counterfeiters will resort to ASIN hijacking to trick shoppers into buying their fake products and never suspecting anything since they will be tricked into thinking that they purchased from your store.
5 – Rogue Sellers
These are predatory sellers who wish to put you out of business for competitive reasons; they may acquire your inventory at a loss only to turn around and sell your products are rock-bottom prices that cheapen your brand, or they may even damage your products before shipping them.
Brand gating involves various steps, and the most important is to actively monitor your ASINs with a service such as Brandlox. Even though Amazon introduced the Brand Registry program as a way to protect sellers from the aforementioned unpleasant characters. If you have introduced 10 or more new ASINs, your best brand protection measure is to keep an eye on your products. To learn more about protecting your Amazon store with Brandlox, then contact one of our e-commerce specialists.