Amazon did over 135 billion dollars in sales for 2016, making it the largest online retailer in the world. For many consumers, Amazon is the first stop when looking for products to buy. The sheer size of the market available through Amazon makes it almost inevitable that your products will end up available there, whether it is offered by you, by authorized retail partners, or by unauthorized resellers.
This is dangerous for the image of your products and of your brand. If an unauthorized reseller creates a listing for your product that is inaccurate, or has low-quality pictures or poorly-written copy, it reflects badly on your company.
Benefits of Registration
The Amazon Brand Registry allows you to register your brand with Amazon, giving you control over the way in which your products are presented. Registering a brand with Amazon means that only the registered brand owner can list its products on the Amazon store.
Registering your brand doesn’t give you a monopoly on its sale on Amazon. You won’t automatically own the all-important Buy Box, and it won’t stop resellers from selling your product without your permission. It also isn’t available for all product types. Books, music and DVDs aren’t yet part of the registry, and neither are sports or entertainment collectibles. However, in those categories for which it is available, it gives you control over the product descriptions, specifications and pictures shown, ensuring that your products are well-presented and that consumers receive the product that they ordered. It also streamlines your ability to edit your product descriptions and specifications, with updates rolling out automatically to the live page without requiring approval from Amazon.
While it is possible to have inaccurate listings by unauthorized resellers removed from Amazon, this is typically a lengthy process, and the longer the listing remains up, the more damage it can do to your brand. As usual, prevention is better than cure.
How to register
The registration process is fairly simple, and so long as Amazon does not request further information, it can be completed in just a few business days. In order to register, you will need to submit Amazon’s application form along with:
- A picture of your product’s packaging, with its branding visible
- A picture of the product itself, with its branding visible
- A link to an active website featuring your brand or products
If you prefer to delegate brand owner responsibilities to one of your authorized resellers, this is also an option. Amazon provides a standard template letter for manufacturers to issue to a reseller, granting them Brand Registry authority for that manufacturer’s products.
Once confirmed as the brand owner, you can easily list your products in the Brand Registry to enjoy its protection. Each product registered requires two things: your brand name, spelled and capitalized as in the registry application, and a unique identification code. If you have UPC, EAN or JAN codes for your products, these work, but you can also use other codes so long as they are unique for each product. If these are already shown in your product listings when you register as a brand owner, the products will be automatically registered. Otherwise, you must edit the listings to include this information.
Be aware that while some product details can be changed once the product is registered, others cannot. If you release a materially different updated version of an existing product, it will require a new listing of its own. The changes that you do make, though, are automatically updated on the live page, no pre-approval from Amazon required.
As a product manufacturer, Amazon is simply too big to ignore. Instead of allowing rogue resellers to write your product listings and potentially damage your brand image, take ownership of your brand’s presentation by signing up to the Amazon Brand Registry.