TECHNOLOGY

Amazon zeroes in on counterfeits

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amazon is launching a new program that puts counterfeit detection in the hands of brands.

Known as Project Zero, the program provides automated protections that continuously scan Amazon’s online stores using the etail giant’s machine learning capabilities. Brands provide Amazon with their logos, trademarks and other key data, and Amazon scans over 5 billion product listing updates every day, looking for suspected counterfeits.

Amazon has been testing these automated protections with a number of brands, and on average, the company says its automated protections proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to what it reactively removes based on reports from brands.

In addition, Project Zero equips brands with a self-service counterfeit removal tool enabling them to remove counterfeit listings themselves. Previously, brands would need to report a counterfeit to Amazon, which would then investigate these reports and take action. This information also feeds into Amazon’s automated protections to improve future detection of potential counterfeit listings.

Project Zero further provides product serialization. This service permits Amazon to individually scan and confirm the authenticity of every one of a brand’s products that are purchased in Amazon’s stores. The product serialization service provides a unique code for every unit that is manufactured, and the brand puts these codes on its products as part of the manufacturing process. Every time a product using the serialization service is ordered in Amazon’s stores, the etailer can scan and verify the authenticity of the purchase.

“Project Zero, with its automated protections and the self-service removal of counterfeit products, is a significant development that will help ensure our customers receive authentic Vera Bradley products from Amazon,” said Mark Dely, chief legal & administrator officer, Vera Bradley.

Project Zero is currently offered via invite. Amazon says it is working to add more brands quickly, and brands can also sign up for an online wait list.

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