Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently faced heated questions from lawmakers about counterfeit goods.
One of Amazon’s main anti-counterfeiting efforts is expanding globally — a reminder than when it comes to retail, especially e-commerce, the problem of fraud and fake products respects no boundaries.
The program, called Project Zero, launched in 2019 and is designed to ensure that customers always receive authentic goods when shopping on Amazon. More than 10,000 brands – from large, global brands to emerging entrepreneurs have already enrolled in Project Zero, including Arduino, BMW, ChessCentral, LifeProof, OtterBox, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Veet.
Now Project Zero is expanding to seven other countries: Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, Saudia Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, and the UAE. In total, Amazon has brought its Project Zero to 17 nations.
This news comes after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took heat from members of the U.S. Congress over the sale of counterfeit goods and other issues related to Amazon’s marketplace operations.
“We do a lot to prevent counterfeiting,” Bezos said during his testimony in late July, adding Amazon has more than 1,000 employees focused on that work, and that the company has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to the effort.
As well, pressure is increasing from the the part of the retail world not named Amazon to crack down on counterfeit marketplace sales. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) in late July issued a call in support of a proposed law that would require more verification for online marketplace sellers, and more accountability for marketplace operators who fail to do so.
Project Zero Process
According to Amazon, Project Zero combines “Amazon’s technology, machine learning, and innovation with the sophisticated knowledge that brands have of their own intellectual property so we can together drive counterfeits to zero.”
According to Amazon, Project Zero uses three key components to protect brands:
Amazon’s automated protections proactively and continuously scan more than 5 billion attempted daily product listing updates globally to look for suspicious listings. These automated protections are powered by Amazon’s machine learning and are continuously fed new information.
Amazon said it has invested significant resources over the years to proactively prevent counterfeits and continue to innovate and build technology-based solutions. Project Zero goes further with a self-service tool to empower brands and provides them with an unprecedented ability to directly remove listings from our store. These removals also feed into Amazon’s automated protections, so the company can better catch potential counterfeit listings proactively in the future.
Product serialization is enabled by a unique code that brands apply within their manufacturing or packaging process, and it allows Amazon to individually scan and confirm the authenticity of every single purchase of a brand’s enrolled products from Amazon’s stores.
“Amazon is committed to protecting our customers and the brands we collaborate with worldwide,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide customer trust and partner support. “Project Zero has been a leap forward in protecting brands, especially for those that use all three of its components.”