1. Amazon Transparency gets a groundbreaking, Brand-led Compatibility Upgrade

In its bid to eliminate counterfeits on the marketplace, Amazon’s product serialisation solution Transparency has had an industry-leading interoperability upgrade…

What is Amazon Transparency?

Launched in 2016, Transparency allows Amazon to verify products through the use of unique codes applied to packaging.

Part of Amazon’s drive to create the world’s most trusted shopping experience, and with 33,000+ brands using the scheme, this verification process eradicates the threat of counterfeiting and means shoppers can buy from brands with complete peace of mind.

What are they changing, and why?

Before, Amazon issued brands with a unique 2D matrix barcode for each individual product, and that barcode had to be added to the products and/or packaging.

But feedback from brands revealed that many were already applying their own unique serial numbers, and that adding another from Amazon was adding more cost and complexity to their manufacturing process.

Now, the launch of interoperability for Amazon Transparency means that Amazon will use a brand’s own unique serial codes for their validation process – all the brand needs to do is to share the serial numbers for relevant products with Amazon.

Interoperability empowers brands to enrol in the program with their own serial numbers, reducing the time to get started and avoiding additional operational complexities. Now, these brands can gain the protective benefits of Transparency as quickly as two weeks after enrolment, without needing to change any existing production processes.

Dharmesh Mehta, VP of WW Selling Partner Services, Amazon

Now, Transparency is more accessible

Interoperability doesn’t just make things easier for existing Transparency brands, it also means it’s more accessible and simpler to implement for any brands new to the scheme who already have their own product serialisation on their packaging.

Transparency’s compatibility with our existing serial codes is unique. There is no other program out there that allows us to use our existing serial numbers—the ones we use for warranty purposes—and then provides the capability to validate each separate unit shipped as genuine.

Annie Joe, Head of Global Supply Chain at Logitech

When and where will Interoperability for Transparency be available?

It’s available now to brands selling in the following Amazon stores:

  • UK
  • US
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Australia

Want expert help to get set up? Speak to the team today

2. Non-Amazon Newsflash – Our CEO Andy Banks is running the London Marathon for an amazing cause…

Culminating in running the London Marathon next April, Venture Forge CEO Andy Banks has got the running bug and is turning his efforts to a wonderful cause.

As well as putting in the iconic 26.2 miles in London, Andy has pledged to run to or from every one of his son’s football matches for his local side, Rastrick Juniors – a commitment that will tot up another 130 miles or so.

The good cause in question?

Andy is embarking on this physical and mental journey in support of Action Medical Research, a British medical research charity on a mission to save and change children’s lives.

Action Medical Research funds crucial research into preventing and treating disease and disability in babies and children, developing treatments, vaccinations and cures that can transform little lives and the families that adore them.

“I look at my children and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for their health and happiness,” explains Andy.

“But I’m acutely aware that not every parent can say the same. Action Medical Research is dedicated to improving the health of babies and children and by supporting them, we’re not just donating money; we’re giving hope, love and a brighter future to countless families.”

How can you help?

Firstly, head to Andy’s JustGiving page here.

Then you can…

  1. Donate. Every penny counts!
  2. Share and help us spread the word far and wide
  3. Engage with Andy’s journey, celebrate his milestones and help create a community of support for Action Medical Research

Andy’s fundraising target is £2,100 but we’re hoping you’ll help to make sure he smashes it!

Donate, share and engage on JustGiving here

3. Amazon leads the Retail Charge against Scammers with Stop Scams UK Partnership

Amazon has made history by becoming the first retailer to join Stop Scams UK, a collaborative effort made up of responsible businesses from the technology, financial services and telecommunications sectors.

Fraud accounts for 41% of all UK crime, with UK consumers losing £2,300 every minute to scammers*.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg – The City of London Police expect fraud to grow between 25-65% over the next five years alone.

Amazon’s involvement brings the number of Stop Scams UK members to 22, with the likes of VISA, Monzo and Tide already on the list.

Working together to drive policy changes that help stop scams at the source, Amazon’s involvement extends Stop Scams UK’s reach into the retail realm.

Much more than that, it also puts the expertise, scale and power of the retail giant behind the movement – a crucial upgrade to Stop Scams UK’s abilities to deliver technological innovation, access real-time insights and put pressure on policy decision-makers.

For Sellers, Vendors and shoppers alike, Amazon’s membership of Stop Scams UK is great news.

Let’s hope other big names in the retail world follow suit, to create a Stop Scams UK membership that brings real protection to all involved.

* According to figures from UK Finance

4. Introducing the Global Coalition for Trusted Reviews

Is there anything worse than being targeted for fake reviews? Even when they’re caught and dealt with quickly, they can still cause untold damage for brands, Sellers and Vendors on Amazon.

So any development towards eliminating them will always get a warm welcome at Venture Forge HQ – and the news that Amazon has joined forces with other heavyweights like TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Trustpilot is one of the best we’ve heard.

At the first-ever Fake Reviews Conference, the group agreed to work together on a formal, global basis to collaborate on data sharing and public education, all with the aim of reducing review fraud and – crucially – helping the public to identify, discount and call out fraudulent content.

What’s Amazon’s take?

We’ve talked before about Amazon’s efforts to deal with the issue, with regular fake review purges and legal actions in the pipeline.

And Amazon has made no secret of their desire to fight so-called bad actors in their bid to protect shoppers and improve trust in the marketplace.

As the biggest retail name to join the coalition, Amazon’s data and reach will be invaluable as the group looks to make a positive effect across the online landscape.

Customer reviews are an important part of the shopping experience, and the goal of this coalition is to ensure every review reflects customers’ actual experiences. Amazon is aggressively fighting fake review brokers to protect our customers and selling partners, but these fraudsters are a global problem, impacting multiple industry sectors. Through greater collaboration and sharing across industries, including information on fraudsters’ tactics and how they operate, we can more effectively shut down fraudulent review activity, deter other bad actors from attempting to game our systems, and protect more consumers.

Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of Worldwide Selling Partner Services, Amazo

And for now, how can you protect your brand against fake reviews?

The best policy to protect your listings is one of constant vigilance.

Make sure to check what’s being written regularly and, if you spot bad actors trying to hijack your listing, follow Amazon’s Product Review policy and report those violations as quickly as possible, providing all the objective supporting information you can to prove your case.

Want some expert advice – or help – with your fake reviews? Speak to our specialists today.

5. Small Appliances, Big Potential – inside the Kitchens Category on Amazon…

Our newest Amazon Insights piece is live! Join us as we take a deep, deep dive into the Kitchens Category on Amazon, revealing the small appliances that pack the biggest potential punch.

Between now and 2029, sales of small appliances are projected to increase by £1.1billion a year – and guess who’s the most-shopped retailer for these items? You got it…

Yes, it is of course Amazon, whose 50%+ of market share leaves rivals like Argos and Tesco in the shade.

And, while this is a sector dominated by big-name brands, a careful peek into the niches and top 100 listings shows that there are good profits to be made if you know where to look.

So what subcategories hold the most potential for profits?

Our data uncovered four key subcategories with growth promise:

  • Coffee Machines
  • Kettles
  • Toasters
  • Air Fryers

And our experts have shared their best tips to succeed, with advice for big, established names and up-and-coming challengers alike.

So, if you’re a Seller or Vendor looking for your next exciting product, hit this link and dig in!

Want to explore how best to maximise any of these opportunities for your Amazon business? 

Click here to speak to our team of experts