June 2022 | by Lili
Polish online marketplace Allegro announced its plans to go international. Poland’s most popular marketplace wants to be available to sellers and customers in 24 other EU countries (excluding Cyprus and Malta.)
As we outlined in our popular series introducing online marketplaces across the globe, Allegro is the most visited platform in Poland. The marketplace offers a large array of products ranging from electronics and books to fashion, beauty, baby products and even groceries.
With 190.2 million visits per month and an annual revenue of 5.3 billion zloty, ca. 1.15 billion euros in 2021 (up from 4 billion in 2020), Allegro closed a successful year. Thus, the expansion plans definitely make sense.
As Francois Nuyts, Allegro’s CEO explained, “International expansion is a key priority, and as Poland’s most visited online marketplace we are taking another great leap forward on our expansion roadmap. … European buyers will benefit from Allegro’s focus on choice, price, and no-fuss deliveries, while EU merchants are thus widening the number of potential customers.”
Shoppers on Allegro can choose their country of delivery and change the platform’s language to English as well as set their currency to euros. The TLD of the marketplace remains .pl for the moment, before launching allegro.com. This means that Allegro hasn’t chosen to set up separate sites for its European markets, as Amazon did with Amazon.co.uk, .fr etc, and as Shopee did with shopee.pl and so on.
Consumers can click on the little flag in the top right section of the header to make their choice of location, language and currency.
Screenshot of allegro.pl displaying country, language and currency options
Allegro promises to help its sellers take the leap onto the EU market. The platform provides English translations for listings, currency conversion and practical assistance throughout the entire sales process. This includes arranging shipping and deliveries in the target countries as well as handling payments with the help of partners, like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.
For consumers, Allegro pledges to provide “the most convenient and state-of-the-art platform” and access to a large offering of products at very advantageous prices. While this sounds promising, it may pose certain alarming questions for brands.
Because how can prices be that very advantageous compared to Allegro’s many competitors already present on the highly competitive EU e-Commerce market?
There are several answers to that question, and most of them are not good.
When prices are unbelievably advantageous, it usually means one of three things.
One, the quality of the product is not very good. This in itself may not be a problem for your brand’s IP rights; after all, sellers have the right to sell their own bad quality products at cheap prices, as long as those products adhere to all necessary legal requirements, including health and safety regulations as well as IP protection laws.
Consumers, however, have to be aware of the issue. It’s quite likely that a 10 € evening dress is not made from durable, quality materials and was probably not created in a workshop that pays its workers well.
The second possible explanation for very low prices is the sale of counterfeits, lookalikes, or any other IP infringing products. These products are often hard to distinguish from originals and pose a serious danger for brands and consumers alike.
Usually made from low quality materials and offered at lower prices, counterfeits are designed to make customers believe they’re getting the real deal. The price often lures customers to buy these products instead of yours, which means that fraudsters steal your revenue by hurting your IP rights. Not to mention your reputation: when the product fails to live up to their expectations, angry customers may turn on your brand, even though you had nothing to do with the sale.
But besides counterfeits, there’s a third potential explanation for lower priced-products on certain marketplaces: the grey market. These goods are original, but they’re sold outside your authorized distribution network. This can happen for many reasons, e.g. when a seller decides to sell in marketplaces or countries you haven’t authorized them to. For example, a seller authorized to sell in Poland offers your products to customers in Germany, at the price set for Poland which may be significantly below that of the German price.
This way, your own products compete with themselves, creating a price distortion and eroding trust in your distribution network. In the long term, this can lead to serious damages to your entire network, including a significant loss of revenue.
We’re not saying that Allegro’s entry to other EU markets will definitely bring about one or more of these scenarios. In fact, we’re hoping none of these will happen. We’ve established excellent cooperation with Allegro over the years and we’re happy to report that the marketplace does everything in its power to fight against IP infringements.
However, since Allegro works with third party sellers, it is entirely possible that malevolent sellers would try to take advantage of the new opportunities, despite the best intentions and practices of the marketplace.
Luckily, globaleyez is ready for this situation.
As mentioned above, we already have excellent cooperation with Allegro when it comes to protecting our clients’ IP rights, and we’re confident this will continue regardless of the number of countries Allegro is now available in.
Aimed at detecting trademark infringing listings, our marketplace monitoring service is the perfect choice for uncovering IP infringements on Allegro. Compared to other marketplaces, Allegro provides a reasonable amount of information about its sellers, which makes our job easier when tracking down the owners of potentially infringing listings.
Screenshot of a random product listing on allegro.pl displaying the seller’s name in the top right hand corner
Screenshot of a random product listing on allegro.pl displaying all seller information at the bottom of the listing
Interestingly, Allegro doesn’t work with a Buy Box system like Amazon. This means that each listing has a unique product card, and when looking for a specific product, customers can view all the offers by different sellers lined up below each other. This system encourages customers to actively view and evaluate individual offers, instead of automatically going with whichever seller won the Buy Box.
Screenshot of allegro.pl displaying iPhone 13 product listings by different sellers
Our image monitoring service detects potentially IP infringing images all over the internet, including marketplaces like Allegro. Since fraudsters often use original branded images or their own versions of these, image monitoring is a great way to uncover trademark infringing pictures online.
To discover and eliminate grey market structures on Allegro or anywhere else, we recommend our partner compliance service. Using a unique combination of software, manual and in-person research, our online brand protection experts check if your business partners adhere to their contracts and act according to your wishes. Our partner compliance service is essential for fighting and dismantling harmful grey market structures that can seriously damage your brand.
With each of our services you receive extensive reports, careful analysis and actionable expert advice about potential next steps. One of these steps is enforcing your rights and removing the infringing listings from the marketplace. So far, Allegro has always responded to our takedown requests promptly and effectively, and we have every reason to expect this excellent cooperation to continue.
Allegro’s EU-wide availability brings exciting new opportunities for brands and consumers alike. Don’t let fraudsters use these opportunities against your brand; contact globaleyez and let us protect you from harmful IP infringements on Allegro and everywhere else both on- and offline.