October 2022 | by Lili
Amazon has published a report examining the operation of German small and medium-sized businesses on its e-Commerce platform.
According to the document, the 45,000 German SMEs currently present on the Amazon marketplace have sold over 750 million products in 2021 - just around 15% more than in the previous year. Moreover, 75% of German SMEs also export their products across the globe in the value of 4.25 billion euros, which is a 10% increase from 2020.
As Dr. Markus Schöberl, Director of Seller Services Germany at Amazon remarked, “There are numerous small and medium-sized businesses that used to sell only locally but now also sell all over the world. The report shows that an impressive number of SMEs have managed to do this so far." (translated from German by globaleyez)
The numbers speak for themselves. The 750 million products sold in 2021 equates to more than 1,500 products sold per minute in categories like fashion, sports and leisure, home decor and gardening.
To aid SMEs, Amazon has invested around 3.4 billion euros in its European operations. The funds went towards improvements in logistics, training, new tools and services, as well as programs like the Quickstart Online initiative, where small businesses help newcomers enter the world of e-Commerce.
Screenshot of quickstart-online.de’s homepage: The knowledge portal for digital high achievers
Those numbers could have been even bigger, were it not for the general downturn of sales in the first half of 2022. But with initiatives like Prime Days as well as Black Friday and Christmas shopping right around the corner, Amazon is hopeful that sales can be boosted again in time for the end of 2022.
Unfortunately, e-Commerce also ushers in various challenges for brands both large and small. First of all, as the size of your market grows, so does the number of your competitors. SMEs in e-Commerce not only compete with businesses in their immediate vicinity, but any other vendor selling similar products to the same audience worldwide.
This means that you need to spend significantly more to increase your visibility on the marketplaces and social media of your choice. This is especially true for Amazon, where the Buy Box system puts the certain sellers to a serious advantage.
Screenshot of a random listing on amazon.de. The Buy Box is highlighted in red
The Buy Box is the panel to the right of a listing, containing the buttons “add to basket” and “buy now”. Based on various criteria like product price, availability and fulfillment, Amazon awards the Buy Box to the best performing seller.
Since customers tend to just click on the button without looking for alternative sellers (which they could do in the bottom right corner of the product page), the Buy Box accounts for around 85% of sales of a certain product.
No wonder that sellers outside the Buy Box have to spend a large amount of funds on advertising to get their listing in front of customers.
And that’s only one of the challenges. The smaller one.
Unfortunately, not every seller sets out with the best of intentions. Vendors of fakes, grey market products, lookalikes and so on also contribute to your competition in e-Commerce, albeit under even more unfair conditions.
IP infringing listings tend to have lower prices and fraudsters are usually very skilled at using keywords to place their listing in front of customers. Not to mention the fact that various sales-boosting programs offered by Amazon, eBay & Co. are also available to dishonest sellers.
Surrounded by such a number of cheap, competing listings, honest sellers have an even harder time to attract customers. Especially if an IP infringing seller manages to win the Buy Box.
And let’s not forget about how such an environment harms a brand’s image. If your product appears next to a bunch of cheap counterfeit and lookalike products, your reputation suffers simply by association, even though you have absolutely no control over the listings displayed next to yours.
Or do you?
The aim of online brand protection is to get rid of IP infringing content on the internet, including fraudulent listings on marketplaces. With globaleyez’s solid programme in place, the infringing listings surrounding your own will disappear, leaving behind a clean marketplace and the perfect environment for your legitimate product listings.
While we understand that SMEs may feel like they lack the time, energy and resources to invest in a thorough online brand protection programme, the damage fraudsters can do to your brand is so immense that putting it off will cost you more money, if not your entire business in the long term.
After all, it’s easier and less costly to prevent a fire than extinguish it, right?
Luckily, there are a few places SMEs can turn to for help to finance the protection of their IP rights. The European Union, for instance, offers a grant called SME Fund to aid SMEs with this crucially important task. Apply here to receive EU funding for protecting your IP rights. But hurry up: the deadline for applications is 16 December 2022.
Plus, bear in mind that people who use your IP rights without permission are stealing from you, which means they practically owe you money. With globaleyez’s online brand protection programme in place, we not only detect and remove those listings for you, but also collect court-admissible evidence to help you make your case in court and win back what fraudsters have stolen from you.
globaleyez’s portfolio of services covers every aspect of online brand protection and can be perfectly adjusted to fit your brand’s exact needs. All our services are highly scalable, which means we can adapt them to the requirements of an SME as well as a large multinational company.
Our marketplace monitoring service, for instance, detects IP infringing listings on over 150 online marketplaces both large ones like Amazon to smaller platforms like ruten.
To find out more about the origin of the products and the sellers, as well as gather legally accepted evidence, we recommend a test purchase, conducted in over 50 countries worldwide. Finally, we can enforce your rights and demand the takedown of infringing listings from the internet.
These are the core services of online brand protection that build the perfect foundation for uncovering fraudsters abusing your IP rights and your brand’s reputation. But if you want more, we’re ready for you.
For example, if you want to learn more about market trends and see which sellers are responsible for the majority of your products’ sales (whether authorized or unauthorized), a round of marketplace sales tracking will answer all your questions.
Also, to widen the net of our search, it’s possible to add social media monitoring to catch any infringing ads, or even domain monitoring to discover fraudulent single webshops.
Whatever your brand’s IP protection needs, we can cater to it.