Our third annual report shows Amazon’s continued progress towards driving counterfeit to zero – both in our store and across the retail industry.
Twenty-eight years ago, Amazon set out to become Earth’s most customer-centric company, and a critical part of that mission is earning and maintaining customers’ trust. When a customer makes a purchase in our store, they trust they will receive an authentic product, whether the item is sold by Amazon Retail or by one of our millions of independent selling partners. And when small businesses choose to sell in our store, they trust we will provide a great selling experience free from competition with bad actors. These drive us to continue to innovate on how we ensure a trustworthy shopping and selling experience every day for our customers and selling partners.
In 2022, our strategic combination of industry-leading technology and experts successfully stopped bad actors and made an impact beyond Amazon’s store—identifying, seizing, and appropriately disposing of over six million counterfeit products, preventing them from reaching customers and being resold elsewhere in the global supply chain.
Reflecting on the past year, I am encouraged by our team’s continued progress in raising the bar in areas critical to brand protection. Together, we have driven powerful and highly effective proactive efforts to protect our store, provided and innovated upon industry-leading tools enabling rights owners to partner with us to better protect their brands, made significant advances in holding bad actors accountable, and improved customer protection and education.
Here are a few highlights from our latest Brand Protection Report:
(1) Our innovations in seller vetting are deterring bad actors from attempting to create new selling accounts.
Our robust seller verification, including connecting one-on-one with prospective sellers through video chat, coupled with continued advancements in our machine learning-based detection, are deterring bad actors from even attempting to create new Amazon selling accounts. In 2022, we stopped over 800,000 attempts to create new selling accounts, preventing bad actors from publishing a single product for sale – down from 2.5 million attempts in 2021, and 6 million attempts in 2020.
(2) While our store and number of products available for sale has continued to grow, the number of valid notices of infringement submitted by brands has decreased significantly.
We continued improving our automated protection technologies, which leverage our partnership with brands enrolled in Brand Registry and the data they provide us. This reduced the need for brands to find and report infringements. In 2022, adoption of our brand protection programs continued to grow–and, at the same time, the absolute number of valid notices of infringement filed by brands in Brand Registry decreased by over 35%.
(3) In partnership with brands and law enforcement, we have been able to hold more counterfeiters accountable–stopping them from abusing our and other retailers’ stores across the industry.
Our efforts to identify and dismantle counterfeit organizations are working and making a positive impact. In 2022, Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) sued or referred for investigation over 1,300 criminals in the U.S., UK, EU, and China. We continued to partner with brands and law enforcement to not only stop these bad actors, but we also worked to go upstream from the counterfeit signals we detected to identify, seize, and appropriately dispose of over 6 million counterfeit products. This prevented them from being resold anywhere in the supply chain.
(4) We have been able to help educate more consumers than ever about the harm and dangers of counterfeit products.
In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, we built marketing campaigns that helped educate consumers about how to shop safely and ensure they were purchasing authentic products, while also ensuring they understood the harm and dangers of purchasing counterfeits. These campaigns reached over 70 million consumers in the U.S.
We are proud of the progress we have made this past year, and we will continue to innovate until we drive the number of counterfeits in our store to zero. We also appreciate the growing industry-wide partnership and collaboration in the fight against counterfeit. While the industry still has a long way to go in driving the right public and private sector partnership, we are excited about our progress and what we can do together to hold bad actors accountable and ensure the entire industry is rid of counterfeits.