Amazon opens Transparency to other serialisation systems

A few years ago, Amazon started rolling out a product serialisation scheme, called Amazon Transparency, to give individual products a unique item-level code that could be used for authentication.

Now, the online retail giant is opening up the service so that it will be interoperable with other serialisation systems used by brand owners, so it will no longer be a closed system.

“Interoperability will enable brands that already have their own product serialisation on their products or packaging to benefit from Transparency’s protections easier, faster, and without requiring any changes to their existing manufacturing and packaging processes,” said Dharmesh Mehta, head of worldwide selling partner services at Amazon.

Amazon launched Transparency in 2016 in the US, later extending it to other markets including several European markets and Japan.

It is designed to allow sellers to label their packages with a unique 2D code, which consumers can then scan using the Amazon app to cross-check their purchase against official information, including manufacturing date, location, materials, ingredients or other product information. Until now, the serialised 26-digit alphanumeric code had to be purchased from Amazon.

Around 33,000 brands are now enrolled in the programme, which all have to be enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry – which allows brands to register their logos and intellectual property to speed the removal of product listings or seller accounts that promote counterfeits – and must have a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) for the product.

“While we are proud of the progress thus far, we are constantly looking for ways to make it easier for more brands to benefit,” said Mehta.

“We listened to feedback from brands that said they have already been applying their own unique serial numbers to their products and adding an Amazon-issued Transparency code created additional cost and complexity for their manufacturing operations,” he added.

“Brands will share the serial numbers for the products they wish to enrol in Transparency, and whenever a unit of that product is sold through Amazon’s store, Amazon will validate the serial number to verify the authenticity of the product – just like we do with the codes we have been issuing on our own.”

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