Partner Compliance
marketplace monitoring

Brand representation vs. reality

Trust is one of the most important assets for building a brand’s reputation. Find out how online marketplaces and your business partners affect that trust and how online brand protection can help.

The future of e-Commerce is a topic often discussed on various fora. Our blog regularly features articles that touch upon the issue, as do many other stakeholders, including Shopify. Their most recent, thorough evaluation of the future of e-Commerce prompted us to add our two cents to the issue again.

Personalised personalisation

Shopify identifies three important trends for brands who want to step up their game in e-Commerce. We have already introduced two out of those three, rising acquisition costs and growing social commerce in our own article outlining the most important e-Commerce trends for 2022.

The third issue, however, deserves a bit more of the online brand protection spotlight.

Shopify recognizes that with toughening rules on third-party cookies, brands have to look for other ways to provide a personalised shopping experience for their customers. First-party data (information collected by brands themselves) seems like a logical solution to that issue.

Screenshot of every-foods.com displaying the site’s first and third party cookie agreement
Screenshot of every-foods.com displaying the site’s first and third party cookie agreement

Illustration of customer survey about personalisation
Illustration of customer survey about personalisation

But as the numbers show, personalisation is a must: 45% of customers are more likely to return to an online store if it offers personalised recommendations, while 57% of them feel that personalisation helps them to a better customer experience.

However, there’s a thin line between offering a seamless customer experience and being downright creepy. Using too much personal data (often referred to as over-personalization) can make customers feel like they’re being stalked by a brand.

The key to this (as to many other things in life) is moderation. Sending a birthday coupon to a customer is OK, but reminding them twice a day that they haven’t used their coupon yet is probably too much.

Illustration of customer survey about data sharing
Illustration of customer survey about data sharing

And let’s not forget that the basis of all that is, obviously, trust. 44% of consumers are OK with sharing their information with brands they like, but 57% of them are worried about how that data is used.

Easing that worry while increasing the number of consumers who like your brand is a no brainer. But how to do it? Well, it all comes back to building trust.

The magic of trust

Trust is an essential ingredient in many aspects of a brand’s life. You need your suppliers, distributors, customers, and all other stakeholders to trust your brand, otherwise you won’t be able to work together.

There are several ways brands can build and grow trust, two of which are very important from an online brand protection point of view as well. These two issues, your brand’s reputation and your business partners’ compliance, can heavily contribute to building and ruining trust for your brand, which is why it’s very important to always keep them in mind.

Your brand’s reputation

One of your most valuable assets, and the very basis of trust toward you is your brand’s reputation. Although carefully built over the entire lifespan of your brand, a few mishaps are unfortunately enough to put a dent in it. Especially in the age of social media where every tiny mistake can be blown up and shared across the globe within the blink of an eye.

Protecting your brand’s reputation both on- and offline is a crucial and very comprehensive task which definitely includes the way your products are presented. After all, how your customers encounter your products speaks volumes about you as a brand.

But online marketplaces don’t give brands a lot of say in how their product listings appear. In fact, regardless of your careful preparations, it’s up to the search algorithm of any marketplace to determine what kind of product listings appear alongside yours. And if the marketplace is flooded by products with dubious origins, chances are that your branded products will end up next to low quality look-alikes, grey market products, or even counterfeits.

To put it in context, think of your physical store (assuming you have one). How much time, effort and assets did you spend on the design and organisation of your product displays to ensure they’re perfect? Our guess is, quite a lot.

Now, why not give your products on online marketplaces the same treatment? After all, if your physical store is like the picture on the left, would you let your digital display look like the one on the right?

Image: A carefully designed store displaying a luxury brand’s products and image
Image: Products presented in an untidy store with dirty shopfronts

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have to take on every single online marketplace and demand they display your products in the right way. globaleyez will do this for you.

Our marketplace monitoring service ensures that IP-infringing product listings including look-alikes, counterfeits and grey market products are quickly detected and removed from the marketplace.

All that remain are your authorised, original branded products flawlessly displayed in a clean marketplace.

Your business partners’ compliance

Online marketplaces are not the only actors with an influence on your brand’s reputation. In fact, your business partners, especially your distributors have a crucial impact on how your customers view your brand.

Obviously, this is no news to you, which is why you have agreements in place that determine how your partners should act when representing your brand. These agreements usually cover all kinds of actions, e.g. the display of your products in physical stores, which online marketplaces distributors are allowed to sell your products on, how they should behave when interacting with customers, etc.

But what if your partners don’t act according to their contract? Your products may appear on marketplaces you don’t want them to be featured on, your product parts may make their way to competitors, and distributors may even suggest another brand’s products to customers who are looking for yours.

These are just a few examples of non-compliant behaviour that can have disastrous consequences for your brand’s reputation and bottom line.

But many brands lack the time and resources to hold their business partners accountable. How do you even notice when something like that happens on the other side of the globe?

To put it bluntly, you don’t. But globaleyez does.

Our partner compliance service is aimed at exactly these kinds of situations and more. Combining software tools with manual searches and even in-person investigation like mystery shopping, our experts uncover all types of non-compliant behaviour. We then provide extensive reports and actionable advice on next steps.

The best side-effect of partner compliance is peace of mind: you can rest assured that your partners hold themselves to their agreements. And if not, you’ll be the first to know.

Conclusion

E-Commerce is booming and so does competition. It’s getting increasingly hard to get the attention of customers, and even harder to earn their trust. Your brand’s reputation is the basis of that trust, but you’re not the only actor with an impact on it.

Don’t let fraudulent sellers on online marketplaces and non-compliant business partners ruin your reputation and damage your customers’ trust in your brand. Get in touch, tell us your specific challenges and let’s develop a strategy to overcome them together.

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