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Recent economic reports don’t paint a very pretty picture about the current state of the US economy. A CNBC article published last week suggested that the country is already in a recession with the consumer price index (the measure of inflation) up more than 8.6%, the highest it’s been since December 1981. A tough economy means less consumer spending and less consumer spending means less buying online. If you are an Agency, an Aggregator, or DTC brand owner on Amazon, every sale is critical to your business. In an economic downturn, brand protection efforts are more crucial than ever to ensure that it is you that is closing every sale, and not the counterfeiters.

When prices for everything seem to be rising fast, consumers change their spending habits, and they do it quickly. Reliable, well-known products that consumers love, begin to feel and look more expensive, and on platforms like Amazon, unauthorized sellers can and do take advantage of this new hyper-sensitive consumer sentiment. Sellers offering premium products at “too good to be true” prices are becoming more prevalent.

On Amazon, in particular, low prices are a huge part of the criteria used to determine which seller is the Buy Box winner and those who own the buy box get the sale. Even in cases where sellers have real indicators of unauthorized behavior, if they have a great offer price compared to others, they often still win the Buy Box.

Here is a great example. This seller has 1 rating on Amazon, and essentially every order they have processed has not been delivered. They sell a variety of name-brand products, all at heavily (in some cases unrealistic) prices.

Failure to protect your brand and your online channel from unauthorized sellers is damaging in any economic climate but it is especially devastating when sales are slow due to inflation. When online buying is slowing this is exactly when agencies and brands need to ramp up their brand protection efforts. You simply can’t afford to lose control of the Buy Box, your pricing strategy, or dilute your ad spend in a tough economic environment.

Whether you are a big direct to consumer (DTC) brand or a full-service agency or aggregator striving to meet growth expectations, it's critical you take a proactive approach to counterfeiters and unlicensed, unauthorized sellers. Not doing so will hurt your brand equity, and you lose control of your margins, your Buy Box, and sales growth. In addition, customers have a bad buying experience or worse, get no product at all. This reputational damage is hard to repair and can impact your future sales when the economy turns around.

Also, during a recession, your customers are less loyal and since most of us are not Nike, they will shop around looking for “bargains.” Bad sellers can easily lure away your customers with look-alike fakes or imitations of your products sold under different brand names or trademarks. Customers that are lost to counterfeiters are hard to get back, especially when the economy is slow and inflation high.

For these reasons, brand protection efforts should be increased during a sluggish economy. Every sale is critical during a recession and protecting those sales should be your number one priority. If budgets are tight, then it only makes logical sense to fight back at the heart of the problem. Get your hands on good Buy Box data, and ensure you can focus on unauthorized sellers based on their inventory levels, their Buy Box win rates, and projected sales. The IPSecure platform, in particular, does an excellent job prioritizing unauthorized sellers based on that exact criteria, and more.

Another challenge will be your budget. If the economy is slowing and sales slow down, how will you get more funds and resources for brand protection? Well, you won’t. It's that simple. Certainly not if your ROI is based on arbitrary activities like how many listings you removed. The climate is changing, growth will be harder to achieve, it's time to turn your brand protection program into an e-commerce growth engine.

To learn how to generate growth through brand protection, visit ipsecure.com and contact us for a free account today.