Fake barcodes on products, a common way for counterfeiters to evade controls online and a major headache for retailers, face their biggest spoiler yet thanks to new detection technology from e-commerce expert Developing IT.
The Stirling-based SME has joined forces with GS1UK, the world’s largest trusted source of product data, to produce an automatic check for sellers, so they and their customers know their inventory is genuine.
Problems that could also occur as a consequence of fakes posing as real, such as conflicting details and prices, poor search rankings and product discovery especially on marketplaces, are likewise prevented.
By tackling the unique identifiers within the billions of goods manufactured every year known as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), the service aims to smash a large part of the world’s annual counterfeit trade worth around £460bn.
Now it’s part of Developing IT’s flagship product Optiseller, a suite of sales and analytical tools for online businesses of all sizes.
The latest innovation that can make a huge difference to honest traders says the company’s owner and managing director Craig MacCallum.
“Amazon and Google have led the way by mandating the presence of product identifiers in order to sell on their platforms.
“Our Optiseller dashboard automatically identifies those without a GTIN or with an incorrect one.
“It removes the legwork and guesswork, saving sellers vast amounts of time and money.
“Data is available to every marketplace, brand and retailer and customers can also get a report as to why a GTIN was wrong. We’re following that soon with help on what number should be used.”
Online platforms and sales performance expert MacCallum expects the company he took over in 2004 to post £2.18m turnover this year as more businesses set up online and search for a competitive edge.
Over £600,000 has been invested in the firm and its ground-breaking products both from private funders and Scottish Enterprise, whose support has been fundamental to Developing IT’s success, says MacCallum and continues to this day.
The business now plans to double its 25 headcount by 2019 as its subscription-based Optiseller, which costs from £25 per account a month, expands its offering.
With 7,500 users worldwide and 70m plus products reviewed each week, customer sales are both direct and through partner channels to main players such as eBay and Amazon along with smaller specialists.
It (Optiseller) removes the legwork and guesswork, saving sellers vast amounts of time and money.