MAP enforcement is critical to protecting a brand's integrity, especially in a competitive environment like Amazon.
According to FeedbackExpress statistics, there are over five million resellers on Amazon alone. Such a large number of retailers could affect a brand's integrity on the entire marketplace, especially when it comes to adhering to minimum advertised price (MAP) policies.
Products that are advertised and sold at lower rates than stated in a brands’ MAP policy agreement, create brand deterioration which diminishes value and is harmful for every business along the supply chain. Every brand selling into the Amazon marketplace should consider a comprehensive MAP enforcement policy to protect their reputations and bottom lines.
MAP pricing or a minimum advertised price is a condition that illustrates the absolute lowest price at which retailers can advertise your products in their physical or online stores.
According to the antitrust statutes, the MAP pricing policy is completely legal in any form of marketplace, and MAP enforcement technology can be used to monitor prices electronically and uncover violations automatically.
Monitoring your MAP policy constantly and thwarting all the MAP violations are the two basic steps in enforcing your MAP policy. Keep in mind that detecting the MAP policy violations alone is a meaningless process if a comprehensive enforcement activity does not back it.
For brands, manufacturers, and wholesalers, MAP monitoring and enforcement is the process of managing all the communication with retailers and dealing with policy violators when they happen.
MAP agreements exist to protect brands and manufacturers. A MAP agreement helps businesses sell their products and compete on the actual value of products and services and also offers the following benefits:
No, they won’t. It’s important to seek separate MAP monitoring because:
Plus, since there are ways to avoid disclosing the true identities of Amazon resellers, it becomes very difficult to hold retailers accountable for violating the MAP policy behind your products.
Instead of relying on Amazon, brands can use third-party solutions like MapAuthority that automatically prevent MAP violations and can begin the MAP enforcement process.
There are some key factors that you have to follow to enforce your MAP policy on Amazon. A successful MAP pricing policy protection program includes the following actions:
If your distribution base is spread widely, no matter how solid it is, tracking all the retailers and enforcing your MAP policy will become overwhelming. It could also render your MAP agreement useless. You have to utilize well-designed software, especially if you're using Amazon as your selling platform.
Eddie Lichstein, the co-founder of renowned eCommerce platforms THMotorSports and Autoplicity, shared his thoughts on MAP policy, saying it’s like a partnership between retailers and manufacturers that makes them allies rather than adversaries. He added that if there is no MAP policy, both brands and retailers quickly experience erosion in their revenue.
Generally, retailers will have different perspectives about MAP policies based on their market position and goals:
These retailers are in competition for the lowest rates. They ignore MAP pricing agreements while racing for the lowest possible price and often go even lower than the minimum advertised price agreement. Retailers like this do not like the MAP agreements at all, so be careful when selecting your retailers to filter them out.
Some retailers are doubtful whether all other retailers will abide by the MAP policy or not. This inconsistency in the market creates unfair advantages for retailers who don’t adhere in terms of margin, but also can create disadvantages for MAP adopters in terms of sales volume. A consistent adoption of MAP policies will even the playing field for all resellers.
You will also find the retailers like Eddie Lichstein talking about MAP agreements passionately because they understand the depth of the subject. That's why they embrace MAP policy as it provides a higher margin and creates a level playing field. These are typically stronger and the ideal partners that are professional Amazon retailers, or they specialize in that brand's industry.
MAP policies and agreements are more attractive to those retailers who are a part of a limited or selective distribution model. It is where you should enforce a MAP policy for your brand. You also have to make sure that you only allow a specific group of authorized retailers to sell on Amazon to keep the whole process seamless and well managed.
MAP policy-violating retailers can cost you time, energy, and money. In order to keep the counteracting process simple and effective, use the following steps:
If you find any of your Amazon retailers violating the MAP pricing policy, keep things simple at the initial stage by sending a warning message advising them of the breach.
You have to stay consistent and vigilant because violators will try to find the loopholes in your MAP policy to exploit. After the initial warning, keep an observing eye on the violating resellers.
If your initial warning message works, then kudos. Send a genuine thank you message to any violating retailer who becomes a compliant one.
Give a final warning if any of your retailers persistently violates your MAP policy even after the first warning.
There are no strings attached, and you can easily remove the non-compliant retailers. You can stop shipping, selling, and accepting new orders from such retailers.
Let all of your retailers know how you deal with your MAP policy violation and how you counteract the non-compliant retailers.
For manufacturers and brand owners, MAP pricing policy is critical to protecting brand integrity, especially in a competitive environment like Amazon. If you are looking for a MAP enforcement solution, we invite you to take a demo of our software.
MapAuthority is the only software solution that enforces the MAP policies of your brand with all your Amazon retailers. All you need to do is to create an agreement and send it to your Amazon retailers to begin the process. Once the agreement is in place and MapAuthority begins monitoring, prices will remain at or above each product’s MAP.
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