How to Stop MAP Violations and Regulate Price Online
How to Stop MAP Violations
You can stop MAP violations by developing a monitoring strategy and enforcing your MAP policy unilaterally. It might seem like an uphill battle, but partnering with a service can help you catch and reduce MAP violations.
What Motivates MAP Violators
Simply put, sellers who violate your MAP policy do so with the same intentions most companies have: to increase sales and profits. That’s not an inherently bad goal; however, it’s a problem when online sellers who have little at stake make it impossible for brick and mortar retailers to compete.
In the world of ecommerce and the Amazon buy box, visibility equals sales, and price is often one of the only distinctions among sellers. When this is the case, there’s often a race to the bottom when it comes to price, leaving brick and mortar dealers at risk of losing sales to consumer showrooming.
Support all your retailers and level the playing field by monitoring and enforcing your MAP policy effectively.
Achieving Success with MAP Violating Tracking
You might know this already but you may be unsure of how to actually stop MAP violations. This is where a MAP violation tracking and enforcement provider makes all the difference in your strategy.
It’s not possible to monitor the entire Internet manually, looking for minimum advertised price violations across all sites at all times. Cloud-based software can do this for you, alerting you to violations that happen not only during business hours but also on nights and weekends when sellers play pricing games.
Once you have this information at your fingertips, you’re already on the path to success. Next comes the enforcement step of your policy.
How to Handle Authorized Dealer Price Violations
The best place to start is with any authorized dealers you discover violating your MAP. They agreed to follow your pricing policy when they signed your dealer agreement, so you simply need to stand behind your original terms, whether it’s a three-strike policy or you immediately take action and cut off that retailer. Send a firm message that price policy violations will not be tolerated.
The Challenge of Unknown Retailer Price Violations
Next is the harder part. Dealing with MAP violations from sellers whose identities you don’t know is tough. But if you’ve partnered with a leading service, you’ll find resources available to help make your job easier.
Use these tools – such as integration with online business directories, proprietary databases, and seller name change histories – to connect the dots between seller accounts and uncover identities. Then take action against those sellers and also tighten your distribution channels to prevent them from restocking their inventory.
Stand Firm in the Face of Price Policy Violations
Taking action on MAP violations can be difficult. Even if you know who the violator is and don’t have to do research to find their identity, you might have a relationship with that retailer that you don’t want to harm, or you might feel your brand would be taking too big a risk to cut off a large ecommerce site or marketplace.
These are reasonable concerns, but you must follow through. Enforcing MAP for one retailer and not another, regardless of size or relationship, is illegal. And besides, doing so tells sellers that you’ll tolerate MAP violations. If dealers see others violating without repercussions, there’s no incentive for them to follow your policy either.
Enforce unilaterally and you’ll eventually see results in the form of sustainable revenue, increased trust among authorized dealers, and higher margin.
Living in a World of Retailer Price Compliance
What does a manufacturer’s world look like without advertised price violations? You might find that, since prices are regulated across the board, you can begin to increase your prices. Without those MAP violations, the market may be able to sustain a higher price for your product.
You can also expand monitoring and enforcement to additional products or newly acquired brands to get your entire catalog into compliance, maintaining your value in the eyes of the consumer.
If you’re just starting out, it can seem like a big undertaking, but the effort is more than worth it. Contact ORIS Intelligence, a leader in the MAP monitoring and enforcement space, if you’re ready to say goodbye to those MAP violations.