MAP Monitoring for Brand Manufacturers | ORIS Intelligence
What Is MAP Monitoring? Why Is It Important for Brand Manufacturers?
MAP monitoring is the process of checking across websites and ecommerce marketplaces to determine the prices for which products are being advertised – with the particular goal of discovering prices that are below a manufacturer’s minimum advertised price policy.
There are multiple reasons for conducting general retail price monitoring, depending on who is the interested party. For example, retailers might want to know if their own prices are comparable to others’ and if the market suggests they should lower their advertised price to better compete.
But as a brand manufacturer, your intentions differ significantly. You need to discover who the retailers are that are violating your MAP policy so you can take action and protect your brand.
How Ecommerce Price Monitoring Helps Brands See the Big Picture
The insights you can gain from conducting MAP price monitoring are extensive. You learn a lot about online retailers that you might never have known otherwise. You might discover things like:
- Retailers you were unaware of offering your products
- Dealers you thought were strong partners violating MAP
- Sellers playing pricing games on nights and weekends
- Retailers price matching others when they violate MAP
Using this information, you can then decide what types of action to take. Is it time to tighten your distribution models so that you can reduce the number of unknown, unauthorized sellers who are causing disruptions in the marketplace? Maybe this is the evidence you need to rework your price policy and dealer agreements.
But you don’t know what you don’t know, and MAP monitoring is one of the biggest steps you can take in raising your awareness of what is going on in the world of ecommerce. Online giants like Amazon are here to stay, and monitoring prices is a concrete way to follow what’s happening to your brand in that growing space.
Is Retailer Price Monitoring Really Necessary?
While it’s not a requirement for brands, if you have concerns about unpredictable revenue spikes, if you’re losing sales, or if you’re receiving complaints from dealers, implementing MAP price monitoring should be at the top of your priority list.
Having a MAP policy in place is not enough to keep retailers honest. If you aren’t paying attention to the prices at which your products are being advertised, you’re doing your brand and your trusted dealers a disservice.
Especially in the world of Amazon, the winner of the buy box is king, and one of the major buy box factors is price. When multiple sellers are desperate to win and price is the main way they can compete, it doesn’t take long for prices to sink well below MAP and below what a brick and mortar store can support.
Too much of these pricing games and you can lose the support of your good partners – and your brand’s value.
Traditional Price Monitoring vs Automated MAP Monitoring
If you’re worried that MAP monitoring will take too much effort and will be impossible to pull off, you might be thinking of the way the practice began – with people manually searching specific websites for pricing information.
You’re right: this manual form of price monitoring is not only time consuming; it’s inefficient and does not capture all sources of MAP violations. We know that Amazon is usually not the first to violate MAP, so if you find a violation on the marketplace during a manual search, how would you ever find whose price Amazon matched?
This is where an automated price monitoring tool does the work that a human employee can’t. Using a service to monitor price frees up employee time and does a much more comprehensive job than a person or even a team of people.
4 Additional Insights Gained from MAP Monitoring
The right MAP monitoring tool will provide you with more than just a data dump of retailers’ prices across the Web. You can get a much more detailed picture of what’s happening in the ecommerce space.
- Put two and two together to determine identities of unknown and unauthorized sellers on Amazon.
- Connect the dots to match parent/child relationships between larger domains and sellers on marketplaces.
- Discover how much inventory sellers on eBay and Amazon are reporting so you can prioritize enforcement and be proactive with good partners.
- Develop a global understanding of your brand’s prices with international monitoring.
I’ve Started Monitoring Price for My Brand – Now What?
With MAP monitoring, you’ve taken the first step toward supporting your dealers and protecting your brand with consistent pricing. But monitoring on its own isn’t enough. Now that you’re seeing who is violating your policy, it’s time to take action.
Enforcement should go hand in hand with monitoring. It’s what gives your policy strength and sends the message to rogue sellers that you mean business. Learn how to enforce MAP pricing.
Have questions about how MAP monitoring can work for your brand? ORIS Intelligence has extensive experience in a variety of industries, and our platform is focused specifically on the needs of brand manufacturers. Contact us today.