If a retailer advertises a product below the outlined price set by a manufacturer in the Minimum Advertised Price policy, then it is called a MAP Policy Violation or simply put MAP Violation.
A manufacturer or brand builds a pricing policy for retailers to protect their brand image and value in the marketplace. A MAP Policy is an important document created specifically to set an advertising price threshold for products. Unfortunately, the policy does not always stop retailers from advertising or selling the products below the MAP, as they may offer discount coupons or codes to customers. MAP policy also specifies the scope of the policy on the internet (IMAP), electronic (eMap), and physical stores. Therefore, if any retailer has advertised the price of a product below the MAP policy in the scoped channel, it is regarded as a MAP Policy Violation.
Why should you track MAP policy violations across all online channels?
As numerous sellers are advertising and selling your products online, some may be authorized, some may not. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for you as a manufacturer or brand to track MAP policy violations across all online channels. This protects your brand image among customers and saves the profit margin of your loyal authorized retailers. Monitoring MAP compliance and taking necessary actions for non-compliance eliminates unauthorized retailers and allows you to reap maximum benefit.
We know Amazon, Walmart, Target, eBay, etc. are some of the biggest online channels where anyone can join as a retailer and sell their product. A recent study done by the Harvard Business Review on manufacturers who use MAP policies found that unauthorized retailers had violated the policies 50% of the time. Similarly, authorized retailers had a 20% violation rate. From this study, we can determine that not tracking MAP violations across all channels can potentially destroy your brand image, harm your customers, and undermine your authorized retailers.
Consumer buying behavior involves shopping for products on multiple online channels, comparing prices, and searching for the best deal before purchase. If a consumer sees your product or brand advertised at a very low price, it may not be a great representation of your brand value or they may think a product is a counterfeit or from the “grey market”. This is an example of degrading or destruction of your brand value.
Retailers in today’s world are equipped with cross-channel intelligence to stay competitive in the market. They constantly analyze the product prices of their competitors and reduce their own pricing strategy to gain sales, triggering a price war among the resellers, and degrading your brand image. With this in mind, cross-channel monitoring is very important to avoid a chain reaction as it creates a very serious situation for your brand.
How to track MAP policy violation
A manufacturer or brand should monitor the market prices of the product advertised by the retailers, to track if the MAP policy is compliant or not. It is the only way to track and take necessary actions on the non-compliant retailers.
Enforcing MAP policy in the eCommerce world is very crucial, as it has a huge audience compared to other mediums. A powerful MAP Monitoring Software can help to track retailers’ prices across multiple online channels. These tools can alert you about violations with evidence compiled in a PDF format, to immediately claim and take swift action enforcing MAP policy.
It is imperative to strictly enforce your MAP policies and build brand loyalty among your retailers and customers while maintaining your brand value.
While selecting MAP monitoring software for your company, you should ensure that you opt for software that tracks and monitor all the channels like Amazon, Walmart, Google Shopping, etc.
Want to get started with our cross-channel monitoring and intelligence to stay competitive in your market and gain an edge against your competition? Contact our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn more!