Since we all know that prices can be the deciding factor, and the one who wins such a competition has to dominate that part. However, that competition is not just about who sells things at a lower, yet profitable price, because we can see many big companies sell products for ten times more than the average market price, yet still make a considerable profit. Companies can dramatically cut or increase their prices as a tactic, and if they succeed, they can emerge victorious in this competition. This is one of the fiercest things in e-commerce, and it requires a lot of focus and marketing strategies to work, which is where the MAP and MAP monitoring system comes into play.
E-commerce suppliers always pay attention to their businesses and profitability, because sometimes strategies can backfire. MAP monitoring is short for Minimum Advertised Price, which is the lowest price that a retailer can sell things for. It’s the agreed price that retailers make so their businesses can have a long run with profits on every side.
But how do they manage this system, and how does this work? First, we need to understand what MAP monitoring is and go in details. Lucky for you, we will go through these questions in-depth in this article.
What Is MAP Monitoring?
As we said above, the MAP is the lowest price that retailers can advertise their products. This agreement between retailers can be legal or through non-written means, which states a set of rules that both can agree on, so their businesses can have a long run.
An example of this is, if a keyboard brand decides a MAP of 100$ for its keyboard, then online retailers have to sell the product the keyboard at 100$ or above, if it’s below that, then it’s a violation of MAP policy.
But there is always a high possibility of retailers selling at a lower price and violating the policy. However, this is not intentional in some cases, because e-commerce can be a tough market, and they need to do this for survival. Instances of such MAP policy violation are often seen in high numbers in big marketplaces, like Amazon.
Hence, it becomes vital to have a strict and disciplined system so that no one can violate the terms of MAP policy, and this monitoring system is called MAP monitoring. This monitoring system over the retailers can have many advantages to the brand. Some of them being:
- Having fair competition between retailers
- Establishing brand identity
- A consistent and relationship of trust with retailers
- Prevention of low prices
How Does MAP Monitoring Work?
This system involves a few steps, which collectively make this efficient and running. These steps are.
1. Compiling Product Data and Deciding the Better Search Criteria
The first step needs to be about building the MAP monitoring system by having a comprehensive set of identifiers that relate to your product info. This can range from SKU numbers, ePIDs, ASINs, UPCs, GTINs including your own manufacturer’s serial number, and any other form of ID that is used to keep track of products.
You can also have some trademark text or images that can help you spot the product in Ads on retailer’s pages. These trademarks can build brand identity, and even help you make the base of your MAP monitoring system.
2. Establish A System or Structure That Helps to Check the Internet for Possible MAP Violations
Once you have the set of data in its place, you want to monitor these products over the internet, but how can you do that effectively? You can’t only have your team look through the product name or ASINs numbers whenever they have free minutes, looking through products in that manner in MAP monitoring is considered neither sufficient nor disciplined.
So, ask yourself this, do you want a manual system of people checking this info at specified times of a day, where they check the products? And if there’s a new retailer who is in their blind spot, and happens to violate the policy appears, then what will you do?
You can hire professionals online who can keep track of this for you, and won’t let a single person get past this policy.
3. Make Sure the Map Monitoring System Is Effective in Catching People
Suppose you put 100$ as the MAP price of certain products, if the retailers violate this policy, then you have to catch them effectively before they sell it.
You need a proper set of instructions and rules for this system, so, no one can go past this wall. If you have hired professionals online. Then you need to specify those rules to them and make sure they do their job correctly.
4. Keep Track of Violations and Prevent Them
Once you develop the catching violations process, you need a log of people violating, so you can keep track of these. This can help you understand your brand more, and its pricings and helps prevent any MAP monitoring violations in future.
This step does not include how you deal with the people; it’s more like a log or list of people that have violated. The actions that involve dealing with violators are part of MAP enforcement.
Role of Proxies in MAP Monitoring
We all know how dedicated proxies are best for having security for your website, or for going through internet anonymously and safely. So, whenever you deal with sensitive info relating to your business or MAP monitoring, you should use a proxy. Retailers use proxies so they can be safe even after violating the policy. And that’s how many people have survived on amazon. So, its safe to say that proxies can be used both ways. But if you have an effective MAP monitoring system, then you can continue to keep such retailers away while having the security of your own.
Brands suffer from loss and have a bad reputation due to certain things. And MAP policies ensure that does not happen. To check that the MAP policy is working correctly and no one violates it. You need to have a MAP monitoring system in place. Since many MAP policies can be made legal. Its good to keep track of violators, so you can deal with them later on.
MAP monitoring is one thing that helps suppliers/brands keep track of their products. And make sure they are going for the right prices.