5 Benefits of an Effective MAP Policy

You’ll hear us talk a lot about a few things at PriceSpider and it all has to do with optimizing the buyer’s journey. This means, making it easy for people to find your products and buy them, but also making sure they experience your brand at its best. And nothing ruins a brand’s integrity worse than a shady seller, eroding the perceived value of your brand and possibly giving a customer a bad brand interaction with your product. We outlined the five key benefits to ensure you keep your brand integrity intact. 

A minimum advertised price (MAP) establishes the lowest price a seller can publicly display for your products. Enforcing your MAP policy takes work. It can create uncomfortable conversations with people who help you generate revenue. At times, enforcing your price may even seem like more trouble than it’s worth. Penalizing a seller for violating your price could lead them to stop selling your product altogether. 

But an effective MAP policy—one that supports your goals and that you actually enforce—helps you, your retail partners, and your customers.

Here are five benefits of an effective MAP policy.

1. It lets retailers focus on service

Price is one of the biggest factors consumers use to decide where to buy a product. The seller with the lowest price point is always going to have an advantage over everyone else—even if they’re just selling your products out of their garage.

An effective MAP policy takes price out of the equation, so consumers are more likely to make choices based on the quality of their experience, retailer-specific perks, and other service-related factors. And that means retailers can prioritize improving their service, rather than trying to fiddle with pricing to maximize their margins.

It changes what it means to be competitive.

2. It creates a path to eliminate bad sellers

Let’s face it: not every seller is doing your brand a favor by selling your products. Some sellers are only interested in their short-term gains. They aren’t trying to build or preserve a relationship with you. They’re just trying to make a quick buck.

Which is why they don’t care that even temporarily slashing their prices can create lasting price erosion and weakens your brand integrity.

But without a MAP policy and a strategy for enforcing it, you don’t have a process for getting rid of these sellers before they hurt your brand. A MAP policy in itself can be a deterrent to these types of sellers in the first place. It makes continuing to game the system feel like it’s not worth it. They aren’t interested in mutually beneficial margins because lowering the price point is the only way they can compete with your other sellers. So if they believe slashing prices will cause them legal problems or jeopardize their business, they’re going to take their business elsewhere.

3. It makes revenue more predictable

When you can count on your pricing to stay above a threshold (your minimum advertised price), it stabilizes your margins and makes it easier to forecast future revenue. You’re less likely to encounter unpredictable price drops. As you enforce your MAP policy, over time you can be more confident that sellers are going to follow it. They know you’re taking it seriously, so they will, too.

4. It limits negative buying experiences

Bad sellers slash prices because they can’t offer consumers a competitive experience. Their return policies are terrible. Their customer support is nonexistent or ineffective. Their shipping process is inefficient and sketchy. 

And unfortunately, to the consumer, that all reflects on their experience with your brand, too. A bad experience with a seller inevitably carries over to a consumer’s perception of the product they purchased, not just the company (or person) they purchased from.

An effective MAP policy creates more consistent pricing, which means even customers who are hunting for the best deals won’t find much variation from seller to seller—so they’re more likely to stick with the sellers they already know and trust, or the ones that look the most legitimate. And that means your customers are less likely to have a bad experience with whoever sold them your products.

5. It builds trust with your retail partners

This may seem counterintuitive, but good retail partners actually want to work with brands that have solid pricing policies and the tools to enforce them. It shows retailers that they can focus on selling your product without worrying about fighting to protect their margins or playing pricing games to stay competitive. They know that if one of their competitors is cheating, you’ll take care of it.

One of the biggest signs you need a pricing policy is if your best retail partners are complaining to you about other sellers. They need to trust that you value their business enough to make sure their competitors are fighting fair. And that can only happen when you have an effective policy in place—and you actually enforce it.

Enforce your price

Even with a solid pricing policy in place, you can’t enforce it if you can’t keep track of violations. Protecting your price gets harder as your product catalog and seller list grow. But with PROWL, you can track and even respond to violations automatically. Prowl monitors an unlimited number of ecommerce sites and more than 20 online marketplaces to find everywhere your products appear, then compares pricing to your policies.

This arms your brand with data and trends to ensure your brand is its best.

Schedule a demo to see PROWL in action.

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