Why Protecting Your MAP Policy Is More Important Than Ever

A lot of brands are exploring the best ways to tighten their belts right now. Even if your ecommerce business is booming, you’re probably looking for opportunities to lower costs and improve efficiencies in your organization. So you might be asking–do we really need price protection tools right now? Is that worth investing in when you’re just trying to move products as fast as you can?

Price protection isn’t something you want to just turn on and off. A few months of ignoring pricing policy violations could cause lasting damage to your brand by normalizing price points that are too low for your margins and hurting your best retail partners.

But this pandemic is a unique time for businesses. And while you may be tempted to ignore pricing for the duration of the pandemic, there are actually a few unique reasons why protecting your price is even more important than usual.

Here’s why brands should be thinking about their pricing policies right now.

Some of your trusted retail partners are going under

Social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders have been devastating to brick-and-mortar stores. Even those that remain open for business have experienced crippling changes in consumer behavior.

If it hasn’t happened already, some of your most trusted brick-and-mortar retail partners are bound to close over the course of this pandemic. And when that happens, it doesn’t just hurt your distribution and sales. It hurts your price, too.

Your best retail partners value their relationship with your business. They understand that protecting your brand integrity ultimately benefits their bottom line as well. And so they’re not going to violate your pricing policies (or at least not until everyone else is already doing it).

Losing a trusted brick-and-mortar partner means losing an advocate for your brand, and it makes it harder to keep your price stable across all channels.

Which is really important right now–because many brands are finding that they have a lot more channels to sell their products through.

eBay sellers have more than doubled 

As brick-and-mortar stores have closed and stock availability has fluctuated, there’s been a massive influx of third-party sellers on marketplaces like eBay and Walmart. If these sellers are distributing your products, that means there’s a lot more competition between sellers–and when there’s too much competition and low-quality sellers, your brand often pays the price.

All it takes is a single seller violating your price to trigger race-to-the-bottom pricing. Everyone tries to compete with the original violator by dropping prices a little lower, until the margins are so low it’s unsustainable for everyone.

It’s the inevitable result of having too many sellers on the same marketplace. And the pandemic’s explosion of third-party sellers should be a big red flag to brands right now.

The number of eBay sellers are up 74%, that means unauthorized sellers are on the rise

The brands using our price protection software Prowl, have seen an average of 74% more sellers on eBay over the course of the COVID-19 crisis. Unauthorized sellers especially have no qualms about violating your price–they haven’t signed any sort of seller agreement and aren’t even supposed to be carrying your products in the first place.

Even if they don’t blatantly violate your pricing policy, unauthorized sellers don’t know or care how their decisions, shopping experience, and treatment of customers impacts your brand.

Price protection software gives you the tools you need to enforce your pricing policy at scale. You can’t remove unauthorized sellers if you can’t keep track of them. 

PriceSpider’s brand integrity solution, Prowl, crawls unlimited online retailers and more than 20 online marketplaces multiple times a day to find everywhere your products appear and documents any violations. If your brand utilizes the entire PriceSpider Platform with both consumer conversion and brand integrity solutions, they can even automate aspects of the enforcement process, such as immediately removing a violating seller from your where to buy options.  

Protect your price

Pricing violations can quickly undermine your brand’s reputation–both with consumers and with your retail partners. Brands can’t afford to be short-sighted right now, and if you want to weather the pandemic and enjoy long-term success, enforcing your pricing policy needs to be on your radar.

Schedule a demo of PROWL today, and see how we help you protect your price and your brand experience.

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