Minimum Advertised Price Monitoring or MAP Monitoring to Ensure Retailer Compliance

Map Monitoring is an essential strategy for any brand that is looking to maintain its identity. This is done by making sure that its retail partners are complying with the brand’s MAP pricing strategy.

It’s tough to be an eCommerce brand! It is especially tough once you wholesale your products to sellers. This is because once your products are with sellers, you essentially have no control over what price your products will be sold at.

As a brand, you would want to maintain the brand image that you have worked so hard to achieve. Furthermore, if your retail partners sell your products at extremely low prices, this can affect your brand’s integrity in the eyes of consumers. Moreover, this is something that you must absolutely avoid.

In this article, we will explain how you, as a brand, can get a certain level of control over how much your products are advertised through MAP pricing policies. In addition, we will also discuss how compliance you can make sure your retail partners are complying with your MAP agreements by using MAP compliance monitoring.

Your Brand Perception Depends on Price

The price of a product is a good indication of its quality. A lower-priced product is more likely to be perceived as a low-quality and cheap product when compared to a higher-priced product which is often regarded as prestigious and well-built.

The same concept can be applied to your products and brand, when your product is advertised at higher prices, it is positively perceived. However, the issue occurs when sellers lower the advertised of your product to stay competitive with others. 

Once one seller lowers the price, others will also do the same, resulting in a drastic reduction in your product’s price. As a result, your product will be poorly perceived by your customers, and this can be damaging to your business. 

A Laptop Showing Product Price, And A Person With A Microphone Looking At It.

What is Meant by MAP Pricing?

MAP stands for minimum advertising price. MAP is the minimum price sellers are allowed to advertise a brand’s product in various advertising mediums. Furthermore, this minimum advertising price comes in the form of a MAP pricing policy.

A MAP pricing policy is like a “terms and conditions” document. Furthermore, brands expect retailers to abide by this when they procure the brand’s product to sell to consumers.

If a seller wants to have good relations with a brand and not get penalized by the brand, it will have to comply with the brand’s MAP pricing policy.

MAP should not be confused with MSRP, which is another pricing strategy brands can use. Brands should know the differences between MAP and MSRP to implement an effective pricing strategy.

Keep in mind, that a MAP pricing policy only affects the advertised price of a product. Moreover, sellers are free to increase or decrease the actual selling price of the product in their stores. However, with a MAP pricing policy, it is in the best interest of sellers to keep the selling price less than or equal to the advertised price to avoid losing customers.

If vendors sell a product for more than the advertised price they could:

  1. Lose sales
  2. Be sued for false advertising

We recommend reading this article, MAP Pricing Policies: How Can it Benefit Brands?, for a more detailed look into MAP pricing, and how it benefits brands and retailers.

Map Monitoring Happening Across Various Channels Depicted By Product Icons.

What is MAP Monitoring?

Once brands have implemented a MAP policy and reached a MAP agreement with their retail partners, there is still no guarantee that sellers will comply with the MAP agreement.  

To make sure sellers are complying with the brand’s MAP policies, brands can use a process called MAP compliance monitoring. MAP monitoring involves regularly checking, in real-time, a seller’s advertisements to make sure they are not violating your MAP policies.

MAP monitoring software are used to ensure reseller price compliance by tracking MAP price violations across multiple marketplaces and alerting brands if a violation is detected. Discover some of the best MAP monitoring software from the following article: 3 Powerful MAP or Minimum Advertised Price Monitoring Software to Ensure Retailer Compliance.

Without MAP monitoring, implementing MAP policies will be useless. This is because a reseller will not have any reason to advertise a branded product at the MAP level. Especially if they know there is no system in place to track resellers’ price compliance. However, with a proper MAP monitoring strategy in place, brands can effectively track MAP violations. Furthermore, brands will be able to penalize those sellers who do not comply with MAP agreements.

By having a MAP compliance monitoring system in place, brands can ensure resellers comply with their MAP policies. Furthermore, resellers who don’t comply with a brand’s MAP policies will get penalized. As a result, brands will be able to protect their brand reputation and brand integrity by restricting low advertising prices for their products.

Why Would Retailers Purposely Violate MAP Policies?

Basic common sense dictates that it is within a seller’s or seller’s best interest to comply with a brand’s MAP policy to:

  1. Maintain good relations with a brand
  2. Avoid MAP violations
  3. Maintain its reputation in the commerce industry

Despite the need to comply with the MAP policies, and with the knowledge that a brand might be using MAP monitoring software, some retailers still violate the MAP agreement due to the following reasons:

  1. Due to fierce competition, some retailers may feel they would rather be penalized for violating a MAP policy if it means selling a branded product at competitive prices
  2. If the branded product appears in the market at such low prices it might actually be better if retailers purposely violate a MAP agreement and then sell the products to recoup some of the losses

In both the above cases, it’s the brand’s integrity and reputation that get damaged in the long run. This is because consumers will associate the branded product’s low prices with poor quality. As a result, the consumer’s perceived value of a brand will decrease.

Is Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Legal?

In the realm of online retail, MAP policies stand as a cornerstone, ensuring fair competition and brand value preservation. Legally endorsed by U.S. antitrust laws, these policies mandate that all parties involved—from manufacturers to distributors—must agree on a minimum advertised price for specific products.

This agreement is crucial for maintaining market stability and protecting brands’ integrity. Distributors are expected to comply with these policies, refraining from selling products below a certain price.

These policies are extremely important in preventing price wars that can ultimately harm consumer perception and erode brand value. Through vigilant MAP pricing monitoring, businesses can safeguard their interests and ensure a level playing field in the competitive online marketplace.

A Large Screen Showing With A Person Using A Microphone, And Person Using A Laptop On A Table.

Importance of MAP Monitoring for Brands

As we mentioned before, implementing a MAP policy is only half the work. Without proper MAP monitoring, retailers will be able to “get away with” advertising a brand’s product at low prices. It is basic human nature.

Having a MAP monitoring system is critical to ensure that a brand’s MAP agreements are being followed by its retail partners.

Without MAP monitoring, there is no way to check if a brand’s retail partners are complying with MAP agreements or not. You cannot just enforce a rule on someone and then expect them to follow it in good faith. This rarely happens. Therefore, to make sure retailers comply with MAP policies, MAP monitoring along with MAP penalties should also be implemented.

Without MAP monitoring (and MAP penalties) some retailers will be tempted to sell a branded product below the MAP. As a result, other retailers will then try to match or lower the advertised price of a branded product even further. This domino effect can continue until a branded product is advertised at the lowest price possible. At this stage, a brand’s reputation is sure to be negatively affected because its product is being advertised at such low prices.

Map monitoring is a useful strategy to ensure a brand’s reputation remains intact for the long run. Another way brands can ensure their longevity is by transitioning to an omni-commerce business model.

Benefits of MAP Price Monitoring

MAP price monitoring gives many benefits to your brand or business by reducing unauthorized advertising prices of your products in the marketplace.

Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits MAP price monitoring offers you.

Protects Your Brand

MAP Monitoring ensures retailers advertise your products at a level that will not lead to a negative perception of your brand.

Maintains Brand Value

By using MAP monitoring, retailers will obligated to advertise your product at a certain level, and this will help maintain your brand’s image as a high-quality brand.

Prevents Unauthorized MAP Policy Violations

Most importantly, MAP monitoring helps detect MAP policy violations. Thus allowing you to take swift action before further damage is caused.

Complimentary Software to MAP Monitoring Software

MAP monitoring helps brands maintain the reputation that they worked so hard to build. Besides brand reputation, it is very important for brands to increase their brand awareness as well. Brand awareness ensures that more people can become potential customers for the brand.

An excellent way for brands to increase their awareness, and at the same time increase sales is by using a product and store locator widget on their website.

A product and store locator widget is a useful tool brands can use to gain the following benefits:

  1. The ability to display all their products in layouts that are attractive for website visitors to create purchase intent
  2. An easy way to display products, along with relevant information, in neat and organized ways
  3. A map that is marked with all the brand’s store locations, thus making it easy for visitors to find a brand’s physical location for in-store purchases
  4. An intuitive way to provide accurate store information, such as directions, address, store timings, etc., for each of your stores to your customers

All the above benefits can be gained by using a store and product locator software, such as WP Maps, to quickly and easily install a store and product locator widget on their websites. A quick note, WP Maps is the perfect Stockist alternative for brands that use or are planning to use the Stockist Store Locator. Click on the link to find out how.

Lastly, all the benefits provided by product and store locator widgets work towards increasing the overall sales of a brand. This is done by making products visible to potential customers, and by guiding customers with purchase intent to a brand’s physical location to make in-store purchases.

12

The Ultimate Store and Product Locator Software!

  • Get more customers to your stores.
  • Fully customizable Store Locator to represent Your Brand.
  • Full customers Analytics
  • Managing store products is a piece of cake!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MAP on Pricing?

MAP stands for the minimum advertised price. It is the minimum price resellers can advertise a branded product. 

What are the Benefits of MAP Monitoring?

  1. Provides MAP enforcement capabilities
  2. Protects your brand image
  3. Alerts you of MAP violators before more damage is done

What are MAP policy violations?

When a vendor or reseller sells below the minimum advertised price level, this is known as a MAP violation.

Conclusion 1

Conclusion

MAP pricing policies are essential for brands to maintain their reputation and ensure fair competition among retailers. Furthermore, MAP monitoring is one of the best ways a brand can ensure that its vendors are complying with the brand’s MAP policies.

If you would like to explore more diverse topics related to e-commerce, please see our blog page.

Waleed Daad Khan

Waleed Daad Khan

Digital Marketing Consultant

Waleed Daad Khan is a results-driven Marketing Consultant with a passion for Businesses. He holds certifications From Wharton, McKinsey, Hubspot and SEMrush, and has helped businesses of all sizes improve their online visibility and reach. With 4 years of experience in the field, Waleed stays up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends to deliver cutting-edge strategies.

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