Setting your very own MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) is a great way of helping increase your company’s profits, but who enforces this?
With the digital shelf so large, there are those who could take advantage of your MAP pricing policy and never get caught.
If you’ve only recently found out about MAP pricing, and perhaps just implemented it for your business, enforcement is the next logical step.
But is it possible to actually enforce MAP pricing?
In this article, we look at whether MAP pricing can be enforced, and the steps you can take so your business doesn’t suffer.
Can you enforce MAP pricing?
In countries where MAP pricing is legal, like the US, enforcement steps should only begin once there is sufficient evidence that your policy has been violated.
Although MAP pricing is not a legally binding agreement, its enforcement demonstrates good compliance on the part of brands. Therefore, if your e-commerce business has MAP pricing policies in place with various retailers, you should take steps to monitor their channels and ensure your policy is being adequately adhered to.
However, do bear in mind that in countries such as the UK and those of the EU, MAP pricing is illegal and should not be implemented at all!
How does MAP pricing get violated?
Reputable or not, retailers may very well break the MAP pricing policy you’ve implemented, to gain a competitive advantage. They do this by selling your products for less than the price you agreed with them.
MAP pricing violations can become more serious if your retailers then adjust the price even further based on competitor rates.
Use competitor pricing intelligence software to keep an eye on unauthorised sellers, who may be listing your products on third-party sites for a reduced MAP.
6 ways to enforce your MAP pricing policy
Enforcing MAP pricing is really quite straightforward, once you have a proper process in place.
Want expert advice on how to enforce MAP pricing? Here’s your guide to start:
1) Keep track of MAP pricing violations
Use automated price tracking software to stay on top of any MAP violations and stop them from becoming widespread. Magpie DBX can help make your price tracking more efficient, so you don’t have to go through everything case by case.
2) Issue a cease and desist order
Noticed someone undercutting your MAP pricing? Send them a cease and desist letter.
Threatening legal action alone may cause them to stop their offending behaviour. Just remember to clearly highlight which parts of your policy they are violating and the enforcement process thereafter.
3) Agree on compliance guidelines with your distributors and retailers
Once clear compliance guidelines are in place, enforcing MAP pricing becomes a lot easier. Any specifics should be clearly outlined so there’s no confusion between the agreeing parties. You should also use this opportunity to remind your resellers that having MAP pricing benefits them as well, in terms of how much profit (and therefore re-investment) your business makes.
4) Join Amazon’s Brand Registry
A highly collaborative network, signing up to Amazon’s Brand Registry gives you more information about how your products are being sold. This includes distribution data and source details, so you’ll be in a better position to act if MAP pricing violations ever occur.
5) Talk to a lawyer
Not sure whether your MAP pricing policy has been breached? When in doubt about this sort of thing, hire a lawyer to review the evidence. They will then advise you on an appropriate course of action.
6) Be consistent!
Whether you’re working with SMEs or major corporations, your MAP pricing policy should be consistent. Get every retailer and manufacturer on your books to adopt and honour the MAP pricing you’ve chosen. Doing so will prevent any trading issues and possible further violations further down the road!
What else can you do to enforce MAP pricing?
Online customers are always looking for the lowest price, so enforcing MAP pricing is very important. If you want your MAP pricing policy to be honoured, you must monitor it. And our platform can help!
Using large-scale price tracking and enforcement tools, Magpie DBX lets you know if there are any discrepancies related to your MAP pricing policy, so you can act quickly and get your sales figures back on track.
Enforcing MAP pricing with Magpie DBX
Designed to improve how businesses manage their pricing, Magpie DBX is a one-stop shop for effective monitoring.
Wondering how to enforce MAP pricing like a pro? Get in touch with us and request a demo today!