Why MAP Monitoring Tools Don’t Have to Be Expensive

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Sometimes people will pay more for unnecessary add-ons on certain devices, like refrigerators. Over the past decade, we’ve seen some pretty impressive refrigerator models hit the market. Some have TVs, some have WiFi, and built-in apps to access directly from the refrigerator door. If you’re simply looking for a way to preserve your food, why on earth would you pay more for features you don’t need?

Minimum advertised price (MAP) monitoring tools and refrigerators are the same in this respect. When you are looking for software that will monitor your products’ prices and in return preserve your overall brand, do you really want to pay extra for bells and whistles that you don’t actually need?

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Sometimes less is more, and that statement is definitely applicable to your price monitoring software. While you’re being sold on a product’s additional features, take a step back and think it over. Are the additional features answering problems a simple MAP tool couldn’t solve? Probably not.

Here is what price monitoring tools should do:

  • List who is selling your products on all available channels
  • Show the prices that your products are being sold at
  • Indicate which prices are violating your pre-established MAP policy

Those three features can help you accomplish much more than simply identifying MAP violators.

Let’s say, for example, you’re worried about gray market sellers. There’s no need to pay for an additional “feature” that identifies gray market sellers. Keeping track of authorized sellers can help an unfamiliar name stand out on your platform.

Paying more to identify unauthorized sellers is essentially paying for someone to tell you something you already know. Reaching out to the company shouldn’t be a problem. And instead of sending out a cease and desist letter, perhaps you can turn them into an authorized seller and establish an ongoing relationship.

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Counterfeit products are a serious problem in the eCommerce landscape. Counterfeit goods actually make up 7% of world trade, and are often linked to illegal activities. A focused MAP monitoring system can actually help you identify counterfeit goods. Is the product way below MAP? Is the seller unauthorized? Price monitoring can help expose common symptoms of counterfeit goods, and it doesn’t require an additional feature.

If you’re suspicious of a product being sold by an unauthorized seller, you can usually find an answer by reaching out to the retailer. Gray market sellers that offer products far below MAP and MSRP are potentially selling counterfeit goods. A cease and desist can be necessary in these cases, as products with inferior quality can be even more detrimental to your brand value than low prices.

Price is the easiest way to monitor your brand value in a sea of retailers. Other threats to your brand, such as domain name violations, aren’t necessary to cover with a MAP monitoring tool. A simple Google search can provide you with information on domain names that are eerily similar to your own, and if you feel they are a viable threat, you can start getting legal. The internet is full of retailers like yourself, there’s no need to view every similar domain name as a direct threat to your business.

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Your price monitoring tool doesn’t need to meddle with search keywords. Many companies steal other business’ keywords, that is just a reality of the online marketplace. But that’s not your price monitoring tool’s responsibility. It doesn’t have to be juggling eight different features to attempt to secure your brand. Generic keywords are not intellectual property for anyone, they’re open to be bid on by whoever has the cash. As long as they aren’t misleading consumers, they’re obeying the law.

Your MAP monitoring tool should be easy to use and implement, and it should provide clear, concise, and actionable information. Every tool in your arsenal should have a focused, designated role. Do you really want to pay extra for a tool that does a semi-satisfactory job in several aspects when there’s a product that is incredibly efficient in one respect? Remember, you’re not buying the refrigerator for the high definition LCD television on its door, you’re buying it to keep your food fresh.

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Brian Smyth

Brian Smyth is a content writer at Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers. He holds a BS in business with a concentration in marketing from San Francisco State University.