Monitoring and Enforcing Your MAP Policy
Getting started, or just getting better, at monitoring and enforcing your brand’s Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Policy is always a challenge—particularly if your online product catalog is thousands of SKUs. How do you effectively manage that large of a catalog and stay on top of price violators?
Fortunately, we face this challenge often with brands that we talk to and service, and we have a few helpful tips that can make this both realistic and worthwhile.
Don't MAP out items unnecessarily
Let's say you have 5,000 SKUs in your catalog—such as a apparel or footwear brand—and one-half of those SKUs are discontinued, plus another one-third of the SKUs are private labeled for a specific retailer, focus on only the remaining portion of your catalog for MAP monitoring and enforcement.
You do not have to list all SKUs
Remember that you, as the brand, control which items are included on your MAP price list. There is no requirement to include all SKUs within your MAP policy. You are able, with a properly drafted policy and the proper notice to retailers, to amend which items are on the MAP list at any given time.
Select a representative sampling of SKUs for tracking
Let’s be real - a 5,000-10,000 SKU catalog is, in all likelihood, cost-prohibitive to monitor and track 100 percent. For this reason, virtually every large-catalog brand we support, selects what we call a “representative sample” of SKUs from across their catalog to put into our monitoring and enforcement platform(s). If you have a 4,000 SKU catalog, take your best-selling SKUs along with a scattered assortment of products that represent your full line. For example, a shoe brand might take a men’s 10 and a women’s 8 across all colors and styles to basically say, “If a seller is never selling this crucial size for any style shoe, they are likely not a serious player.”
Dedicate the effort
This is not necessarily unique to large-catalog brands, but it is all the more important for brands possessing a high-volume online offering. With any brand’s effort to monitor and enforce MAP, you have to have time and personnel dedicated to reviewing the tracking data, watching the violations that are tallied and addressed, and implementing the off-line/escalated enforcements that are called for when things get to that point.
Whether this is done in-house or through a service partner such as Blue Wheel, it is a must. No brand, regardless of catalog size, can completely rely on a automation, template notices, and/or voluntary compliance by sellers to maintain MAP compliance in any sort of meaningful way.
If you’d like to learn more about how Blue Wheel partners with brands to protect their presence online, connect with our team of Amazon experts and schedule a consultation today.