Minimum advertised price or MAP is a subject that every seller, retailer or manufacturer should excel for their sales points. For manufacturers, MAP means the lowest price tag they want to show to the consumers. It provides a brand and product integrity on the price tags. With the right MAP policy, manufacturers can observe the sellers or retailers’ behaviors regarding their products.
MAP policies provide legal protection for brands, retailers or customers from price erosion for the sake of competitiveness in e-market. Price erosion happens when retailers lower the prices of your products for keeping their competitive edge. It can help them to compete with others, in the short term; however, it creates the erosion for the brand and for the product. That is why, it is something that every manufacturer or retailer should be extra careful when it comes to a price erosion point. A decent MAP policy prevents price erosions, and that is why it can be extremely important.
Without a Good MAP policy
Without a good MAP policy, e-market manufacturers or brands can be in danger for losing their integrity in the eyes of potential customers. When a retailer lowers your price tag without your consent, just for the sake of competition, they convey a message to the customers that your brand and your product can decrease value. MAP policies provide manufacturers a shield for their products and brand image that no such retailers can ignore. A decent MAP policy conveys the message of “You are being watched and if you do ignore our MAP policy, you will face the results”. MAP policies have the legal meaning and protection of prices.
What Are The Benefits Of MAP Policies?
MAP policies can provide different types of benefits regarding the seeing whole shopping experience as a large field. It does not dwell upon the prices only and it provides an integrity point to the customers. If a seller is abiding the MAP policies of manufacturers, they seek for different approaches to please the customers. These different approaches can be made by understanding the “price cuts for competition” is not the only choice for sales. For example, with such equality on the price points, sellers can provide more customer service to ace their sales. They can provide a little bit more than others; they seek for different shopping experience advancements. Also, it conveys the message of your value as a brand by keeping your prices as it should be, it can create a difference between your products and cheap alternatives. With the right price policy, fake or cheap alternatives of your products can be seen by customers easily.
What Is The Difference Between MAP Policies And Pricing Agreements?
Minimum Advertised Price Policies has the unilateral nature. This is why they are different than pricing agreements and they are legal. Pricing agreements are not always illegal, of course. However, pricing agreements can be seen as “fixing” price tags, meanwhile MAP policies are the ones established by the manufacturers to protect their product prices. To create a legal MAP policy, manufacturers or brand owner do not have to came to an agreement with retailers. It is a one-sided decision regarding the prices of products where retailers are just being informed.
Legality of MAP Policies
Sellers or retailers should not be included into the decision-making process of MAP Policies. However, since because MAP policy is a legal document, manufacturer should work with an antitrust lawyer. To keep its nature in legal process to penalize and eliminate sellers in violation, it requires a legal base.
MAP policies should not be seen as an empty threat, they should be seen as protection for your brand. To make retailers see the difference between threats and protection, MAP policies should have the legality behind it. Establishing a good MAP policy may require help from legal entities. Just copying a MAP from online pages is never enough. It should be tailored for every brand or manufacturer. This is why working with an antitrust lawyer can be important. Working under the antitrust laws can make your brand protected with the MAP policy enforcements.
If a manufacturer or a brand owner wants to create a large selling territory on e-market by establishing agreements with different sellers and retailers, they should seek for a good MAP policy to keep their value and price tag as intact. However, e-market can include many different legal bases and every manufacturer or brand owner should be more careful for their MAP policy extent.
MAP policies can focus on prices advertised on e-market or on electronic communication channels. This situation can be called as iMAP or eMAP policies. This can mean that a retailer is providing a price tag on the actual website that is under the MAP policy, however at the in-cart page there can be addition or discount on the prices for their sales. This little tactic can be used by many different sellers or retailers, and this is why manufacturers should be more careful to create a MAP policy to prevent these circumstances.
MAP Violation Processes
MAP Policy legal circumstances should also consider the domino effect on the MAP violation processes. If a retailer is violating your MAP after they see another retailer’s violation, it can be seen as a domino effect for violations and it requires a different type of action. MAP policies should define the precise situations for sellers in violation. This is why it requires a tailored and well-produced approach under the antitrust law. With the right help, manufacturers and brand owners can see and differentiate the violation tendencies between retailers.
With the growth of your brand, it can be extremely difficult to issue penalties for each violation case one by one. This is why you need an expanded MAP policy that covers many different areas and many different details to protect your brands’ image. Precision on the circumstances can be extremely important for any MAP policy out there.
Also, keeping a balanced relationship between your brand and your retailers by providing a balanced MAP policy penalties can be crucial for your business’s future. If you keep extremely harsh approaches for violations, it can eliminate any relationship between retailers and your brands in the long run. That is why keeping a balanced and yet strong MAP policy can be crucial for any brand owner.
An intact MAP policy helps the manufacturer from price erosion and protects the brand image, as well as it can help to create better retail partnership between sellers and manufacturers on the grounds of legal policies’ protection. Creating a strong MAP policy can be extremely helpful for your brands’ general integrity in the long run.
Even though MAP policies can be seen as a “rightful punishment”, it can also mean the equal grounds for incentives as well. Brand owners can use awards as the part of their MAP policies and keep a strong relationship between their retailers. With the right MAP policy, they can approach their retailers in an equal manner as well.
MAP policies can also provide the chance for retailers to lower price tags for certain dates. According to the product or selling policies of the brand owners, “promotional Minimum Advertised Price” can be determined. For special occasions or special periods of “discount” times, this promotional MAP or PMAP approach can create a calculated discount points by the manufacturer itself. With such preparation, brand owners can have more to say about their price tags for different times of the year for discounts.
MAP policies should be established to prevent surprises when it comes to differentiating the price tags. This is why, keeping a detailed and well-tailored MAP policy for your brand can create a difference.
With the help of an antitrust lawyer, your brand can create the basics of what can be seen as MAP violation; advantages for compliance in the relationship between their retailers; penalties for different violations; reasons for termination of retailer relationships; and every exception and special circumstances like PMAP or iMAP.
After the preparation of such detailed MAP policy, brand owners should make their retailers read and understand every detail of it. Keeping an open communication regarding MAP policies also can be crucial between manufacturers and retailers. It also provides a way to explain if there is any MAP policy modification in time. Talking with the retailers regarding the MAP policy can solve many problems for both sides. However, as the beginning of the creation of MAP policy, an antitrust lawyer should see and provide the modification on it, not the retailers.
How Do We Know If Retailers Are Abiding Our MAP Policies?
Monitoring each and every retailer can be extremely tiresome for many brand owners. E-commerce is a field which expands incredibly every single year. To keep up with what your retailers or sellers are doing for their competitiveness on the e-commerce is an important step. To seek out for information regarding the MAP violations can take too many hours if it is done manually. However, there are other ways to monitor retailers at once and with an updated manner. PriceRest can help brand owners and manufacturers to provide the most advanced Minimum Advertised Price monitoring process. With the monitoring software as advanced as PriceRest, manufacturers or brand owners can check their retailers for policy violations and keep their information updated every single day with the automated and established technology.
If you also want to monitor your retailers or sellers on e-commerce, join PriceRest today. And see What PriceRest can do for you.
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