With your products being sold online through a growing list of resellers (including some that have no relationship with your company), price monitoring is a more important strategy than ever for your business — but not only for the reasons you might think.
Yes, setting up a price monitoring system — particularly an automated solution that tracks how your products are being advertised and priced across the Internet at all times — is mission-critical for enforcing your minimum advertised price (MAP) policy, your unilateral price policy (UPP) or your other reseller pricing guidelines. In this post I will discuss some of the specific ways that automated price monitoring can help streamline and improve your enforcement efforts.
But I will also offer several additional reasons that deploying an automated price monitoring system should be a top priority for your business — not only to protect your brand but also to help you grow your business.
5 ways automated price monitoring can add value to your business
1. Automated price monitoring helps you catch more far violations than you could on your own.
When you set up an automated solution that tracks and documents how your products are being sold by all sellers, across all online channels, 24/7/365, the most immediate benefit will be that you gain a great deal of visibility into which retailers are violating your MAP or other pricing policies.
Given how many e-commerce sites, online marketplaces and other web pages are featuring and displaying ads of your products — and how frequently the details of these ads and sales pages can change — you almost certainly could not implement an in-house, manual price monitoring system that would be as effective.
And the risk of failing to spot and act on MAP violations is clear: When retailers are able to repeatedly violate your pricing policies and undersell your honorable resellers (even if you are doing your best to enforce those policies but simply don’t have the manpower to catch all violations), the results can be even more MAP violations, a loss of your best retail partners, and an eventual erosion of your brand.
2. Automated price monitoring makes your enforcement program more effective, consistent and affordable.
Additionally, the right automated price monitoring platform will do a lot more than simply monitor. It will also be able to automatically take whatever enforcement actions you set for it.
These enforcement actions could include sending an escalating series of warnings to violators, and automatically adding resellers to your active “Do Not Sell” list after they’ve committed whatever number of violations you specify. Plus, such a platform will alert your team to issues that need your immediate attention.
3. Automated price monitoring can make it easier to message different types of violators appropriately.
Another valuable component of the right price monitoring and enforcement platform is that it will allow your company to communicate differently with a rogue retailer who has violated your MAP policy and an authorized reseller who has violated some aspect of your authorized dealer program.
In other words, just as the right price monitoring system will also help with enforcement of your MAP, UPP or other pricing policies, such a system will also help you monitor and take appropriate action on more than just MAP violations — but also violations of your authorized dealer program.
4. Automated price monitoring can provide valuable learnings and insights.
Here’s where the right price monitoring solution can also help you not only protect your business but grow it as well.
Because such a solution compiles a wealth of data on your products’ presence online, across all sellers, across all web pages, and gives you a user-friendly dashboard view of this data in real-time, you can uncover valuable information about your resale channel and how your prices are affecting your bottom line.
For example, a quick glance at a report showing the sales trends of a specific product over time, you might learn that your decisions to raise your MAP price level has caused an unacceptable drop in sales.
You might also discover that your recent promotion — in which you allowed your retailers to sell below your MAP levels for a set time period — led to such a boost in sales, while still maintaining a comfortable margin, that it might be time to consider letting your resellers permanently lower their prices.
5. Automated price monitoring can help you uncover new business opportunities.
Finally, and perhaps least obvious, the right price monitoring platform can even help you discover opportunities to grow your business.
For example, because the system will be tracking your products’ entire online presence at all times — across individual e-commerce sites and within marketplaces — the system can help you discover new marketplaces and even new resellers.
You might find that one of your larger retail partners has begun selling your products in an online marketplace you weren’t aware of — and by reviewing that marketplace you might discover other new partners who are selling products in your category.
Or, when you review your price monitoring system’s online reports, you might find that some of your retail partners are selling some of your products but not others in your line. This might open an opportunity to expand your relationship with that reseller by introducing them to more of your product portfolio than they knew existed.
Bottom line: Even without these additional reasons to deploy it, automated price monitoring is almost certainly a mission-critical component for your business — because it is the most effective way to track how your products are being advertised and to promptly and appropriately address violations.
But with the right automated price monitoring solution, your business will enjoy far more benefits — including enhanced business intelligence, the potential to discover new markets, and opportunities to strengthen and grow your resale channel.
To discover what a best-in-class price monitoring platform can do for your company, schedule your free demo.