Worldwide online sales reached almost $3 trillion in 2018, according to the magazine Internet Retailer. That means eCommerce now accounts for more than 15% of the world’s total retail revenue.
Clearly, manufacturers and retailers have benefited tremendously from the unprecedented marketing and selling capabilities made available by the internet. But the internet’s accessibility and effectiveness as a selling platform have also led to unprecedented competition in nearly every industry, as well as new opportunities for gray-market sellers, counterfeiters, and other rogue actors.
In the hyper-competitive digital era, your brand — the public’s positive emotional reaction to your company — is one of the few assets you have to distinguish yourself from the many competitors your products face online. And that means you need the right brand protection technology to safeguard and grow that all-important asset.
Here are just a couple of the many reasons that brand protection technology is now mission-critical for businesses:
Too Many Channels to Monitor Your Resale Network Manually
Think about all of the eCommerce websites, digital marketplaces, and online ads where your company’s products might be appearing right now. If you consider all of the pages, for all of your items, published by all of your retail partners, the number could be in the tens or hundreds of thousands.
Now consider the ways that the content on any of those pages could be hurting your brand. Maybe some retailers are listing your products below your MAP pricing levels, hoping you won’t notice. (And you probably won’t, if you’re trying to keep an eye on every page manually.)
Maybe some of your product listings on the big marketplaces have low customer ratings and negative comments. If you’re not leveraging an automated system to alert you to these issues, you might never find them and be able to respond.
So you’ll need at least a few pieces of tech here, such as:
- An automated platform for MAP price monitoring and enforcemen
- A dealer management portal
- A product review tracking engine
And keep in mind: this doesn’t even take into account the unauthorized sellers advertising your products. They’re probably out there, too, and without the help of an automated solution you might never be able to catch them.
Which leads us to another reason you need brand protection technology.
Too Many Places for Unauthorized Sellers and Counterfeiters to Hide
It’s going to be difficult enough to manually monitor and enforce your company’s policies with your official resale partners. But at least those sellers all have something to lose by violating your pricing guidelines — such as being cut off from access to your inventory. Unauthorized sellers, gray-market sellers, and counterfeiters have no such concerns, because they’re not supposed to be selling those products at all.
And these sellers certainly don’t care about creating an outstanding buying experience that positively reflects your company’s brand.
So you need to be watching for these rogue retailers all the time — and you just can’t do this cost-effectively without the types of technology we mentioned above.
Specifically, you’ll need a web application that monitors the entire internet for your brand and content, and checks that content against your list of authorized dealers, your reseller policies, and other rules you specify. Ideally, this solution will also automatically document offending listings and alert the right members of your team about them immediately so they can start taking action.
So… What Is the Right Brand Technology?
Great question! We at TrackStreet have helped hundreds of companies like yours leverage the right mix of tools and tech to protect their brands online. Let’s talk about how we can do the same for you.