Right now, your products are likely being offered online across thousands (and maybe tens or even hundreds of thousands) of web pages. They’re on your retail partners’ e-Commerce sites. They’re in digital ads across the web. They’re on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
And yes, they’re probably also on sales pages and in ads thrown together by rogue retailers who have no official relationship with your company, no right to buy your products for resale, and — here’s the worst part — no interest whatsoever in following your reseller pricing policy.
All of which is to say that to keep your relationships with key retail partners strong, to protect your bottom line, and to safeguard the health of your brand, you need an automated price tracker. But.. which one?
Not all price trackers are created equal. And if you deploy the wrong one, your brand could face issues that are just as problematic as not monitoring your pricing at all. Here’s what to look for when choosing a price tracker.
5 Things to Demand from Your Reseller Price Tracking Platform
- Your own dedicated account rep. Before delving into the varying levels of functionality and technological sophistication among the many automated price trackers on the market, you should first narrow your short list of contenders to those companies that will actually treat you as a partner — not just as a customer who bought their software and should now consider yourself more or less on your own. You will have questions. You will want guidance at times on how best to set up a new monitoring feature across your team, or how to deal with a particularly tricky violation. When those things come up, you won’t want to have just a piece of software. You’ll want a true partner — a price tracking company that’s there for your company, that understands what you’re going through, and knows how to help.
- A company that works closely with antitrust legal experts. When you select an automated price tracker, you’re not just buying an online tool — ideally, you’re also buying the collective expertise of the team that runs it. And when it comes to an automated platform for reseller price tracking, that team’s expertise should extend to a deep understanding of antitrust law — the best practices when it comes to rolling out your price tracker, where the pitfalls are, and how best to protect your company
- A team that can help you develop both your reseller price policy and your monitoring and enforcement strategies. Again, you’re looking for a lot more than an online app here. When it comes to selecting the right provider for your automated price tracker, you want a partner that will help you at every stage of developing and implementing your reseller price programs. That means a partner that will help you draft just the right language for your MAP policy, or your Minimum Resale Price (MRP) policy, or whichever pricing policy you choose. In fact, you’ll want a partner who can help you identify which policy is actually the right one for your company, if you’re not sure. (And there are reasons a company might want one over the other.)It also means finding a provider for your automated price tracker that will help you develop the right strategic plan to roll out your reseller price policy — both internally, to make sure everyone across your organization knows about the policy and their responsibilities for maintaining it, and externally, to make sure you’re getting the policy to your resale channel and your industry more broadly. Not every price tracking company will be there to help, guide and support you at every stage of your reseller price program — which is another reason to choose your provider wisely.
- Help with reseller violations on third-party marketplaces. Many of the price tracking platforms on the market will monitor the web for your products’ pricing and send you alerts if the system spots a reseller offering your products below your policy’s approved amount. But what further steps will the company take on your behalf? In the case of many providers, not much. This is why you want a partner that can help you through your entire price monitoring and enforcement process — for example, a provider that will contact Amazon on your behalf if a reseller is violating your policy on their marketplace.
- Business intelligence.Finally, one way that the best-in-class price trackers differ from the rest of the market is that they don’t just monitor the web looking for price violations of your products. They compile, organize and even analyze all of this data for you — to help give your team actionable data that can help your team find potentially lucrative new markets, expand your reach with new resale partners, and learn how to better position your products against those of your competitors. In other words, your automated price tracker should do a whole lot more for your company than just track prices.