Answers to the Most Common Questions Brands and Manufacturers Ask Us at TrackStreet About Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Policy Enforcement
As one of the leading MAP enforcement and monitoring platforms, we at TrackStreet speak every day with manufacturers and brands looking for a comprehensive solution to protect their prices, reseller relationships and the reputations of their brands. In these conversations, we often hear many of the same questions.
If you’re responsible for a brand or suite of products and want to ensure price consistency across your sales and distribution channels — and to ensure that your brand is being accurately represented by reputable resellers — chances are you’ve had some of these common MAP questions yourself. So we thought we would use this blog format to share our responses to these common questions with you.
TRACKSTREET’S MAP POLICY MONITORING AND ENFORCEMENT FAQs
Does your platform really just monitor Amazon and eBay?
TrackStreet’s MAP enforcement solution will monitor the entire web for all instances and websites where your products are being sold. We certainly check Amazon and eBay, but in addition to the major marketplaces like these we are also constantly scouring the web to locate even the smallest retail and reseller websites advertising your products.
In fact, when our customers activate the TrackStreet MAP enforcement platform, they often discover dozens — sometimes even hundreds — of sites that they didn’t realize were selling their products.
Enforcing MAP needs to be a holistic exercise; the Internet is an ecosystem and needs to be treated as such. The reality is that Amazon is tracking those small websites at the edge of the web, as well as the big marketplaces and etailers, and the company will adjust pricing regardless of your UMAP policy based on what it finds.
A further benefit of deploying TrackStreet for your brand is that you’ll often uncover new opportunities to connect with reputable online resellers featuring your products on their sites. This gives you the chance to establish and formalize relationships with these companies and perhaps even introduce them to other products in your suite that they didn’t know about but might also be interested in selling.
How are you monitoring the status of our products being resold online, and how are you documenting each instance?
When you activate the TrackStreet solution and upload your product information to our system, we immediately begin scanning the entire web for your products — by product name, SKU number, images, variants, or other unique identifiers you supply us with. Moreover, our system automatically conducts these scans several times every day, and in every instance where we find a price violation, the TrackStreet system will take time-stamped screenshots of the product page.
This allows us both to document for evidence any instance of a MAP violation, and also to give you detailed market visibility into how your products are being presented and advertised across your resale channel.
We will store all screenshots of your products at resellers sites (and maintain them for the life of your account), which you can view anytime through your TrackStreet portal online.
Assuming your products are being sold across dozens or even hundreds of individual web pages, imagine how many man-hours this level of comprehensive monitoring and documentation would take your company to perform manually.
This is another advantage of deploying an automated MAP enforcement and monitoring platform like TrackStreet.
If you find a violation of our MAP policy, what do you do? Do you send us an alert so we can contact the violating reseller, or do you contact them directly?
As with much of the TrackStreet solution, this will be entirely up to you.
When you set up your MAP monitoring and enforcement settings in your TrackStreet account, you can choose from a number of actions to take when we discover a violation.
For example, you can opt for us to send you an alert only, so that you can contact the reseller directly. Or, if you prefer, you can activate a series of warning notifications that we can send on your request. We can automatically send your “first-warning” message, for example, automatically and immediately upon discovering a MAP violation. Or you can opt to have us send you an alert first and then, only after you’ve reviewed the specific violation and decide you want to do so, have TrackStreet send that standard first warning.
Additionally, you can set the frequency for our sending these warning messages — perhaps once every two days until the reseller takes down the MAP-violating price, or sending the first warning only once before, a few days later, sending a second warning with a more urgent tone.
Will you help us create the violation notifications, or do we have to supply them?
Again, TrackStreet is a full-service platform for MAP enforcement. As such, we have generated a complete series of escalating warning messages to violating resellers, which you are free to use as-is.
Or you can create your own customized series of warning messages and upload them to your TrackStreet portal for us to send in the order and at the frequency you choose. You can even develop a hybrid series of violation notifications — borrowing as much as you’d like from our boilerplate messages and adding your own verbiage.
Have more map policy enforcement questions?
If you have questions not addressed here about MAP policy enforcement software, or if you’d like a free custom quote for deploying our comprehensive MAP solution to protect your brand, contact TrackStreet anytime.