How pricing at style-color-size variant is impacting MAP monitoring

Camilla Vaidyanathan, Solution Manager, Ugam,

MAP monitoring, Variants, style-color-size variationsI have alluded to ‘The end of MAP monitoring as we know it’ in a prior blog post. In this post I will attempt to detail out one of several reasons why the current method of MAP monitoring may soon turn irrelevant.

Retailers have gained the ability to change prices at a style, color and size level. They do this to ensure that they continue to remain competitive and turn over inventory at a faster pace. This, of course, makes MAP monitoring much more challenging both in terms of volume as well as complexity. The result is certain colors and sizes could be priced below MAP and remain undetected.

Think about it this way. For example, a footwear retailer would typically carry about 55 styles of a single brand. If there’s an average of 5 colors per style and 15 sizes per color, we’re talking about a leap from 55 styles to 4000+ SKU’s at a style-color-size variation. If you further track this across 50 retailers, we’re talking SKU’s in excess of 200K. Now think about doing this everyday or in some cases multiple times a day.

While retailers may have acquired the ability to change prices at the style-color-size variant level, brands are still playing catch up in terms of monitoring.

Whether a brand chooses to track this manually or utilize a MAP monitoring solution, the effort is now increased manifold. This leaves them vulnerable and faced with a whole host of questions;

  • Should they change their approach to MAP monitoring? Does it make sense to put a MAP policy in place at a color and size variant level?
  • Can their monitoring solution track at the lowest level variant level? Is the solution smart and flexible enough to accommodate matching at this level?
  • Will the solution be able to provide snapshots of MAP violations at the variant level that they can take back to their retail partners as evidence?
  • How can they be guaranteed of the quality of data aggregated?
  • Do they need to monitor all size and color variants of all products, or is there a smarter way to deal with this?
  • What is the impact on cost to monitor?
Add to this the dynamism of frequently changing prices and there definitely seems to be a need to re-evaluate the current method of MAP monitoring. Status quo is not an option!

The Author:
Camilla is a Solution manager at Ugam and is part of its retail analytics team. She oversees the Brand Intelligence solution and is responsible for helping brands use data to inform actionable decisions around pricing, assortment and content. On the personal front, Camilla enjoys singing and would love to be part of a band.


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