How the proliferation of shopping channels impacts MAP monitoring

Camilla Vaidyanathan, Solution Manager, Ugam,

MAP monitoring, Minimum Advertised Price, Shopping channels, UgamMy previous blog spoke of the impact that in-cart pricing tactics have on MAP monitoring. In this blog I will delve into another driver that has an effect on how we monitor for MAP violations; the proliferation of shopping channels.

Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the number and use of shopping channels like marketplaces and comparison shopping engines.

Online retailers are now more inclined to use these marketplaces and comparison shopping engines as marketing channels. Here are some reasons why;

  • They have more reach than any single retailer could achieve
  • Consumers on these channels are more likely to convert to a sale, they are in fact ‘ready-to-buy’
  • From a consumers point of view, they provide ease of browsing; access to multiple product categories and the ability to compare prices
As far as marketplaces are concerned, Amazon and ebay are the largest. Several online retailers have also followed suit realizing the need to expand their product selection (examples include Sears, Wal-Mart, Best buy and most recently Staples). Among the comparison shopping engines Google Shopping and Yahoo Shopping are the most popular.

Given the advantages these shopping channels present, most retailers seem to be expanding their reach by listing their products on a variety of marketplaces and comparison shopping engines.

So where is the problem, you may ask?
The advantages that these shopping channels afford to retailers, present a challenge to brands who want to ensure a consistent brand experience, by implementing a MAP policy. Some of the questions that brands are forced to address due to the proliferation of shopping channels include:
  • Should I monitor both marketplaces and comparison shopping engines?
  • How do I make a choice on which ones to monitor?
  • What is the appropriate number that I should be monitoring?
  • How frequently should I be tracking on these shopping channels?
  • How do I ensure accuracy of the results given the feeds to shopping channels and retailers websites may be different?
  • Are unauthorized retailers selling my products on these channels? How do I deal with them?
While some of these aspects may seem overwhelming, our experience in addressing the MAP monitoring needs of brands helps us to tailor a solution to each individual brands needs.

It is however safe to say that, given the reach of marketplaces and comparison shopping engines, a lot of brands are seriously considering including these shopping channels while addressing the problem of MAP monitoring. You should too!

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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