These days, it’s common for most manufacturers to have a MAP or minimum advertised price policy to protect their brand and reputation online. Done right, a MAP policy could:
- Ensure coordinated prices among authorized retailers;
- Prevent pressure on pricing from bigger sellers;
- Ensure better control over margins;
- Keep authorized retailers pleased; and
- Reduce showrooming.
But having a MAP policy would be for naught if you don’t take ample time and effort to actually enforce it. Although research has indicated that unauthorized or rogue retailers are more prone to defying MAP policies than authorized retailers, it’s still extremely imperative that you make certain that your authorized sellers respect and adhere to your MAP policy.
What is an Authorized Reseller Program?
In order to help safeguard your brand from MAP violations and prevent stress that comes with the consequences of those violations, if you haven’t already, you must establish your own authorized reseller program. In general, an authorized reseller program would be made up of resellers and distributors that you have approved.
Although the program can’t impose that authorized resellers agree to your MAP pricing, since a MAP policy is unilateral, approval of resellers could aid you in maintaining your MAP pricing strategy while requiring those included in the program to adhere to your other policies once they sign the agreement for the authorized reseller program.
This program could likewise help you better monitor and enforce your MAP policy. For example, when you require your authorized retailers to obtain approval and identify all websites and business names they use for selling your products, you could more easily track MAP violation into unauthorized and authorized classifications. Having an authorized reseller program would enable you to control your MAP enforcement strategy better so you won’t have to solely depend on resellers.
The Bottom Line
Put simply, when you don’t have full control over the distribution of your products online, you reduce your ability to safeguard your MAP policy and restrict unauthorized e-commerce sales from rogue resellers. But when you limit your e-commerce distribution to authorized resellers in your program, you could better safeguard your brand and enforce your MAP policy.