The Importance Of MAP Policies

In this day and age, the majority of people are ‘Omni shoppers’ – those who shop using a variety of methods, mainly in-store and online, to improve their purchasing experiences. They will shop through their laptops and mobile phones, using the internet or apps, and visit physical ‘brick and mortar’ shops when or if time allows.

 

With the ever-growing span of the internet and ease of access to technology, the culture of shopping is evolving. Despite this, shoppers desiring to grab a bargain is still as prominent as it always has been. Due to this, comparison websites have dramatically increased in popularity to allow shoppers to search for the product they want, at the best price. These sites compare the costs of a whole host of products including insurance, fashion, technology, electronics, hotels, and just about anything else that you can think of!

 

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Webrooming and Showrooming

 

‘Webrooming’ and ‘Showrooming’ are two more shopping trends that have grown in popularity over the recent years. Webrooming is browsing online for a product, to then seek out and buy in-store. Showrooming is the opposite; browsing in-store and then searching for the product to buy online. The latter usually means that the product is found and purchased for a better price on the internet, potentially offered by other retailers. It has been found that over half of shoppers are ‘webroomers,’ while a higher percentage of nearly three-quarters are ‘showroomers.’

 

Serious issues can arise for manufacturers when shoppers purchase products from retailers offering substantially discounted prices, as this devalues the product excessively. This is where MAP policies are applied, to shield the product brand from the damage of price erosion.

 

MAP Policies

 

A MAP policy is a Minimum Advertised Price policy. This sets in place a minimum price for a product which retailers or distributors must not advertise below. Retailers can, however, actually sell the product for lower than this price – so long as it’s not advertised as such. Using a coupon to buy a product, for instance, does not necessarily violate a MAP.

 

The Benefits

 

The benefits of MAP policies for manufacturers are extremely widespread. Not only do they protect the brand value and perception as mentioned above, but they also allow manufacturers control over who is selling their product. Most MAP policies include an enforcement system meaning that if a retailer violates the policy, they will be highlighted, warned and this may eventually lead to the rogue retailer being removed as an official seller of the product.

 

Having policies in place is all well and good, but unless violations are identified, monitored and contacted, then they are not effective. Sites like Trade Vitality offer services for manufacturers to do this for them, relieving the strain greatly.

 

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Another benefit of the policy is that it protects, and offers better control of, the brand’s margins. This way retailers will not discount the product heavily, forcing other sellers to do the same, causing a lose-lose situation for all involved with the sale of the product. The competition between retailers doesn’t just depend on price, however, as often many will advertise the product at the lowest minimum advertised price. The competition then comes in other forms, such as through delivery service and cost. Advertising at the MAP but offering a stand-out service in one of these other areas can assist smaller retailers to compete with the larger ones.

 

MAP policies can also benefit the relationship between the manufacturers and their retailers, as manufacturers regularly offer incentives in the form of sales bonuses, for dedicated marketing of the product, cross-branding support, reaching targets and milestones, and much more. MAP policies can also help to reduce those who ‘showroom’ shop, helping to reduce the adverse effects of this.

 

Benefits don’t stop there, however. Consumers also benefit from the implementation of MAP policies. As previously mentioned, the sale of the product becomes more than just about the pricing and encourages retailers to go above and beyond with their service. This means that customers should receive a better standard of service, and in turn have a better purchasing experience. This is great for business, as the customer is more likely to return to the specific retailer.

 

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To Conclude

 

When implemented correctly, MAP policies can not only be of great benefit to the manufacturer; they can also be favorable to the retailers and distributors too. As well as this, they also benefit customers, as retailers put up a better fight for business.

 

Elita Torres

I have over 20 years experience as a leader, first as a General Manager for several Big Box retailers with over 100 employees, then as a district manager overseeing an average of 23 stores. Currently, I am a Sales Director overseeing 4 Districts. My passion for leadership and personal development has led me to share my journey in a Blog. Find out more on http://www.leadgrowdevelop.com/about/