Product brands that sell their items online should pay more attention to how they implement a minimum advertised price policy, especially now that e-commerce sales are slowly surpassing in-store transactions.
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that online retailers sold more items in February. This marked the first time that general merchandisers, including department stores, played second fiddle to e-commerce. It also indicated that consumers no longer consider online shopping to be just a trendy fad. Instead, it seems that buying stuff through smartphones or computers has become the norm for many Americans.
The “Click” Sector’s Growth
Online retail sales in February represented around 11.813% of overall sales, excluding car and restaurant sales. On the other hand, in-store purchases accounted for 11.807% during the same month. The difference may be small, although it becomes a different story when you look at the monetary value of online transactions.
E-commerce became the fourth biggest retail segment with a market value of almost $60 billion in adjusted sales for February. The segment falls behind the automotive, food and beverage, and bar and restaurant sales. Amazon played a huge role to uplift the e-commerce segment, especially with the introduction of Amazon Prime. The service lets customers buy items without having to worry about shipping fees, which are a primary deterrent for many online shoppers.
How Brands Should Cope
While e-commerce allowed companies to expand their customer bases, it also made it more difficult to oversee how online platforms price their products. The biggest challenge for brands involves monitoring items that appear in gray markets. You should already have a strategy for monitoring the distribution of products, especially from unauthorized retailers.
MAP policy subscriptions can help you with this problem. You could scan and track sellers in the gray market, and prohibit sales from certain websites as a preventive measure. Remember that when unauthorized resellers undercut prices for your products, it diminishes your brand value and consequently elicits doubts among your customers whether they should really buy from your official retailers.
Selling On Amazon
In case you decide to sell your products on Amazon, don’t expect the company to act as your partner. The retail giant’s priority involves finding the lowest possible prices for its advertised products, which is something that has made successful. Once it sees a product for sale from a different website that has a lower price, Amazon will match that amount.
The company is mum about how it finds the lower prices, but you can only assume that some of the prices come from the gray market. Despite this setback, Amazon still attracts a lot of brands because of its widespread influence, and it’s up to you how to protect your brand once you decide to list your items on its platform.
Choose a MAP policy subscription that lets you monitor not only online pricing for your products, but also those from your competitors. It’s important to know that keeping a close watch on your products protects your image among customers, especially if you are selling high-end or premium items.