Ok, let’s keep this one short. Answer? You don’t.
Now, before you switch off your screen and go grab your coffee, let me expound on that a bit.
Retailers Versus Brands
First of all, I want to make sure we are all speaking the same language. When we ask if a brand is able to get a massive retailer, such as Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, etc. to follow their minimum advertised price (MAP) policy, we are talking about the retailer itself—not third-party sellers with their own storefronts on the marketplace.
Secondly, when I abruptly answered “you don’t” above, that is the general rule of thumb on this. That said, if your brand is large enough with enough brand awareness (think Apple, Reebok, etc.) and market share to garner the attention of these massive retailers, you may also get their compliance.
So for all of the non-Apples of the world, the rest of this is for you...
Compliance is Key
The best way to get large, online retailers to comply with your MAP policy is to get all of your brand’s other, smaller retailers to comply. In working with many brands across a variety of industries over the past several years, I hear the same chorus being sung almost in unison by these big retail players: “Hey, we don’t want to break MAP, but we will match others’ pricing to compete!”
In a way, what I’m saying to small-to-medium size brands out there is ‘slow your roll.’ While it is exciting to land a deal with Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other large retailers, make sure your brand is maintaining control of sales and pricing on its way to the big splash. If you have no control over who is selling your product and/or your authorized resellers are selling at prices all over the map (pun intentional), then you will only be creating a much larger mess by sending your products through a huge online retailers.
While you may be thinking, “Hey, at least we’d have taken in a ton of revenue from the deal with that the big retailer even if pricing spirals out of control,” take a second to think through what happens next: Price fighting continues as your smaller resellers scramble to lower prices beyond the Walmarts and Amazons, the large retailer(s) respond with more price decreases (and likely some chargebacks to you), and quickly that big purchase is either voided, halted, or the last one you’ll get from that big player.
Success Through Brand Protection
In summary, controlled growth is sustainable growth. As you add resellers, be sure to continue and strengthen your MAP monitoring and enforcement, it is the only way to keep things clean and level once you are selling through the most well-known retailers in the world.
If you are looking for assistance with your Amazon account, or would like to discuss this topic in more detail, schedule a consultation with our team if to learn how Retail Bloom can help you achieve your marketplace goals.
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About The Author
Andy Buss is the Legal & Corporate Development Specialist at Retail Bloom. As both an attorney and an entrepreneur with a background in marketing, Andy provides a unique and valuable perspective when it comes to sustainable brand growth. When he's not sharpening his ping-pong skills in the break room, he can be found tirelessly pursuing the best way to keep brand clients ahead of looming online threats. Be sure to follow him on LinkedIn.
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