Not again…. *sigh*
A quick glance at the caller ID and you have a hunch who it is… While there’s nothing you can do, you pick up the phone anyways.
“Hello this Susan”
“Hi Susan, it’s Mark from The Corner Toy Store”
“Hi Mark, How are you doing?”
“I’m doing alright, but I’m annoyed. Amazon is selling a dozen of your products below our cost! We haven’t moved any of these items in over a week because everyone pulls it up on their phone when they’re in the store. I’m thinking we should return the inventory if you can’t resolve these MAP violation issues.”
Amazon does whatever it wants.
We’ve seen this scenario countless times and so have you.
In fact, your company policy of not accepting new Amazon sellers, or requiring a brick and mortar location, was created specifically to address this problem.
But it hasn’t worked very well.
“We try to monitor MAP, but Amazon does whatever it wants.”
Why does Amazon violate MAP?
Most companies believe that Amazon is the cause of their problems, but that is rarely the case.
MAP violations on Amazon are just a symptom of the underlying problem.
The underlying problem is that other sellers are violating your MAP policy elsewhere on the web.
You just don’t see it… but Amazon does.
Now, you may not care if “Edd & Carol’s Online Toy Shop” does some discounting on their little website that only sells a handful of units per month.
But what if Edd put up a billboard in Time Square to announce that you’ve given him better pricing than every one of your best dealers?
Then you might have to have a talk with him about his pricing.
Well, Amazon is the billboard, and the price they’re displaying is the one they see showing up online on “Edd & Carol’s Online Toy Shop”.
While most people believe that Amazon is the ultimate MAP violator, they rarely are.
Instead, Amazon is the ultimate Price-Matcher.
Amazon has eyes everywhere, and if they see a product being sold anywhere on the web at a lower price, they are going to match that price, or under-cut it.
And that includes websites that no one shops on, and that you may not even know your products are listed on.
How do you prevent Amazon from selling below MAP?
Fighting MAP violations on amazon is like a game of whack-a-mole.
It’s an endless process, but it’s one you can work to get ahead of, and even start to win.
How do you do you do that?
Use MAP monitoring software correctly.
Monitoring Amazon for MAP violations is like stepping on a scale to determine whether you are eating healthily.
Instead, it’s more productive to monitor what you’re consuming, and the scale will take care of itself.
Therefore, you should be using your MAP software to monitor all of your other online sellers.
If they violate MAP, Amazon is going to follow.
Stop selling to Amazon (Or do it correctly).
You started selling to Amazon because you thought it would help grow your revenue... and while revenue has gone up, so have your headaches.
If you see selling on Amazon as a major hassle that’s almost not worth the effort, then you very likely may be doing it wrong.
There are correct ways, and incorrect ways to use Amazon Vendor Central to grow your brand awareness and your revenue.
Grow your revenue. Grow your profitability. Minimize your MAP problems.
Is it really possible to do all 3 of these?
Cleaning up your Amazon listings and employing several basic strategies can drive a significant increase in unit volume, while also decreasing the headaches you are dealing with.
Which category does your business fall into?
You sell everything in your product catalog to Amazon.
You don’t actively manage your product listings.
You don’t use Amazon advertising to boost awareness.
You’re unfamiliar with the term sales rank, and how it impacts your sales velocity.
You only have a Seller Central account or a Vendor Central account, but not both.
You’re not monitoring MAP on listings outside of Amazon.
If this sounds like you, then sadly, you’re getting left behind.
Month after month, your competitor's listings are growing stronger, and yours are not.
They sell more than you, which means they are getting product reviews faster than you.
Eventually, it will be very hard for your products to catch up and it will be very difficult to unseat your competitors from the leading positions in their categories.
During this time, your position is growing weaker as features, trends, and customer expectations change, but your listings haven’t been updated in years.
You’re selling the right products and skus to Amazon.
You’re utilizing key services such as A+ pages, Video and exclusive Advertising Opportunities to grow your brand.
You know how to balance FBA orders vs Vendor Central Orders to maximize their benefits while minimizing the risks.
You’re running campaigns to solicit product reviews
You actively respond to customer feedback left on Amazon.
You brand is the one that is pulling out into the lead, leaving your competitors in the dust.
Etail Hero can help put your brand in the lead.
Send us an inquiry.
Build Trust By Enforcing MAP on Amazon.
Need some help? Etail Hero performs managed account services to help take back control of your brand on Amazon. We not only monitor amazon, but we’ll help identify MAP violators across the web, so you can address the problem at the source.