When online resellers sell your products below MAP on their websites, Amazon.com or Ebay, your current channel partners may stop selling your product because they can’t make a profit. We often here that online resellers sell below what they can buy your product for from you or your distributors. Online resellers can sell at rock bottom prices because they’re either people operating out of their garage or parents’ basement (i.e. no overhead costs or value-add) or sell high volumes (i.e. are profitable only in high volumes and also provide no value-add). And online resellers rarely sell enough of your product to make up for being dropped by your channel partners.
What to Do about MAP Violators
While software like Channel IQ can be very helpful for identifying MAP violators and communicating with them, a strategy is often needed first that identifies what to do before you spend any money on software. An effective MAP strategy can include the following:
- Evaluation of your current MAP policy and channel practices
- Formulation of a draft new MAP policy and policing program
- Obtaining feedback from both online resellers and your current channel partners on a new policy/program
- Exploring the use of MAP monitoring software like Channel IQ
- Finalizing the MAP policy and new channel program
- Establishing a process for policing MAP for your team going forward, including what to do about offenders that ignore you (i.e. how to use leverage and/or cut them off)
Once your strategy is created and communicated to online resellers and your channel partners, then you can implement MAP monitoring software with confidence and know how to enforce the policy to deal with repeat and unresponsive offenders.