Let me start by saying that, according to a 2021 study by Forrester Research in the United States, 57% of all business-to-consumer sales happen on online marketplaces! This is a crazy huge percent and it is even bigger in the rest of the world. For example, in the same Forrester report, they said that in China it is 98%. That is incredible.
OK, so we all know online sales are here to stay and they are continuing to grow. Not to mention that the COVID situation has only increased the speed of online adoption. So, it is more important than ever to take control of your online sales. It’s like the old parable…
If you are still on the fence here are a few reasons you might want to start a MAP program:
- Eliminate Price Erosion: First one seller undercuts by a few cents. Then someone undercuts him. Soon there is a race to the bottom to see who can survive with the smallest margin. I can assure you the winner of that race will not be a dealer you want representing your brand!
- Improve Customer Experience: Who are these undercutting sellers? Many are underwear entrepreneurs who only want to make money off your brand’s reputation. They have a laptop and are computer savvy enough to connect with wholesale distributors data feeds, but they won’t do anything to help you in the long run. So, why let them provide crappy buying experiences to your customers?
- Expand dealer network: Many dealers will not carry a manufacturer’s product if they do not have a well-enforced MAP policy, and can you blame them? They spend time and money to stock and promote your products and then someone pulls out their cell phone and says “I can buy it cheaper online; will you match this price?” You know that has to piss them off right?!
- Improve brand value: On the other hand, when there is a well enforced MAP policy more dealers carry the brand. They spend more time promoting it. More customers see it. More people use it. They have a better experience buying it. And all of these things increase the brand’s value.
- Increase Sales: With all of these benefits sales will increase. More stocking orders means more visibility which creates more online sales. It is a self-reinforcing cycle that is a win-win for everyone.
Online sales are here to stay and will be growing for the foreseeable future, but we still need to protect the brick-and-mortar dealers. With a good MAP program, you can kill two birds with one stone. Control the online sale and help the dealers. Yay!
If you have any MAP questions, visit MAP Services Corp.