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Retail Season Kicks Off With New Challenges for Consumers This Year

Userby Deputy Dan

In just a handful of days, the retail season will be officially upon us...though if you've been shopping online lately, you've probably already noticed some e-tailers have jumped right past Jack-o-Lantern and went straight toward "Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose." And while this year's consumers are dealing with rising inflation, interest rates, gas prices, and talk of a big, looming recession, believe it or not, holiday shopping is still expected to see some modest growth.

Dear Santa, I Want a DISCOUNT!

Adweek estimates that online shopping will grow by about 2.5% - not exactly the numbers "Black Friday" was founded upon, but at least the needle is pointing in the right direction during such erratic economic times. Regardless, this year is also expected to see consumers having to manage less in their wallets and concerns for their personal financial futures in the new year. Bottom line? Top on consumers' shopping lists this retail season will be online discounts, competitive offers, and awesome e-commerce deals.

According to further industry predictions, discounts among e-tailers are anticipated to be much larger than last year's season. In fact, these discounts are expected to go as high as 25%+. While all of this sounds great to the consumer, for manufacturers utilizing Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) strategies, it's hardly holiday music to their ears. Because these manufacturers know where many of the hot online deals and discounts will come from – MAP violations.

'Twas the months before gifting, and all over the net…e-tailers dropped prices, below MAP that is set.

Manufacturers know that in the race to earn "buy boxes" and lure consumers to their online stores, e-tailers are going to be competing much harder this year to get those precious seasonal dollars in what could be an otherwise very tough time for them. Many e-tailers would rather cut into their profit margins than come up short on sales overall.

Let's Make a Cyber Deal

In normal retail times and under the best economic situations, MAP violations are certainly a very real and regular problem for manufacturers to manage. Add in the weight of dismal economic news each day, a limited number of holiday shopping weeks, and the savviest consumer base ever with price comparisons just a click away, and that puts just enough pressure to bring out even more MAP violations – from both authorized and unauthorized resellers alike. And when the deals strike, consumers will follow.

Consider that a staggering 80% of Americans shop online and nearly 57% of consumers prefer e-commerce to traditional forms of buying. While convenience is often the top reason for their online shopping behavior, price and online discounts rate very high on the list, as well. Consumers are constantly scanning for the best cyber deals. As a MAP manufacturer, shouldn't you do the same in order to protect your brand?

As prices dip sharply and quickly in an online competitive race to the bottom this holiday season, along with them go manufacturers' brand value, pricing integrity, and profit margins. So, the brand you have worked diligently to create real value in that should actually shine at this time of year among consumers, instead gets tarnished by online resellers looking to make a quick buck. The only way to stop this and to protect your brand is to continuously identify and immediately address MAP violations.

MAP Violators Make the "Naughty List"

Unfortunately for MAP manufacturers, the seemingly overwhelming task of monitoring pricing among online retailers is never-ending. To ensure your brand's integrity, pricing stability, and profit margins, it takes a 24/7/365 effort. The good news is that this really doesn't have to be overwhelming at all. MAP monitoring software, like MAPCOP, has made scanning the internet for MAP violations extremely simple and highly affordable. It's easier than ever to identify the MAP violators who make your "naughty list," and get them back within compliance.

Because online pricing outside of MAP policy can quickly degrade your brand and create negative financial effects, you need to act fast on violations. MAPCOP constantly scans the web for pricing violations and provides you with simple and easy-to-digest information so that you can take swift action. Like Santa, MAPCOP sees it all.

While retail shopping is upon us, you can still get up and running today with MAPCOP. Try it for free with no obligation. But don't delay - it's time to get ready for a retail season filled with big discounts.

And we heard them exclaim as they tried to resist, "MAPCOP really did find us, we will cease and desist!"

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