3p Sellers Running Amok
It took a Pandemic to really let retailers and 3p sellers get out of control. We saw two trends happen over the past few months as it relates to inbound prospects.
March – April – 3p sellers and Retailers started blowing up our emails and phones. They all wanted one thing, access to more price monitoring data to be able to chase their competitors to the bottom. The theme remained the same across the board: faster, cheaper, and more frequent access to price checks.
May – June – Brands trying to figure out what the hell just happened to their online channels?
Price Monitoring is an interesting space in that we appeal to both sides of the equation. But appealing and partnering are two different animals. So March and April were terrible months for us after an insane finish last year and equally jubilant beginning of the year.
Why was it terrible? Because we only partner with Brands. It has never made much since to me that some of our competitors sit on the fence selling Minimum Advertised Price violation data to a Brand and then turning right around and selling that exact same MAP data to a 3p seller to do repricing.
How’s that not talking out both sides of your mouth?
Any who I digress a bit. Another trend that has shown itself over the past few months, and this is not a shocker, is Brick & Mortar retail has been irreversibly changed from sales being 50/50 between B&M and eTailers to almost all sales on eTail channels.
The writing has been on the wall for years here and while I do not think traditional retail is dead it will need to carve out a new niche going forward.
But what does that mean for price monitoring? Well I don’t see this need going away. eTailers are not going to magically decide to all play ball and not violate MAP. In fact I think it is going to become increasingly more competitive as eTailers compete for eyeballs, clicks, and check outs. Nothing is going to help solidify that more than them hawking your wares for way below MAP. It will be the savvy Brands who can consume pricing monitoring data and act upon that information who profit and come out the other side stronger.