We hear the same story from brands all the time—Amazon is your fastest growing channel. But when you dig a little deeper, are your profits growing as fast as your revenue?
At Pattern, we know maximum profitability comes from brand control on the marketplace giant, and we work with top global brands to control distribution and your channel, by removing unauthorized sellers, to accelerate growth on Amazon.
In retail, wide distribution is king. But online, wide distribution causes problems.
Before online shopping, wide distribution allowed brands to get in more stores, reach more customers across more doors, and make more sales. This model worked because it was more time-consuming and inconvenient for customers to drive back and forth between a myriad of stores to find the lowest price and then circle back to make a purchase. Depending on the price point, customers may have bought the first or second option they found.
In the ecommerce realm, however, customers can compare multiple online sellers within seconds, whether they are shopping from home or price checking in-store. And since all of your sellers are carrying the same product, with the same quality, the only differentiator is price. If one seller lowers their price to win sales, they inadvertently create channel conflict across both your online and in-store prices. Then, in order to compete, other sellers must lower their price as well, starting the domino effect of price erosion and your brand’s profitability death spiral.
Narrow distribution online allows you to better control who has access to your products, where it’s sold, and how much competition exists.
If wide distribution opens the floodgates, narrow distribution is the lock that holds everything closed. Without carefully selecting a narrow list of authorized distributors, your product can make its way into the hands of unauthorized sellers across marketplaces and retail sites. Then, unauthorized sellers will cut price to achieve one goal—offload product online as fast as possible to make a quick profit.
Whether the unauthorized sellers bought your product in bulk when your price had eroded to its lowest level on Amazon, or were an honest wholesale buyer who needs to liquidate excess inventory from their big box or boutique store, unauthorized sellers damage your brand. By narrowing your distribution to an authorized list of select sellers and stores, you help eliminate the opportunity for your product to be passed around. Narrow distribution cuts off the bandits' supplies.
As a bonus, when you maintain a list of authorized and unauthorized sellers, you send a message to your distributors that those who don’t comply will lose the opportunity to sell.
At Pattern, we work as your exclusive Amazon distributor, instantly helping narrow your distribution. Additionally, we provide best-in-class technology to identify and track unauthorized sellers. We then work with top tier eControl partners, like Vorys, to analyze and interpret the seller data, and allow Vorys to action all necessary legal steps. We work to give our partners all the resources they need to enforce their MAP policy and support their control strategy.
Having unauthorized sellers on Amazon blocks your profitability. Unauthorized sellers get a hold of your product, drop the price to win the Buy Box, and steal your sales. But that’s just the start.
When unauthorized sellers lower the price, they create price erosion. With one unauthorized seller taking all the sales at a lower price, your authorized sellers are forced to lower their price to compete, but then the unauthorized seller just lowers the price again, creating a race to the bottom and eroding your profit margin along the way.
With a rampant price erosion problem, consumers will acclimate to the lower price. When new products are released, customers may choose to wait for lower prices on Amazon. But that’s not where it ends—the nature of Amazon’s marketplace means unauthorized sellers have the same level of access as you to update your listing images, copy, and branding. So, in an effort to make a quick sale, unauthorized sellers can misrepresent your brand and create a poor user experience, hurting your hard-earned reputation. Over time, this devalues your brand and hurts long-term profitability.
While unauthorized sellers can feel like the biggest threat, removing them comes only after narrowing your distribution. If you don’t address the root of the problem it’ll just keep growing. But, with precise distribution in place you can start successfully removing the remaining unauthorized sellers to create a clean selling channel.
Pricing policies, like MAP compliance, are key for removing unauthorized sellers. MAP policies give clear guidelines to sellers and make addressing violators easier. Afterall, how well can you reprimand someone for breaking a non-existent rule?
Pattern helps brands remove unauthorized sellers by marrying data from our proprietary technology with a Vorys partnership. Using actionable data-driven insights, Vorys can assist in creating and enforcing a MAP policy, identifying unauthorized sellers, and enacting takedowns.
Maximizing profitability on Amazon comes down to controlling your distribution and sales channels. While the steps sound simple, this process can become complicated and cumbersome for brands to handle alone—that’s why Pattern provides the technology, expertise, legal partners, and experience to help you achieve brand control.
Ready to maximize profitability on Amazon? Set up a meeting today.
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