Best Practices for Tracking Products and Branding Online with Justin Meats of PriceSpider

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Justin Meats shares how brand attitude toward online channels has evolved
  • Justin gives an overview of what PriceSpider does and how it helps resolve issues on price discrepancies, product leaking, and other distribution challenges
  • Common mistakes brands make in their distribution strategies
  • How brands can ensure consistent branding online and how PriceSpider can address unauthorized sales of their products
  • How to make brands more aware of the negative consequences of having price discrepancies across different channels
  • Which websites Amazon monitors and what criteria they use to find these websites
  • How Justin helps brands realize that dealing with Amazon requires specialized skill sets
  • The incremental value of having an additional seller of a brand’s products on Amazon
  • How Justin realized that he can help brands solve their problems and market their products online
  • Justin’s professional mentors and the best advice he has received on working with brands
  • Justin’s advice to brand executives on managing their online presence and aligning online activities with offline activities

In this episode…

Many companies have started to embrace online marketplaces and distribution channels over the years and a lot of them face one common challenge: getting accurate information of their product’s performance and branding online. These vital information can help them zero in on where to best sell their products and how to improve pricing and marketing strategies which is why having the capacity to get access to this data is crucial to their success in the ecommerce space.

Adequate and accurate information can increase a brand’s ability to grow and scale. It can also help a brand better understand its customers’ purchasing behavior and preferences which ultimately helps increase product conversion rates and drive more sales.

Justin Meats is an ecommerce & SaaS expert and he joins James Thomson in this episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast to talk about the best practices for tracking products and branding online. Justin gives an insider look on how PriceSpider can help brands address their concerns in the ecommerce space, how to best avoid the common mistakes brands make in their distribution strategies, and he also shares top tips on product pricing and alignment of brand activities online and offline. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace. 

The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload. 

Buy Box prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management

Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:09
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast where we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.

James Thomson 0:18
Hi, I’m James Thomson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts podcast. I’m a partner with Buy Box Experts and formerly the business head of the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager for the Fulfillment by Amazon program. I recently co-authored the book controlling your brand in the age of Amazon, and then the co-founder of Prosper Show, one of the largest continuing education conferences for Amazon sellers in North America. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. When you hire Buy Box Experts you receive the strategic optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. Buy Box Experts is the only agency that combines executive level advisory services With expert performance management execution of your Amazon channel strategy go to buyboxexperts.com to learn more.

Our guest today is Justin Meats. Justin is the VP of Product at PriceSpider, a SAS firm that offers manufacturers and brands and necessary reporting to attract their performance across multiple online marketplaces, including customer conversion and brand integrity. Justin has been building online brands and software products for more than 20 years, and has seen many changes in the way that brands address their businesses online. Justin is bringing his expertise to us today sharing best practices on how brands can track what is happening to their products and branding online. So welcome, Justin. And thank you for joining us today on our Buy Box Experts podcast.

Justin Meats 1:45
Yeah, thank you, James. Happy to be here today.

James Thomson 1:48
Just I’d like to start by asking you to get your thoughts on what you’ve seen brands do to evolve their thinking around the online channels over the last 20 years. There’s been A lot of things that are obviously changing and continuing to change the recent events of what we’re seeing with Coronavirus. A lot of consumers are moving online in ways that we’ve never seen before. What’s happening and what have you seen happen with brands, in terms of their attitudes towards the online channels?

Justin Meats 2:19
Yeah, you know, getting started online and consumer electronics in the late 90s. You know, a lot of the internet deals, a lot of the dealer agreements said no internet period, were you going to start it off no matter what you’re going to do? Can’t do internet sales. And our message has always been no matter what you do as a brand, your products are going to be sold online. And are you going to have you’re going to control it, or are you going to just let it run rampant however, you know, with aliases and things like that. So I think we shifted from you know, no internet to Hey, the internet’s a great tool, lift sign as many people as possible. The more people we have sold our product, the more it’s going to sell. Well, you reach a saturation point. Just If you want to take a small town and open 100 stores there, it’s the same way online. So now I think we’ve kind of come back, you know, we’ve gone from one side of the road to the other. And I think the businesses that are most successful really took a look at a balance of that, and what is their situation for the right strategic mix? And we’re How do you involve brick and mortar and the internet so that they can really work together and not work against one another?

James Thomson 3:28
We’re going to talk a lot more about some of the aspects of brand control in a few minutes. But before we do that, I’d like to learn more about the company you work at PriceSpider. What does your firm do and what approach does it take to solving the issues around pricing discrepancies across channels?

Justin Meats 3:45
Yeah, PriceSpider really helps manufacturers identify those who know what and where people are selling their products online. Our flagship product is a where to buy, where we will help power on the manufacturers website. Where can you buy your products, whether it is online or in local brick and mortar stores, you know what stores around the consumer habit in stock. That’s a flagship product. Our other main flagship product is prowl. Prowl, I was one of the co founders and Chief Product Officer of Oris intelligence which was acquired by PriceSpider this last summer, and our main product Prowl, help manufacturers identify who was selling their price their products online, and at what price usually in support of a price policy such as map minimum advertised price. So we help really the whole you know, the whole discovery, how do we help monitor how do we investigate, help find unknown sellers, and it helps those manufacturers and policies.

James Thomson 4:45
We’ll talk about enforcement here in a few minutes. But certainly, just being aware how broadly distributed your products might be, can be quite an eye opener for companies. To tell me a little bit more about your thoughts on distribution challenges. As the brand’s encounter today, because of the wide availability of online channels and easy access for pretty much anybody to be able to sell products on many of these online marketplaces

Justin Meats 5:13
Yeah, you know, people usually come to us, especially on the prowl side, you know, they want to help control pricing. But where they really we usually help identify is you’ve got to start, before you put your map policy in praise, you really need to have those distribution policies in place, a lot of time we will do a demo for prospects and we’ll load in a couple of their products just to show them the data that they’re able to provide. And just doing a small subset, you know, a subcategory of maybe in two products, we usually find at least twice the number of sellers they expect to see online as far as just domains. Not to mention the usually hundreds of sellers a week sometimes find on Amazon and eBay.

James Thomson 5:54
I’d love to get your thoughts on when you show brands just how widely distributed products are online. For a lot of brands, not only is it a surprise, when they start to self diagnose, how did this happen, they don’t realize how rapidly they’re allowing their products to be distributed. They don’t understand where the product leaks are. Tell me a little bit more about some of those awkward conversations that you’re having initially with brands when they realize that their product is much more available than they ever expected and certainly that they ever wanted.

Justin Meats 6:28
Yeah, I think it’s definitely it’s about leaks in their distribution, and they want to, they want uniform pricing, they want to kind of control that whole process. But until you get a hold of distribution and the leaks in that, that’s the most important thing. So you know, with them, working with them, helping them set point them in the right direction and setting up those who’s authorized dealer policies to get a handle on it. She’s going back to the late 90s. You know, the manufacturer that say no internet Well, all that cause was their dealership. Create aliases, and alias after alias after alias. So you know, how do you put kind of protections in place, and set up those things to minimize those. And then also, you know, sometimes you have to make an example out of a couple people, if you can’t trust them. At the end of the day, you really need to work with partners that you can trust.

James Thomson 7:20
One of the things that we tell some of the brand clients we work with is, the first mistake they made is they have popular products that don’t have all these popular products. The reality is, the more popular the product becomes, the more likely someone’s going to say Let me see if I can make a buck selling it over here on this marketplace or on this marketplace. To tell me a little bit more about your thoughts on other types of mistakes that brands are making that creates this broad online presence. Obviously, you know, not properly controlling distribution. What else are you seeing are brands are essentially shooting themselves in the foot.

Justin Meats 7:55
It’s no comprehensive strategy either. It was so much that time brand I think the biggest mistake that brands make is they think of brick and mortar and e commerce websites in Amazon sometimes as three different channels not realizing that it’s really an ecosystem that affects the whole thing. So you’ve got to look at it really holistically and how do they all work together? And really, if you are trying to put together an omni channel policy, you really need to think about how those all work together. It seems so at the end of the day, as a manufacturer, you really need to care the most about what is that customer experience, every anybody can compete on price. What you want to do is set the framework so the main reason is that the retailers are competing on the service arm with the service they can provide to the customer, so the customer can buy in the channel that they’re most comfortable.

James Thomson 8:48
Interesting scenes of thinking there where the brand may already be sold in certain channels. The consumers are already in those channels looking for this brand. When you’re a brand executive and you’re not, you’re thinking we’re going to go into channels as we’re ready to go into them. And yet here come online channels that decide, gosh, you know, the products popular let’s let’s have it be selling here. It’s difficult for a brand executive to say I’m not ready for an Amazon channel And yet, look at the massive volumes that are being sold there. Even if I control who is ultimately selling products in those channels. There’s still a big hump to get over intellectually around. Okay, we’re going to control the Amazon channel. But we’re also going to take advantage of the fact that customers are congregating and large numbers on that channel looking for our products. Talk to me a little bit more about how brands create a situation where they can have consistent branding, they can have better transparency over the way their brands are being represented in these different channels by seemingly, you know, random third party sellers that pop up and start creating product listings. How does your product help people? Not only to identify where the problems are, but also, how do you help them think through now that you’ve found the problem? Here’s what you’re going to need to do, not just with a distribution strategy, but around controlling and standardizing the way their brand is being shared across channels.

Justin Meats 10:19
Yeah, that’s something we’re definitely getting into more and more, you know, and really, from the beginning, I’ve been recommending to manufacturers starting off as an online retailer, now, as you know, advisor to a lot of these manufacturers, is what are those resources that they need to be providing to the retailers, you know, and don’t have a consistent messaging a lot of time, you’ll get, you know, three different information sheets, maybe a price list, you know, some other information and everything calls the product a little bit different, you know, and the more inconsistency that manufacturer has with internal tools, sometimes they’re using SAP and sap has a restriction on the number of characters so they abbreviate everything in which is causes them the manufacturers to have to come up with that information on their own. And they don’t know the retailers don’t know the information as well as the manufacturer. So if you’re not providing that information properly to the retailers, the retailers are going to start making stuff up. And it’s not always going to be presented in the way that you as a manufacturer, want your brand to be presented.

James Thomson 11:23
When I think about the investments you make in building a brand, part of proper strategy is creating consistency. And when somebody else is deviating and creating random made up stuff over here, and over here and over there, it’s really hard to have a consistent set of brand promises. you’re communicating to customers in different channels. So yeah, these are very difficult challenges for brands that have historically not had to think about these issues, because they’ve had a marketing department that pushes content out to specific channels, and those channels said, thanks very much. We’ll run with this. Now. You’ve got all these Online channels where you don’t necessarily have an active strategy, stuff is just showing up in those channels. And as you say, you end up with wildly inconsistent brand messages that creates confusion for customers

Justin Meats 12:12
and every one of those marketplaces and retailers have their own standards as well. Yeah, you know, I know your firm works mostly with Amazon where you know there are character limits to the title there are a number of images you can have, well you know, the, the title length and the number of images varies from Amazon to some of your big box retailers, Your Best Buy’s or Crutchfield they all have their own set of requirements as well. So you know kind of navigating that a lot of times brands you know what they do best they make the product they don’t always understand how business is done online. And that’s where it’s important to, you know, partner with people like your firm and ours that can help really be that trusted advisor pointing in the right direction though. You know, this is how you holistically look at all your channels. Not just think of them at one at a time.

James Thomson 13:02
I want to do a day in the life of a brand working with your company. I sign up, I get insight using your software to understand where there are pricing gaps, where I may have sellers selling my products and channels I didn’t realize they were selling. Take me through, how do you help brands do more and do the next few steps after they’ve learned through your software that in fact there are significant issues they need to address what actually happens. But goggles report looks great. Okay, Justin, made me aware. I’ve got some big problems. Now what?

Justin Meats 13:38
Yeah, you know, and I don’t think there’s necessarily always a one size fits all. But that’s where, you know, we got to start with the data you get, you need to know where your biggest problems are. What’s going to have the biggest effect a lot of time, you know, people come to us, hey, we want to enforce that policy. And then we find all these unauthorized dealers that are selling their products. I’m going to enforce that policy with these authorized dealers. Well, if they’re not authorized, their map policy means nothing to them. We can because we don’t have any sort of chilling effects that are going to take place, what’s the consequences? So you definitely the way you handle your authorized dealers versus your unauthorized, there’s a big difference there. So often, you know, working on an authorized channel is really big. Prioritizing, one of the things we like to do is to really kind of help prioritize where do you need to start working really closely with our team? Who’s having the biggest impact? Where’s the most noise coming from? Who are the people that are causing the trouble? Who moves first that causes Amazon to match so much of the time you people point fingers and say, Hey, you know, Amazon’s at this lower price, how do we fix that? Well, from our experience, not always, but for most of the time, Amazon’s not the first one to lower the price, but they’re almost always the first one to match somebody else’s price. Sometimes it’s on that alone platform or wallet time we see it’s not even it’s maybe Some smaller websites, you know that Amazon themselves matching. So it’s really taking that holistic approach, finding what those problems are helping them identify who this is. What is that leak in the distribution? We track though every seller name change on Amazon so much the time a seller will get started on Amazon using their actual business name. And then you know, somewhere along the line, they get caught for doing something in some policy, and then they’ll change the name. We’re tracking some of those changes. And it’s really kind of fun, sometimes to be on a demo, or in a call with a customer and they’re like, I don’t know who this is. And you go in and you show them the name history. It’s like, oh, my goodness, this is our largest distributor, you know, and just sometimes it’s easy like that. Sometimes there are those, those sellers that, you know, they’re professionals at remaining anonymous, and you know, there’s a whole collection of strategies, some more challenging than others, but how do we start and help you start with the lowest hanging fruits and work through that With the manufacturer.

James Thomson 16:01
Yep. So in Buy Box Experts, we are consistently surprised how many brands aren’t working to control their pricing across the various sellers on Amazon, let alone other online sites. Some brands continue to focus their sales efforts on brick and mortar almost exclusively, in part because they’re used to brick and mortar being the predominant part of their business. So I’d love to get your thoughts around. How do brands make brands more aware of the negative consequences of having these price discrepancies? When the philosophy internally is often one of well, Amazon’s still small and I don’t really have to worry about it. How do you scare brands into realizing the time is now that they have to take action versus waiting until Amazon gets to be twice as big or three times as big as what it is today.

Justin Meats 16:52
That was always something that we really focused on from the very beginning. You know, starting off as a retailer creating the Software internally as a tool to share with our manufacturers, you know, so much of the time, you know, we were pointing out things that the manufacturer didn’t ever really completely know. You know, a lot of times from early days, you know, are really competitive strength was the comprehensiveness. We aren’t just looking at Amazon, we’re not just looking at eBay, we’re just not looking at Google Shopping is really looking across the whole internet. And especially in the early days, most of the people doing any sort of price monitoring or map enforcement would only look at Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping. And you know, that’s only a small portion of the market. You know, we would see maybe 75% of the sellers that we wouldn’t find we’re not in one of those three locations. But Amazon would often be matching one of those people that aren’t there. So it’s really taking a holistic approach. And the brick and mortar is an important part. You know, the US Census Bureau just last year is still only 11% of US retail is done online. If you take out categories that aren’t sold online like gasoline, right, you know that I’ve seen it as high as 16%. every category is a little bit different. But for a lot of manufacturers brick and mortar is still their largest channel, and they want to focus so much. There’s so much noise around just Amazon or just this other. It’s really it goes back to that it’s a whole ecosystem. How do you get them to work together and if you’re not monitoring the whole internet, if you’re not monitoring some of these other websites that we know Amazon is matching, you’re never going to be able to control they’re the sellers on Amazon, let alone Amazon themselves. One of the

James Thomson 18:37
things you said a moment ago I want to ask you about you know, as Amazon matches prices that they see on other websites. Do you have a perspective on number one, how many different types of websites Amazon actually pays attention to and how big somebody has to be before Amazon says it’s interesting for us to be matching that small websites prices.

Justin Meats 18:59
I got to meet a dollar question. I think anytime you’re talking about Amazon and algorithms, everybody’s like, exactly how did that work? You know, there is no hard and fast rule to that. But you know, one of the things that we have focused on is how do we continue to build a bigger mousetrap? How can we try and find really the listings out there that are most the easiest for a consumer to find? Because those are things that you think about the customer experience, Amazon is so focused on the customer experience, Amazon, you know, is going to go about it, how is the customer going to be able to find it? That’s how we’ve looked at it from the very beginning and just relying on who’s showing up in Google Shopping. Well, let’s do some web searches. Let’s look at Google Look, look at some of these other searches. But search more than just the UPC customers are very rare unless they’re scanning a barcode. They’re not being searched by UPC. They’re searching by the product name. So we’re going through and we’re doing you know searching in multiple different marketplaces and search engines will Looking for those product names that are going to be easiest to be found in search, because we know most those are the ones that are most likely going to have the biggest impact for consumers to find. And if consumers are finding it, chances are Amazon or as well, and then some retail pages, even popular websites that sometimes aren’t listed in Google. And you know, if Google can’t find it, chances are we’re probably not going to be able to find it between the consumers are going to be able to find a

James Thomson 20:25
good point. Good point. So our Buy Box Experts sales team talks to a lot of prospective brands. And one of the challenges we regularly run into is the brand’s lack of awareness that dealing with Amazon requires a set of skills that may be different from what they have in house, or what their current agency might otherwise have. Certainly a lot of the big, big marketing agencies they’re going to do in Google and Facebook advertising, but understanding some of the nuances of what are the rules of the sandbox at Amazon and how do you play well So you can take advantage of that sandbox without having to hurt your brand. everywhere else. How do you? I mean, maybe this is a question, maybe this doesn’t happen. But how often? Do you end up in situations where brands are saying, you know what this Amazon thing is a whole lot harder than I thought. It’s not something that I’m most familiar with, as I would have expected. How do you help brands think that through and make them realize that this actually requires a set of specialized skills, whether they outsource it or whether they bring it in house, but they’re going to need specialized skills as long as they plan to play in the Amazon space?

Justin Meats 21:36
Yeah, it was something all goes back to the very beginning around distribution, and how do you set up the distribution? You know, you start with an authorized dealer policy? You know, I would say that’s one of the things one of the things that I learned in the early days of consumer electronics, those brand, those brands that had the best success has some sort of authorized dealer agreement that often outline you know, You could not do online, but then they would have an internet addendum to that policy that would explicitly authorize certain people allowed to be allowed to sell on the internet. So you start really with a dealer policy, especially for your brick and mortar that outlines what they can and cannot do. And then they specifically would have to apply to become authorized to be able to sell on their website. I think taking that one step further. And I’ve been saying it for 1520 years that you really need to do the same thing with Amazon, eBay, those other marketplaces just because you know how to run your website doesn’t mean that it’s a different set of skills that you have to have with Amazon and if you’re not sinking your inventory properly it to Amazon and eBay and those things if you’re not on top of all that you’re gonna actually really hurt your yourself more. So I think it’s for the manufacturers. At the end of the day, when you’re thinking about who am I going to authorize you know, anybody can sell a product and compete on price. What value does that retailer bring? You know, as somebody that you can trust, can you have a relationship? How are they going to help you grow the pie? Anybody can, you know, throw up ads on Google? At the end of the day? There’s only 10 spots on Google, you know, what’s going to make you different than somebody else advertising on Google? How can you help us grow the pie? What’s your expertise in each one of these systems, because to sell advertising, Google is completely different than managing your listings on Amazon, or Facebook, or eBay or any one of those. So you really need to look at partners that have proven experience, and be able to successfully sell on the platform. And as I’m sure most of your listeners know, at the end of the day, you have one accent on Amazon, and it’s one person that owns the buy box. And from that, you know, it’s 90% of the sales go to whoever is owning the buy box. So if you have 10 people selling the same product, you ‘re going to be the only way they can really compete in real time. So you know, you get too many people selling the product and it’s going to become a Price race, really select those retailers that you know are going to support your brand that are going to be able to really properly support the customer experience and knowing that they have proven value in being able to sell on that platform.

James Thomson 24:13
Do you give advice to clients around what the incremental value is of having a third a fourth a 10th, seller of your product on a channel like Amazon?

Justin Meats 24:23
You know, we thought that’s a big message often, every year we do a summit. Thank you definitely for speaking last year at the summit, the recurring theme that we hear from Brandon Brandon brand and for some of the sales executives, sometimes it’s counterintuitive, but it’s really less with more, you know, and every brand there’s no one magic number. It really kind of depends on the brand who their partners are, how they’ve decided to work with Amazon. Are they selling, you know, one p three p how does that mix? You know, there’s no hard and fast written rule, but we definitely see as a general Rule, for the most part, you can actually sell more with less. If you can really find those good partners that you can support, they can find that they have the necessary margin to properly advertise or promote your product. If they can invest in it, you’re actually going to do a lot better partnering with those best partners, man trying to open it up to everybody in there, brother.

James Thomson 25:22
Want to shift gears here a little bit? You know, you’ve been working with brands for many, many years. I’d love to hear a little bit about big turning points for you professionally, when you realize that you were good at what you were doing helping brands to think through some of these very difficult issues that brands probably haven’t been spending enough time thinking about.

Justin Meats 25:44
Yeah, you know, early days, so you trying to figure out as an online retailer, you know, of course, we wanted to be authorized to sell online, and we really found early on that the way that we were going to be able to be successful. Mine was really share that information with the manufacturer, but the manufacturers are really good at making their product. You know, the internet, especially if it changes their distribution. In the early days, it was very territorial. And if we were selling something online, well, maybe we were stealing a cell from somebody else, another tip in a territory. So really gone from an educational approach. And that’s how, as an online retailer, we had good success was really educating the manufacturer on how business is done online and giving them those data points. And based upon that education, that is how we ended up spending parral out of an online retailer into its own company, to be able to have deeper conversations. As a retailer, there are certain conversations that you’re not allowed to have, you know, about, you know, with a retailer about their competitors, and for that, for that reason, we spun it out into its own company, and you know, really continue to drive that and pull Meet them in the right direction, because there’s so much out there and you can’t tackle everything at once. As a manufacturer, you really need to see what’s the lowest hanging fruit and incrementally work and iterate on your processes to improve, really that whole online process.

James Thomson 27:16
Talk to me about your professional mentors and some of the advice they’ve given you that’s really stuck with you and helping you to work with brands.

Justin Meats 27:25
Yeah, I would say, you know, a really good mentor of mine was the PAM Springer CEO at or is really good at building online building teams. And I think the key there is at the end of the day, you know, you talk about online and new business and all this. The end of the day business is really about relationships, you know, how do you build a relationship as a manufacturer with those retailers? for us as a software provider from the very day one, we didn’t want to just be selling a software license. We wanted to help manufacturers really help solve their problems. So you know, yes, there’s a lot of things that you can automate, but you can’t automate relationships. So how do we, as a technology company, help tee things up, give the right data to the manufacturers that’s actionable, so that they can really, you know, apply that to their relationships, but still make sure it’s a relationship and not just some automated email that they send to their best partner. You know, how do you do that? And I think that’s a key thing is at the end of the day, it’s all about the relationships.

James Thomson 28:27
I want to ask you one final question for our discussion today. You’re in an elevator with a senior executive from a brand. And the executives complaining about this whole online situation. What advice would you give to that brand executive around what they need to do to manage their online presence in a way that they’ll be able to align what they do online and what they do offline?

Justin Meats 28:53
Yeah, and even though it’s often it’s a very hard thing to have an elevator

Unknown Speaker 28:58
elevator right.

Justin Meats 29:00
From the very beginning, at the end of the day, we found that, you know, our data would often uncover things that manufacturers didn’t understand, you know, so from the very beginning, it was really Hey, let us do a sample, let’s pull some sample data to show you the type of data that we can provide. Based upon that data. We can show you how people are getting around your current policies. And often that points back to how do you tighten up your your map policy, things you need to add to your dealer agreements, maybe put a dealer agreement in place, maybe put some restrictions around your distributor, it’s not a one size fits all, but it will tell you really know comprehensively what your problems are. Sometimes it’s hard to address and I’d say probably the biggest tips to so many say well what should I put in my mouth policy at the end of the day, you know, if you have something you know in your policy that says you know any implied lower price is a violation, whether it’s Add To Cart for a lower price or you know, call for pricing or email me the lowest price, anything like that. implies a lower price should be against your policy. You know that really the catch all if you don’t do that the retailer is going to try and play every game under the book to try and get around and look for a loophole. So if you are very clear and saying hey, any implied lower price is a violation that starts step one, step two most important is that you have a mock policy, you’ve got to be able to enforce it. If you’re not enforcing your map policy, you in essence, do not have that policy. I am a proud father for kids. And I say that retailers a lot like kids, if you don’t put them in timeout, they will never respect you. You’ve got to be able to enforce it. I tell my six year old daughter don’t do that. And then I let her do that over and over and over again. Next time solar colors something else. She’s not gonna listen the same way with retailers and honestly the customers who have the best relationship with Amazon have usually cut them off at some point in time. You know, if you’re you gotta be willing to, you know, cut off your best distributor, but often then they know that you are, you’re serious. And those are really the best relationships when you can prove that, you know, you’re actually going to do what you say.

James Thomson 31:13
Justin, I want to thank you for joining us today. For those of you interested in learning more about Justin’s organization, please visit pricespider.com. Thank you, Justin.

Justin Meats 31:22
Have a good day. Thank you, James.

Outro 31:25
Thanks for listening to the Buy Box Experts podcast, be sure to click subscribe, check us out on the web, and we’ll see you next time.

Meet the Speakers

Justin Meats

VP of Product at PriceSpider

Buy Box Experts
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