eCommerce Seller Monitoring: Save Your Brand from Domino Effect of MAP Violations

Identification of MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) violators in real-time is critical for brands as it could damage brand reputation and product worth beyond repair in a quick time. The path to success on eCommerce marketplaces depends upon your choice of sellers and their performance. Monitoring Seller performance gives brands a much-needed edge in the competitive digital commerce landscape. The brands selling through re-sellers need to be well aware of their performance as it directly reflects upon a brand image. Let delve deeper to understand why brands need to build their strategies with insights on sellers’ performance, need to track MAP violations, and how it affects brand reputation and product worth on eCommerce marketplaces. Are you aware of at what price your product is sold? Consider a scenario – India top water purifier manufacturing company is selling its RO via authorized seller X at ₹16,400 while another seller Y is selling it at ₹12,900 while the brand has set the Threshold price of ₹14,500. The offer is enticing for shoppers but how will it impact your brand? Prompt other sellers to lower the price Leads to a domino effect on pricing and ultimately reduces the actual worth of the product Lose the trust of shoppers due to such price variation across sellers on a marketplace It affects your distribution channel To combat such a scenario brand, need to track pricing across pin codes and platforms with seller-level analysis. These scenarios are known as MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) Violations or Pricing Violations. A Similar scenario takes place when a seller offers more discount than the brand’s threshold discount known as Discount Violations. Identification of MAP violators in real-time is critical for a brand as it could damage brand reputation and product worth beyond repair in quick time. Save Your Brands from the Domino Effect of MAP Violations The “Domino effect of MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) Violations” refers to the potential negative consequences that can occur for a brand if MAP violations are not effectively managed and controlled. When one seller violates the MAP policy by advertising a product below the set minimum price, it can trigger a chain reaction of other sellers following suit, leading to a price war. This can ultimately lead to price erosion, degrade brand value, product worth and reduce profit margins. To prevent the domino effect of MAP violations and protect their brand, companies can take several proactive measures: Product Pricing Tracking: Brands should continuously monitor product prices across various eCommerce marketplaces and geographical regions. By doing so, they can identify sellers who are not adhering to the MAP policy and take appropriate action. Awareness of Violations: Brands need to stay vigilant and promptly identify any MAP violations. Timely awareness allows them to address the issue before it escalates and impacts their brand reputation. Strengthening MAP Policies: Companies should regularly review and update their MAP policies to ensure they are clear, comprehensive, and enforceable. By setting strict guidelines and penalties for violations, brands can deter sellers from engaging in price-cutting strategies. Enforcement: Once a MAP violation is detected, it’s essential for the brand to take swift and decisive action against the non-compliant sellers. This could involve warnings, temporary suspensions, or even terminating partnerships with repeat offenders. By enforcing the policy consistently, the brand demonstrates its commitment to maintaining fair pricing and protecting its image. Identifying Sellers with High and Low ASPs: Apart from focusing solely on MAP violations, brands should also analyse and categorize sellers based on their Average Selling Prices (ASPs). Sellers with significantly high ASPs may indicate potential unauthorized resellers, while those with extremely low ASPs might be engaging in MAP violations. Identifying and addressing such sellers helps in better controlling pricing and brand representation in the market. Establishing Authorized Reseller Programs: Implementing an authorized reseller program can help brands maintain better control over the distribution of their products. By designating specific authorized sellers, brands can ensure that their products are sold through reliable and trustworthy channels, reducing the likelihood of MAP violations. Monitoring and Reporting Tools: Brands can leverage technology and automated tools to monitor online marketplaces, flag potential MAP violations, and generate detailed reports on seller pricing trends. This data-driven approach can provide valuable insights for decision-making and identifying patterns of non-compliance. By taking a proactive and comprehensive approach to MAP policy management, brands can mitigate the risk of the domino effect of MAP violations. This not only protects their brand equity and pricing integrity but also fosters stronger relationships with authorized sellers and customers. Why do brands need to monitor seller performance on e-commerce marketplaces? Brands need to monitor sellers’ performance on eCommerce marketplaces for several important reasons: Brand Reputation Management: The performance of sellers directly impacts the perception of the brand. If customers have a negative experience with a seller, they are likely to associate that negative experience with the brand itself. Monitoring seller performance allows brands to maintain their reputation and ensure that customers have a positive buying experience. Quality Control: Brands often have specific standards and quality requirements for their products. Monitoring seller performance helps ensure that these standards are met consistently, maintaining product quality and customer satisfaction. Customer Experience: Brands want to provide a seamless and positive customer experience across all channels. By monitoring sellers, they can identify and address any issues that might arise, regarding delivery time, customer experience, or product information. Competitive Advantage: Brands usually have multiple sellers selling their products on various eCommerce platforms. By monitoring seller performance, brands can identify high-performing sellers and collaborate more closely with them to gain a competitive advantage. Sales Performance: Monitoring sellers allows brands to track the sales performance of their products and identify trends and opportunities for growth. This data can be used to make informed decisions regarding inventory management, marketing strategies, and expanding product reach. Monitoring the Seller Buy Box Win %: Brands must monitor the Seller Buy Box Win % to ensure marketplace dominance and maintain control over product visibility. This metric reflects which sellers consistently win the Buy Box, impacting

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Out-of-Stock: Just Lost Sales or More?

The number of shoppers on established ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon or Walmart is in billions. And thus, the movement of products in terms of sales is at large scale compared to any mom n pop shop. This large movement of products often lead to problem of out of stock (OOS) which can happen due to negligence at multiple steps of the value chain. Brand stakeholders and ecommerce retailers understand that the OOS is going to remain an ongoing problem. The increasing number of visitors to online shopping stores often impacts product demand. eCommerce managers use the best measures to forecast their product demand percentages before informing their authorized sellers of the inventory. Unfortunately, determining the exact product demand is a slippery slope for eCom managers, as the customers’ needs continuously change. The inaccurate forecast of product demand is also linked to other reasons. For example, if your brand is running an online campaign for a specific product and delay in informing the authorized retailers about increasing the inventory of the product. Under such circumstances, the retailers would update the stocks per the previously stated demand. A similar situation could arise if the brand stakeholders delay informing the retailers about updating the stocks of specific products. The unavailability of products on an ecommerce marketplace could also be linked to technical issues, non-compliance with a product page guideline, and other reasons. Although the stockouts reasons are concerning enough for a brand’s stakeholders, the repercussions are equally damaging and sometimes irreversible. OOS not only causes lost sales but also leads to lost customer loyalty and lower visibility on ecommerce marketplaces, to name a few. 3 Biggest Repercussions of Stockouts on Ecommerce Marketplaces Customers opt for an Alternative Product Shopping became easier with the introduction of the ecommerce marketplace. With the launch of quick commerce platforms like BlinkIt, Dunzo, and Zepto, even delivery has become faster. The ecommerce stakeholders continuously work on identifying and resolving the customer’s problem; however, OOS is an ongoing problem. Online shoppers have limited reactions whenever a product becomes out-of-stock. The online shopper may click the ‘notify me when available’ button or buy a substitute. As far as I know, the probability of waiting for a product, especially if it is grocery, is far less than most of the other categories. For example, the likelihood that a customer waits to buy brown bread of a particular brand when it is available is meager. The scenario is more common in quick commerce apps, especially when offering instant home delivery. Under this scenario, the brand has lost sale to competitors and will experience the same until the product become available. Brands Witness a Shift in Loyalty Once an online shopper buys a product and becomes exceptionally satisfied with it, the inclination to buy it repeatedly increases. Such buyers are often referred to as loyalists. But, when the product becomes unavailable on the ecommerce marketplace, one of the subsequent choices of the loyalist is to find a substitute. After using a competitor’s product, the loyalist may change their opinion about the previously bought item and compare its qualities with the new one. As a result, the brand’s loyal customer base shifts to competitors if the product is OOS. Brand stakeholders must expect a higher shift of loyalists towards their competitors if the product remains OOS most of the time. Hampers Search Ranks Significantly Products that become out-of-stock are removed from the search results of ecommerce marketplaces because they spoil customer experience and hamper sales. Instead, new products acquire their search rank and increase their visibility. On Amazon, even if an ecommerce manager updates the inventory, it takes 24-48 hours to review the changes and make the product listing visible to buyers. Re-acquiring the top search rank for the product listing becomes challenging, as the customer’s loyalty has shifted to a competitive product and the consumer’s interest in buying the new & regularly available product has increased. The search rank on ecommerce marketplaces depends on product purchases, best seller, SEO, and other factors. The search results algorithm of the ecommerce marketplaces recognizes the new products attracting the customer’s attention and its visibility as well as search rank improves significantly. Moreover, customers that had the product in their cart but faced stockouts during the final step of the purchase journey often leave negative reviews and ratings. Such feedback further hampers the search rank of the product listings and makes acquiring a high position on keyword search results more challenging. Conclusion We agree that the biggest issue of stockouts is loss of sale, but it also has many other repercussions. It shifts the customer’s loyalty to the competitive brand and hampers the search rank. Inaccurate demand forecasts, sudden demand surge and delayed reporting by inventory managers are the most prominent factors leading to OOS. Ensuring the correct availability of products with authorized online retailers requires diving deep into the stockout vs. stock availability percentages of your brand. It requires identifying the change in these percentages at SKU, platform, variant, and other levels every month . Such in-depth analysis enables brands to diminish their stockout percentage and enhance customer experience. Connect with us to learn the advantages of using our e-commerce competitive analytics solution, mScanIt Ecommerce Analytics Solution, for predicting your product availability at minuscule levels.

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Customer Sentiments: A Boon for Sellers and Resellers

Aware of your customers’ feelings? Try These Ways to Streamline Your Sentiment Analysis For Sellers The delivery was on time, or the product was as expected” such types of feedback reveal a lot about the brand and its authorized sellers. Such reviews state that you can trust me or what you see and read is what you can expect.” Such feedback also reveal that the customer can trust the seller, which is a serious relief, as third-party and many unauthorized sellers constantly sell counterfeits or duplicates on the eCommerce marketplace. Consumers feel relieved about product authenticity and start relying on the same brand products (sold by its authorized sellers) in future after going through the reviews. Customers across the globe share their experiences in form of reviews and ratings. These reviews can alter the intensity in favor or against a product, seller, or brand, and they can change their perspective as well as the final buying decision of the online shoppers. Capturing their opinions and the scale of their emotions in a given time frame, commonly known as sentiment analysis, enables them to find the root causes of problems. The holistic approach for figuring out the most and least mentioned aspects of the product listings on eCommerce platforms also gives insights into the probable intent to purchase, points of engagement, new market insights, etc. Such knowledge helps to boost brand building as the target audience gets further filtered, marketing/advertising practices become more customer-centric, and customer service becomes aware of the common pain points or queries. Besides this, brands can use sentiment analysis to boost customer engagement with their enlisted sellers across eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Bigbasket, Flipkart, etc., in multiple ways. 4 Ways Brands Can Use Sentiment Analysis for their Sellers Inform About Competitor Fallbacks Sentiment Analysis discovers the commonly spoken words for a brand and its competitors. Knowing customers’ pain points for competitive brands can prove useful in scaling up business by including them as advantages in the page description, marketing content in product pages, bullet points, etc., and tapping into higher market share. For example, if a brand can learn that its competition is facing delivery issues for a specific product on a particular eCommerce platform, your brand could use this information to gain competitive edge by informing its sellers and offering one-day, same-day, or next-day delivery options to its customers. Share the Practices of Other Sellers Brands want to ensure that the business runs smoothly by resolving customer, product, and seller-centric issues. By using the proprietary technology of mScanIt, it can discover the most appreciated aspects of its authorized and 3P (third-party) sellers and share the information with underperforming sellers, such as: Focus areas Content Examples Screenshots Sentiments It could also enable the underperforming sellers to resolve some of its ongoing problems and increase the intent to purchase products across multiple eCommerce platforms. For example, if a competitor seller is appreciated for the packaging, however, the brand seller has no mention about the same. It could inform its seller so that they can offer better packaging, which the customer appreciates and becomes a relevant theme of the eCommerce platforms. Pro Tip: “Analyzing sentiments using reviews and ratings of consumers helps in identifying their unsolved queries and evaluate their perception of the brand, seller, or product.” Provides Platform-Level Insights Brands increase the revenue of their product variants by placing them across multiple eCommerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, Tokopedia, Amazon, etc. Therefore, using Sentiment Analysis, they can gain insights into the customer perception of product listings across eCommerce platforms, and build their strategies, accordingly. Sharing platform-level insights with its authorized sellers would enable the brand to help them in many ways. For example, suppose competitive sellers of baby care products on Lazada have more mentions related to the product’s price, such as cheap, economical, promo, courier, etc. In that case, it can inform the seller about the same. The associated sellers can enhance their product descriptions, bullet points, titles, etc., and capitalize on the pricing aspect while avoiding MSRP or MAP violations. Recognize the Brands Perception Customers often leave feedback about brand/seller/product under reviews of eCommerce platforms. Knowing the customer’s sentiment intensity for the product listing can help to understand their needs, trends, demands, etc., and address them at the multiple levels, including at seller-level, to boost sales, revenue, as well as seller recognition. For example, one of our brands discovered 49% of positive sentiment intensity on the Shopee platform based on more than one lakh feedback. After carefully reviewing the analysis of the brand-level themes, delivery, quality, and packaging were the most talked about issues on the eCommerce platform. The overall sentiment score of the brand was between 0.18 and 0.5, with an average of 0.37. (The sentiment score is calculated in the range of –1 to 1.) The brand communicated its official sellers on other platforms to use this information while enlisting products. Also, the word cloud revealed “texture, effectiveness, and arrived” among the top three negative aspects and “packaging, delivery, and fast” as the top positive aspects. It could inform its upcoming sellers about the same and build a better brand perception on Shopee. Conclusion Brands across the globe have already realized the potential of eCommerce Competitive Analysis, mScanIt, powered by mFilterIt. The Sentiment Analysis dashboard of mScanIt can prove to be beneficial for gaining insights into the minds of consumers and discovering their emotions towards products, brands, and sellers. By realizing the pain points or positive aspects of the brand’s authorized/official sellers, competitive seller practices, or the themes triggering brand perception, brands can find triggers that can enhance customer journeys and seller perceptions. Schedule a demo with us to learn more about the advantages of using the mScanIt Sentiment Analysis dashboard for your sellers.

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What Aspects Does Sentiment Analysis of eCommerce Platforms Reveal?

Customers on eCommerce platforms often check out reviews and ratings of products before making the final buying decision. In India, 48% of consumers make fashion purchases regularly after going through reviews and ratings. Monitoring reviews and ratings have become important for understanding customer sentiment towards the brand, product, seller, etc., across eCommerce platforms. Detecting and categorizing customer reviews as positive, neutral, and negative using mScanIt’s Sentiment Analysis enables to detect product aspect working ‘for & against’ the brand. mScanIt’s sentiment analysis dashboard defines sentiment intensity; segregates the most popular aspects like quality, product, price, etc., under comment themes; helps to find the most/least popular aspect/theme of a brand, etc. Diving deep into these aspects helps to keep track of consumer reviews across multiple eCommerce platforms, the most popular aspects/themes driving the sentiment intensity, pain points of the consumers, etc. mScanIt’s Sentiment Analysis also reveals key aspects of eCommerce platforms, which are useful for brands in multiple ways. A sentiment analysis is done by using What Can Brands Derive through mScanIt’s Sentiment Analysis? The Intensity of Buyer Reviews consumer reviews. Based on the consumer sentiments, a brand can understand the most popular aspect of its products on eCommerce platforms or can detect which aspects are meeting or not meeting to the buyer demands. A comparative view of the same vis-a-vis its competition enables a brand to learn the brand’s standing against its competition. For example, your brand could have a high (700+) positive reviews for ‘price,’ whereas your top competitor only has 200+ reviews on it. So, the consumers appreciate the price of the product and it is probably the leading factor driving your eCommerce sales/revenue under a category. On the other hand, your top competitor could have 500+ reviews on ‘quality’ whereas, you hardly reach 100 reviews on this aspect. Using this knowledge, you can evaluate your own Product Display Page (PDP) against your competition. It could show that the competitor is focusing more on ‘quality-based’ features and is using them in the advertising/marketing campaigns as well as the PDPs. P.S.: mScanIt can also be useful in analyzing PDPs, share-of-shelf, and banner ads. Probable Intent to Purchase According to research, the product purchasing decision of 91% of online shoppers rely on reviews from other customers. Therefore, listings on eCommerce platforms with higher positive reviews can increase add-to-cart actions and conversions. Furthermore, constantly checking sentiment analysis reveals the average sentiment score within a time frame. Therefore, brands can make sales forecasts and strategize accordingly. It’s one of the ways through which brands can understand the best performing ecommerce platform and optimize on their marketing spends. Moreover, the qualities/themes of the sentiment analysis dashboard would offer knowledge about the factors that might likely influence the customer’s intent to purchase. Points of Engagement with the Customers Reviewing mScanIt’s Sentiment Analysis dashboard gives information about the pain points of customers as well as the top-performing qualities of a product. It reveals the emotional triggers that can become responsible for trolling on eCommerce marketplaces under the review and rating section. Brands can use the emotional triggers generated from the ‘for and against’ reviews and ratings in their responses to improve the positive sentiment intensity and diminish the negative sentiment scores. The same information can be relayed to the marketing and customer support team to strategize and enable growth while addressing customer problems and enhancing the customer’s relationship with the brand. Reaching out to the customers at the right time by setting alerts of hyper sentiment intensities can help a brand to avoid trolls under the review and rating section as well as increase the brand’s ‘delightful’ customer base. Gain Insights About New Markets Customers on eCommerce platforms often reveal their pain points, compare the USPs of previously purchased products with recently purchased items, share the change in brand experiences, etc. Monitoring sentiment analysis reveals new buyer personas, untapped markets, trends, etc., which enable brands to build strategies for reaching out to the un-targeted customer base, increase their revenue, and plan marketing/advertising strategies for eCommerce platforms accordingly. Besides managing their sentiment analysis, brands get a chance to monitor competitors’ analysis tool using mScanIt, which expands all these horizons at a massive scale. Conclusion Monitoring sentiment analysis offers insights into customer behavior, such as the probable intent to purchase, points of engagement, responsiveness towards the product listing, etc. Keeping an eye on the sentiment analysis of eCommerce platforms can enable brands to customize their marketing and advertising strategies towards their buyer needs and even resolve problems whenever the negative sentiment intensity spikes up. Schedule a demo with us to learn methods to scale your business using mScanIt’s Sentiment Analysis.

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Beginners Guide to Share of Voice on Search Engines

Share-of-Voice is a marketing metric that defines your brand’s visibility versus the competition. On search engines of Google, Bing, Opera, etc., SOV defines the share of your brand’s appearance versus the competition based on keywords. Measuring SOV on a search engine is critical to know your presence on the web and the form of content you are visible on such eCommerce Platforms, Blogs, News, Brand Websites etc. Analyzing SOV is also important for brands as it gives a complete picture of their awareness on the brand, competitor and organic keywords. Brands with higher visibility percentage have a higher chance of boosting their conversions/sales/purchases and giving impression as a market leader. According to Statista, desktop search traffic originating from Google ranges between 8.78% to 94.15% across countries, with the highest results from India. The likelihood that consumers would go to an ecommerce platform using the top three-page results is higher than the pages preceding them. It means that brands have a higher chance of driving traffic from the Google search engine to their product listing on a platform the more times they appear on the top three-page results. Why Does SOV Matter for Your Brand? Measuring the SOV of keywords helps to answer the following questions: Which is the best performing type of content? How much market share does it acquire? What is your market positioning? What is the keyword-based ranking of your brand? What is the share of your paid search keywords? Who has the highest market share? Which ecommerce platform has the highest SOV and for which keywords? How likely will consumers come across your brand? What is your brand awareness? What types of search results do consumers get on your selected keywords? What type of other results appear on your chosen keywords? What is their SOV? Without measuring the SOV, deciphering such results could become impossible on Google, which is one of the most dominant sources of finding the most relevant results. In the U.S., 61.4% of core search queries were generated through Google in January 2022. According to Google, personalized results are generated using an algorithm that relies on commonly used words, expertise sources, location, setting, and other factors to deliver the best results. Appearing as the most viable search results active on Google becomes a priority as it is directly connected with traffic generation, conversion, revenue, etc. Here is an example of mobile SOV for one of our brands: Tracking the share of voice on Google paid searches helped one of our clients take measures to boost their brand website share from 25% to 28% from January to December. The brand’s share of ecommerce marketplaces diminished from 51% to 47%. So, the visibility of the brand’s search results for the ecommerce marketplace also diminished, and marketers should assess the reasons for the change. In short, the advantages of measuring Share of Voice on search engines are as follows: Brand Awareness: Analyzing SOV through mScanIt defines the proportion of your brand’s awareness on organic, paid, and competitor keywords. The higher your SOV, the higher the chance of reaching out to potential customers through the search engine by redirecting them to your website or an ecommerce product listing. Visibility: SOV also defines the proportion of your brand visibility versus the competition. Brands with the highest visibility would captivate more attention and have historically witnessed a higher click-through rate (CTR) & conversion rate. Search Rank: The user often goes through the top twenty or top three-page results before making a buying decision. Higher search rank is directly proportional to higher ranking during recurring intervals. Thus, acquiring a higher market share and revenue. Most Dominant Form of Content: Analyzing SOV also gives a picture of the most dominant content results on the search engine, and such content forms would likely have the highest traffic. Moreover, brands can find paid keywords with the highest and lowest SOV, and marketers can use them to build strategies across channels. Pro Tip: “Search engine analytics reveals information pertaining to your brand’s webpage performance. However, mScanIt defines the presence of your brand and the competition across the web on the keywords or key phrases commonly used for searches. Users today still make buying decisions or deviating to an eCommerce platform through search engines. Therefore, tracking your visibility/brand awareness on search engines keeps you abreast of your consumer interactions.” Conclusion Share of Voice is an important factor for measuring a brand’s awareness, visibility, search rank, etc., on the search engines. mScanIt, powered by mFilterIt, measures the SOV of global leaders, giving them an overview of their likely market share. Analyzing SOV through mScanIt also helps to deep-dive into consumer behavior, showcases the presence of the competition, makes the brands aware of new trends, and more. The paid and organic results enable brands to find areas of improvement, the most visible types of content, the percentage-wise share of each form of content, and more. Schedule a demo with us to learn more about the advantages of eCom Competitive Analytics for your brand.

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