If that headline threw you for a loop, maybe this re-appropriated Jerry Maguire quote will make more sense: "Help me [your retailer], help you [brand manufacturer]."
Still confused? In so many words, brand manufacturers have a lot to gain from assisting retailers, specifically by doing the following:
- Facilitating traffic to the retailer's product pages.
- Silencing unauthorized retailers and protecting minimum-advertised price (MAP) policies.
Do these two things for your retailers, and they'll reward you with sales.
Nike and Amazon: A 'sort-of' love story
"Nike will officially start selling its athletic wares on the world's largest e-commerce platform."
Nike, one of the most prominent Amazon.com holdouts, decided a few months ago that it will officially start selling its athletic wares on the world's largest e-commerce platform. If the significance of this event didn't land with you, consider this: Nike has focused extensively on beefing up its DTC strategy in the past few years, boasting 1,000 brick-and-mortar stores, a rather robust e-commerce platform in Nike.com and a "weighty presence on Zappos.com," according to Forbes contributor Pamela N. Danziger.
So why the sudden change of heart?
According to FOX Business News, the decision came down to the fact that unauthorized retailers have too strong of a presence on Amazon, and that these retailers are "undercutting their grip on pricing and distribution."
Historically, Amazon has been somewhat reluctant to help brands hunt down unauthorized retailers, because the company is wary of losing revenue, according to CPC contributor Tara Johnson. However, as one of the leading brands in sports apparel, Amazon stands to gain from agreeing to help Nike, which is why the retailer has announced that vendors can no longer sell certain Nike products starting July 13.
What does it all add up to?
"Automated channel reports and MAP Monitoring are wins for everyone."
There are two primary takeaways from what happened here.
The first is that brands can invariably extend their reach through a seller network. Brands that are actively trying to increase sales, both direct and indirect, can gain from telling customers where their products are available on their own website. This works for one simple reason: No two consumers are alike, and each may be more likely to buy from one retailer over another. Neglect that preference at the risk of missing out on the sale. Show your customers that you are present on their favorite channel, and win their favor.
The second takeaway, and the force that ultimately drove Nike to just do it already, is about the persistence of unauthorized retailers. Admittedly, hunting down scalpers and MAP violators is not easy. However, the advancement of data analytics has vastly improved the accuracy and speed with which unauthorizedretailers and MAP violations can be detected. Regardless of whether you get your bread and butter from DTC or through a seller network, automated channel reports and MAP Monitoring are wins for everyone. Honest retailers don't have to compete with price violators, and brands regain control of their image.
Today, there are more estimated Amazon Prime members (63 million) than there are gallons of water flowing from the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean at any given moment (about 55 million). By no means is this a loss for Nike, just as it wouldn't be a loss for your brand to nourish traffic across your seller network.
To learn more about how it all works, click here.