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How to Build Your Strategy for Grey Market Monitoring

How to Build Your Strategy for Grey Market Monitoring

Do you remember, in 2022 Gulf News [1] reported there was a limited supply of the iPhone 14 in the UAE? All capacity and colors were not available for the mobile phone and there was a waiting period of 2 to 4 weeks. Consequently, parallel, unofficial stocks flowed into the market to meet supply shortages.

According to an electronics retailer [1], the prices of the grey market iPhone 14 would vary on a day-to-day basis and across models and colors. There was also a markup in showroom prices compared to the previous version of the iPhone, and there was still a 2 to 4 week wait. Those with imported handsets offered deals at 5% to 15% lower prices to buyers who wanted that immediate handover. This pricing disparity had a poor reflection on the actual brand, Apple.

The existence of the grey market—where authentic products are diverted and sold through unauthorized channels—poses significant challenges for businesses across industries. It can jeopardize intellectual property, price structures, brand reputation, and ultimately, your sales.

However, with a robust grey market monitoring strategy, you can take proactive steps to protect your brand and regain control.

Let’s review the topics that will help you define your strategy to monitor the Grey Market and avoid its pitfalls:

  • What is a Grey Market?
  • Why You Need a Grey Market Monitoring Strategy
  • Building Your Grey Market Monitoring Strategy

Build Your Strategy for Grey Market Monitoring with our experts

What is a Grey Market?

Grey market products [2] are genuine, but they are sold by Grey Market sellers and then fall outside of the manufacturer or brand owner’s authorized distribution channels. This could mean:

  • Products may be sold in different countries or regions than originally intended.
  • Products are sold through unauthorized online marketplaces or resellers.
  • Product price discrepancies undercut your established pricing structure.

Why You Need a Grey Market Monitoring Strategy

To combat the effects of the grey market, you need to stand up for your brand. As we navigate these challenges below, you’ll understand why a grey market monitoring strategy is essential to safeguard your brand integrity and longevity.

  • Brand Erosion: Grey market sellers may not uphold your quality standards or customer service expectations, damaging your brand’s reputation.
  • Revenue Loss:  Unauthorized sales and price inconsistencies can eat into your direct sales and authorized channel revenue.
  • Strained Partner Relationships:  When your authorized distributors see unauthorized sellers undercutting them, it can cause conflict and strain these valuable partnerships.
  • Intellectual Property Risks:  Counterfeiters often exploit grey market channels, which increases risks related to your product and brand.

Building Your Grey Market Monitoring Strategy

Now that you know the risks of the grey market, what steps should you take to combat them?

In this section, we will break down the essential components of a successful monitoring plan:

1. Define Your Goals

Start with the end in mind. What are the specific issues you want to address?

At Anchanto, we recommend you consider:

  • Brand protection:  Focus on identifying unauthorized sellers who damage your reputation.
  • Map Pricing Disparities:  Uncover price discrepancies that harm your sales.
  • Channel Control:  Seek to regain control over distribution channels.

2. Target Monitoring Channels

Where are grey market activities most prevalent? To identify grey market sellers, focus your efforts on:

3. Use the Right Tools to Make the Difference

Choose the tools that align with your goals and resources, such as:

  • Manual Monitoring: While this is a time-consuming approach, it is still suitable for smaller investigations.
  • Price Monitoring Software:  These tools track pricing across channels, alerting you to potential grey market activity.
  • Brand Protection Platforms:  Some platforms specialize in finding unauthorized sellers and product listings.
  • Digital Shelf Analytics: Comprehensive solutions like Anchanto Digital Shelf provide visibility into product performance, pricing and unauthorized channels.

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Conclusion: Partner with Anchanto for Unmatched Grey Market Insights

The complexities of the grey market demand a sophisticated monitoring approach. While the strategy outlined above provides a robust starting point, understanding the nuances of your specific industry and goals is key to maximizing your success.

If you’re ready to take your grey market monitoring to the next level, the experts at Anchanto are here to guide you. Anchanto’s advanced digital shelf analytics will provide you with unprecedented insights into grey market activity. This data is crucial for making informed decisions that protect your brand and revenue.

Protect your brand against the grey market!

References –

[1] – gulfnews.com – As UAE smartphone sales rise, grey market imports of iPhone 14 from Asia, EU flood in at lower prices

[2] – inta.org – What are parallel imports / gray market goods?