Every Amazon selling model comes with pros and cons, but before you get too comfortable in a single model, you should know 4 benefits of partnering with a 3P accelerator.
To make sure we’re on the same page, partnering with a 3P accelerator means you sell your product to a 3rd party, like Pattern, who helps you sell your products on marketplaces like Amazon. This is different from a 1P relationship where you sell your product directly to Amazon to sell themselves, or selling 3P where you manage your Amazon business yourself.
As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern understands what it takes to grow profitably on Amazon and has the resources, expertise, and technology to get you ahead. Check out the 4 benefits of working with a 3P accelerator like Pattern.
In a 1P relationship, you fulfill POs made by Amazon, so you’re forced to work around their erratic forecasts, limited communication, and changing priorities. But in a 3P partnership, you dictate inventory management, allowing you to stay in-stock, maintain control of forecasting, and plan for promotions or holidays.
Forecasting isn’t the only complexity to watch out for. In a 1P relationship you are responsible for getting a substantial amount of your product to hundreds of Amazon’s warehouses across the country. Then, if product needs to move from one warehouse to another, you are responsible to cover the shipping fees.
As a 3P seller, you either ship Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) and deal with the same logistics headaches as a 1P relationship, or you ship Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) and skip Amazon’s warehouses altogether, but are in charge of getting your products to customers—wherever they are—in a timely manner after they purchase.
With Pattern as your 3P accelerator, you only need to fulfill POs to one distributor, simplifying forecasting and getting inventory to the right place. You ship inventory to one of our warehouses, and we handle the rest—distribution across Amazon’s warehouse network for FBA, repackaging products into bundles, and delivering your orders on time.
We help you achieve Prime eligibility without the hassle, and we focus on keeping you in-stock to keep up sales momentum.
By narrowing your ecommerce distribution, you not only reduce logistical complexity, you limit the opportunity for leaky distribution and lessen the unauthorized sellers who damage your price control.
Unfortunately, even without unauthorized sellers, a 1P relationship with Amazon can cause price erosion because you don’t get to dictate or control price, they do. Amazon wants to provide the lowest price to its users, so in a 1P relationship the marketplace may choose to lower your initial price to drive sales and compete against other sales channels.
As a 3P seller, or in a 3P accelerator relationship, you have more control to set and stick to MAP price, because you handle the strategy yourself. The only downside is that, as an individual 3P seller, you’re on your own to handle any unauthorized sellers who pop up.
At Pattern, we understand how important price control is to every aspect of your business, so we adhere to your pricing policies while helping you identify and take down sellers who don’t. Using our proprietary technology, trusted eControl law firm, and experienced brand managers, Pattern helps you maintain price control.
Amazon is no one-trick pony. To successfully run an Amazon business, you need competencies across SEO, advertising, customer service, graphic design, inventory management, shipping & fulfillment, product photography, conversion-first copy, strong review generation, driving off-platform traffic, and the list goes on and on.
Being a 3P seller on Amazon requires you to figure all of these competencies out alone—or hire a myriad of agencies to handle individual parts of the overall machine. This quickly becomes time-consuming, expensive, and complicated.
In a 1P relationship, you have to trust Amazon to handle it all, with limited input from your brand. Giving full creative control to Amazon can be scary, especially when its goal is focused more on sales than your brand equity.
In speaking of her experience in the difference between 1P and 3P strategies, Nancy Eichler, VP of Ecommerce and International at MegaFood, said the 1P environment was far more resource-demanding—”I spent more time proving to Amazon that we had shipped something than I did actually working on selling the product and my marketing”—and brand control was continually an issue.
Instead of relying on Amazon, or struggling to find the bandwidth for so many specialized skills, a 3P accelerator like Pattern can provide all the expertise you need, all in one place, and scale with you as your brand grows. Because we help so many brands across global marketplaces, we have dedicated teams specializing in advertising, product videos, inventory forecasting, packaging design, and so much more. On top of world-class teams, Pattern experts have access to our proprietary technology, giving them real-time data and actionable insights on things like keyword opportunities, inventory demand, and MAP compliance.
At Pattern, we become an extension of your ecommerce team, offering our time and expertise to grow your Amazon business profitably.
While selling directly to a marketplace and having them handle everything else can seem convenient, a 1P selling model isn’t available on all marketplaces. As your brand expands to new marketplaces and new markets, you’ll be forced to adopt a new selling model and readjust your strategy.
In contrast, selling 3P or with a 3P accelerator is generally an available selling option across marketplaces, both domestically and internationally. And when you sell with the right 3P accelerator, you can scale your same partnership to launch in new markets and marketplaces, making the transition smoother.
Pattern works as a 3P accelerator across a variety of domestic and international marketplaces, providing you the same level of brand control, strategic input, and revenue growth around the world. Because we support so many brands globally, we have the scale to provide international strategy expertise, global warehousing, and efficient logistics at a fraction of the cost of bringing these proficiencies in-house.
As your 3P accelerator, Pattern can help you maintain brand control and grow profitably on Amazon and marketplaces around the world.
Reduce distribution complexity, maintain price control, receive expert help at scale, and maintain your selling model as you grow to new markets and marketplaces, with Pattern.
Ready to talk about an Amazon partnership? Set up a meeting today.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.