It’s no surprise that if you’re looking to grow your U.S. ecommerce business, you most likely need to be on Amazon. The site’s reach alone is incredible—servicing over 300 million active customers each year.
As one of Amazon’s top sellers and the leading ecommerce accelerator, Pattern provides brand partners significant resources, from distribution and logistics to creative, advertising, and data-driven insights, in order to crack the code that gets brands from good (or even not-so-good) to great on Amazon and other global marketplaces.
And a key piece of advice for any brand looking to sell on Amazon, now or in the future, is to control your Amazon strategy before your lack of strategy controls you. Because Amazon US is a powerhouse in the ecommerce space, if you’re not prepared, you can get steamrolled pretty quickly with things like price erosion, the death spiral, and fall far behind with a weak seller strategy. So, how can you get ahead with Amazon?
Here are four steps to follow in order to gain control of your brand before it’s too late.
We hear a lot of brands say “I don’t have to worry about issues on Amazon—we don’t even sell there!” But if you think you’re not on Amazon, it’s probably time for you to think again. Do a quick Amazon search for your products. (Your customers are likely already doing this—it’s reported that 74% of consumers start their product search through Amazon.)
After a brief search and seeing the results, most brands we meet with are shocked to discover that rogue, unauthorized sellers are unknowingly offloading their products, often at below MAP prices, and potentially hurting their other selling avenues, from D2C to brick and mortar.
It’s important that every ecommerce brand that wants to be successful on Amazon knows how their brand shows up to consumers first. Before you can begin to control your Amazon strategy, you need to truly know how your brand is represented on the marketplace.
For brands completely aware they are available on Amazon, you probably have one of three relationships to Amazon: you’re living in blissful ignorance of how your brand stands there, you’ve got contracted selling going on with authorized Amazon sellers, or you’re fully on-board, locked and loaded with Amazon as a major distribution channel for your brand (in a 1P or 3P seller relationship). If you happen to be a brand that just discovered your Amazon presence isn’t what you were expecting (surprise—your brand or some version of it is on Amazon), you might be tempted to stand up right now, gather all of your available resources, and spontaneously react to the issues you’ve just uncovered.
But before you reactively spark to action, we want to caution that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Amazon. Before you can work on improving your brand presence (or official launch), you need to understand the right strategy for your brand. The last thing you want to do is waste your valuable resources.
At Pattern, we have the experience, proprietary technology and tools to effectively evaluate a brand’s presence and meet each partner where they’re at to develop a go forward strategy on Amazon. Based on historical Amazon category and product-level data, we provide analysis and recommendations that allow us to customize an Amazon launch—or relaunch—strategy, including a seller approach, for most brands that optimizes long term profitability.
We’ll let you in on a secret—the truth is, not all brands need to be completely committed to Amazon right now, or are able to do so. If you really want to start distributing your products on the marketplace in the right way, it’s a big investment to get started (or improve your presence) there and to do it right. Many companies that make the mistake of committing too much too soon end up exacerbating problems for their brand instead of solving them.
But if you do decide that now is the right time to start selling on Amazon, you need to make sure you have sufficient resources in place to execute the most profitable way for your brand. Starting your strategy off right will help you establish a lasting foothold in the market and keep you available to other marketplace and retail growth opportunities in the future as your brand develops and changes.
At Pattern we have ample resources to improve a brand’s presence on Amazon. From brand strategy to advertising, from invoicing and fulfillment to product listing optimization and more, we know how to meet brands where they’re at and do what it takes to make them successful across digital marketplaces.
Now that you know where your brand truly stands on Amazon, you have developed a strategy, and dedicated the right resources to profitability, it’s vital that you prioritize taking control of your brand presence.
The brands that take off on Amazon are those that move beyond the bare minimum of meeting the basic requirements of the Amazon algorithm in order to achieve top rank, have high product page conversion, and positive reviews. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you’re selling real, quality products to real people.
So, in order to win in the long run, you need to drive traffic to your page, which means customers have to be able to easily find your listings. Then, they need to connect with your brand, easily learn about what you have to sell, decide to buy, and have a great product experience.
Pattern grows brand equity for hundreds of brands on Amazon and other marketplaces. From optimizing SEO and winning organic site traffic to developing product descriptions and image stacks, managing customer reviews, setting MAP pricing, working with an eControl firm like Vorys Law to eliminate unauthorized sellers, and consistently controlling the Buy Box all combine into a great customer experience and better brand affinity for you.
Regardless of how you show up on Amazon today, most brands recognize Amazon is an essential aspect of a successful ecommerce strategy, but the expertise and resources needed to execute can be very daunting for many growing brands.
As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern has the experience, team, and unparalleled marketplace knowledge to help brands find their footings on Amazon and other marketplaces as they grow their distribution and maintain brand equity in a healthy, sustainable, proven way.
Ready to address what your Amazon search revealed? Contact us to set up a meeting.
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Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.
In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.
From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.
According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.
From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.
It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.
A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.
Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.
The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)
Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.
Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.
Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.
Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.
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.