5 Data Do's and Don'ts: How to Construct Actionable Insights From Ecommerce Data

Clark Kleinman

March 26, 2021

Constructing data-based, actionable insights is key to successfully develop and sell products on ecommerce. Data can tell you what your consumers are like, what they’re searching for on ecommerce platforms, the efficacy of your advertising campaigns, which words to use in product listings, and so much more.

Unfortunately, using data to drive ecommerce decisions is much easier said than done. Several factors complicate the process of gathering and interpreting data, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, data can complicate instead of simplifying your job. Here, we’ll discuss some of these complications and how you can overcome them to turn data into your most important ecommerce partner.

Why it’s so difficult for brands to effectively gather and interpret data

The first roadblock that keeps brands from using data effectively is the difficulty of accessing relevant data in the first place. Amazon, for example, gives very little by way of customer personal information (and this information would likely be insignificant anyway since so many Amazon customers share accounts.)

In the cases that Amazon does provide raw data, it can be overwhelming and difficult to interpret. Seeing raw data without any context or insight can ultimately raise more questions than answers, making it challenging for brands to know where to start or what to focus on. It takes an expert to know which data should be focused on and which data can be largely ignored, and many brands just don’t have enough resources to dedicate someone to the mammoth task of data interpretation.

So how can you remove these roadblocks to become more effective in your data analysis? Below are five tips:

1. Don’t focus on every piece of raw data; do focus on the most relevant data

Not all data is created equal. If you want to use data effectively, it’s essential to learn to sift through the noise and focus only on the reports that are most relevant to your brand’s goals.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to which data you should focus on and which you should ignore — that’s highly variable and depends on what your brand is trying to accomplish. But in general, your best bet is to focus on the data points that tie directly to sales. Some examples of these data points include overall retail sales, sales by product, Buy Box numbers, compliance numbers across the marketplace, advertising data, keyword performance, traffic, and SEO.

In addition to analyzing the data specific to your product, it’s also important to find insights into the marketplace as a whole. Don’t just ask how your brand is doing in a given category; ask how competing brands are performing in that same category. What are their most successful products? What about their strategy can you copy? And what holes in the market can you fill? We’ve seen our partners experience some of their biggest ecommerce wins when they look at the marketplace as a whole and act on that data.

2. Don’t let your product be sold by multiple sellers; do fight for the Buy Box

When you allow multiple Amazon sellers to distribute your product, you put your brand at risk for price erosion, brand erosion, and an overall decline in control and quality. Worse yet, sellers must compete to win the Buy Box, the prominent box on Amazon product listings that lets shoppers add a product to their cart or list.

The Buy Box winner is determined by several factors, including price, seller performance, return rate, and shipping standards. When other sellers—including those who are unauthorized or go below MAP—advertise the cheapest prices for your product, you could temporarily lose the Buy Box.

So, what does this mean for data? When you lose the Buy Box, Amazon won’t provide you with any traffic data because you didn’t win any sales over that period. That makes it near impossible to understand your product’s real-time standing in ecommerce.

3. Don’t rely on data from just one platform; do integrate data across several different platforms

Looking at Amazon, Walmart, or eBay data alone won’t give you a comprehensive understanding of how your brand is performing or which advertising messages are resonating with consumers. Take advantage of every platform’s data, including tools like social media, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console, to have a complete understanding of your audience, your product’s performance, and the marketplace as a whole.

It’s also helpful to compare ecommerce data with retail data from brick-and-mortar stores that carry your products. This comparison can give you a better understanding of overall marketplace trends, where to focus your advertising, and what features to include in future products.

4. Don’t just rely on data once your product is on the market; do focus all product development decisions on data

Data deserves a seat at the table in every step of the ecommerce process, including product development. If you’re not analyzing data until after your product has hit the market, you’re missing out on insights that could make the difference between a successful launch and a mediocre one.

By analyzing data during product development, you can have a more clear understanding of trending products, feedback on your design, and whether your product could be successful in a certain category.

5. Don’t work with multiple different agencies; do work with one reliable partner.

It’s hard to paint a clear picture with data when you’re working with multiple different agencies that all use different platforms and methods. Comparing insights from different platforms and trying to combine that data into a cohesive strategy complicates the already complicated task of effective data analysis.

Working with one qualified ecommerce partner across platforms simplifies your life, helps your brand be more consistent, and ensures that the data insights you receive tell your brand’s whole story.

How partnering with Pattern can help

At Pattern, we specialize in taking raw data and processing it to give your brand actionable, data-backed insights. Since we’re one of the top sellers on Amazon, we have access to far more data than brands can access alone. Additionally, our proprietary software, Predict, pulls data from over 4,000 ecommerce sites daily to give brands easy-to-read data on sales, traffic, advertising, Buy Box, and marketplace pricing.

Predict makes it easy for brands to see their best and worst performing products and why. It also features tools that track inventory, Buy Box ownership, and pricing compliance. It gives insights into which advertising campaigns are best received by consumers, making it easy for you to craft advertising campaigns that convert.

We use Predict in conjunction with our latest software, Destiny, which creates a digital shelf of competitors to show you exactly how you’re competing when it comes to keywords and SEO. Unlike other software of its kind, Destiny directly compares you with your competitors and gives you a realistic understanding of where you stand in ecommerce.

Our brand managers are another critical aspect of our highly personalized data analysis process. Quarterly, our highly-qualified brand managers meet with our partners to craft specific plans they can execute based on their goals and data trends in their marketplaces.

Working with Pattern eliminates the confusion of data analysis, grants you access to our game-changing software, and partners you with data experts, all at no cost to you. If you’re interested in learning more, request your demo today.

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Sept 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)
Sept 26, 2022

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

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.

1. Go Early

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.

2. Get Ready for Privacy Changes

 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.

3. Ensure Consumers Can Discover your Brand

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)

4. Get Moving with Performance Max

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.

5. Flight Budgets Accordingly

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.

Sept 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Consultant Must-Haves

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. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

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.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

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. 

2. Proven Results

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.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

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.

4. Network of Resources

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.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

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.