ICYMI, eCommerce sales are booming (and they’re only expected to keep growing). If you’re going to take your fair share of the profit, you have to earn it. At Pattern, we’re experts at helping brands increase their margins and profits without sacrificing quality products and consumer trust in the process. In fact, our partners' revenue grows by an average of 40% in their first year with us.
Here are five things you can do to increase your margins for online sales without cutting corners or spending oodles of money:
1. Drive more traffic to your products
2. Utilize premium content
3. Optimize for Amazon SEO
4. Scale to international marketplaces
5. Control dynamic pricing
This first one may seem obvious. If you’re going to increase your sales, you need more people seeing your products. Using advertising and Amazon marketing services to your advantage can help you quickly see a rise in visitors and, ultimately, conversions.
Create an advertising strategy.
Without a solid advertising strategy, buying ads on Google, Facebook, or Amazon is basically just throwing cash to the wind and hoping for the best.
Either on your own or with a partner like Pattern, identify what customer segments are important and what their behaviors are.
Then create great targeted product pages that are persuasive, concise, and interesting to the consumer. The more information you have about your consumers' behavior in your arsenal, the better. If consumers feel like you know and understand them, they're more likely to stick around and end up purchasing your product.
Let data change and improve your strategy over time.
Next, use A/B testing to see which ads are working well and which aren’t. The key here is to never settle and realize there's always room to grow. Maybe your customer segment could be more dialed in. Maybe one image works better than another. Test, test, test and then let the data inform your strategy over time!
At Pattern, our advertising team uses our proprietary technology Predict to automatically adjust hundreds of thousands of keyword bids to ensure we’re putting money behind keywords that get our partners the highest returns. We’re able to test which words perform best and then optimize advertising strategies (and bids) from there.
Track your success.
Finally, make sure you have a measuring system in place to ensure you can track each advertising campaign. That way, you’ll be even more prepared as you head into the next one.
Learn more about Amazon Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brads, Display Ads, and more on this post about Amazon AMS.
Customers are more likely to purchase products that look legitimate. After all, if one product costs 30 cents and another costs $3, but the images and product descriptions are terrible on the cheap one, consumers are much more likely to choose the latter.
“Premium content is a big way to improve profits,” said Kevin Lamb, Pattern’s Marketplace Insights Specialist. “You have to look way better than the average listing or you’re not going to sell.”
Use on-site content optimization options.
Most eCommerce sites offer options to improve content offerings.
For example, Walmart gives each page a content score that guides retailers to make their product pages more effective. They even offer content audits to help retailers sell and show up more on their site.
Amazon’s version is called Enhanced Brand Content (EBC). EBC helps brands create individualized product pages that increase conversion rates and raise profit margins. By using EBC, you can add extra content to your Amazon product page, make it more mobile friendly, and ultimately keep more customers on your page for longer.
If you’re going to increase your margins, you have to show up on page 1 of Amazon. (Very few customers look beyond the first product page.)
Know that Amazon SEO is different than Google.
Not all search engines are created equal. Amazon uses the A9 ranking algorithm to decide who shows up first on their product pages, and it’s not at all the same as Google.
We recommend putting someone on your team (or partnering with someone) who knows the A9 algorithm and all its nuances inside and out. Otherwise, your SEO optimization isn’t going to take you very far.
Get the basics down.
Pattern’s SEO experts recommend optimizing your product titles, backend search terms, and product descriptions first to include keywords related to your product. However, there’s so much more you can do with Amazon SEO.
Learn more about how to get started with Amazon SEO here.
Finally, a key part of increasing your margins on eCommerce is increasing your audience size. If you’re only selling on Amazon or eBay or Walmart, you’re missing out on huge international markets like China, Europe, and beyond.
Analyze whether or not you’re ready to go international.
It’s true, not everyone is ready to sell on marketplaces like Tmall or Alibaba yet. However, you might be more ready than you think. Pattern’s international eCommerce experts can tell you whether your product is ready to enter new markets.
.Fighting for control over your product pricing may be the most important factor in creating (and maintaining) a high profit margin eCommerce strategy.
Since sellers on Amazon and other marketplaces are constantly in competition, price erosion can often affect brands and cut deeply into their margins as each seller tries to win the Buy Box.
Create a MAP policy.
A Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy can help you create fixed price points for your products among your many sellers. By requiring your sellers to advertise at exactly how much your products are worth, you can save yourself many headaches (and shrinking margins) in the future.
Our partner brands' legal counsel helps Pattern partners create MAP policies that are thorough and binding.
Enforce your MAP policy.
Sellers aren’t that great at maintaining price parity. However, if you have a MAP policy in place you won’t be left helpless when the inevitable price dropping war ensues. If unauthorized sellers are disrupting your MAP policy, you can work to get them removed, thereby saving your margin.
We know these four strategies will be helpful for you as you try to improve your eCommerce margins. Learn more about how Pattern can grow your profit margins by reaching out below.
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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.