If your brand is selling on Amazon, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of Direct Importing (DI) through Amazon’s Global Logistics Network. However, not all brands qualify for DI as it is only available if your products are manufactured in or imported from overseas. The choice brands who do import to the U.S. from overseas is simple: use Amazon’s network and resources to distribute your products, removing multiple steps and costs from the supply chain, or to use your own supply chain.
Sounds compelling, right? But also sounds scary since you are giving up a lot of control and process to Amazon rather than keeping it in-house. As a global ecommerce accelerator, Pattern knows how to leverage DI, maintain control of your brand, and find new ways to improve logistics through Amazon’s Global Logistics Network.
Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator and one of the top Amazon sellers, understands the unique challenges brands face getting products from international production facilities to consumers’ doorsteps and manages the entire process for brands. And although DI is not the right strategy for every brand, we know the potential savings and customer benefits you can experience through DI make it an option that’s worth exploring.
The most profound benefit you can experience through DI is massively reducing your supply chain touchpoints—when your products go straight to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, the ripple effect in your cost savings is powerful.
For one thing, you save a significant amount of money by not paying for the processes you’d normally need to in order to get your products to domestic warehouses. Once your items get to their shipping containers, Amazon takes over, freeing you from the responsibility of getting the product from its origin port to the U.S. to your warehouses, then re-packaging and labeling to ship into Amazon fulfillment centers, and finally to customers—with all of the associated processes and costs.
Less handoffs also means less opportunity and responsibility for incurred damages, which is something that pays off in both the short-term, by avoiding replacement costs, and long-term, in customer satisfaction.
As probably the biggest U.S. marketplace in the ecommerce space, one of Amazon’s perks is lower container rates. They have negotiated prices that are considerably lower than a brand would pay as a traditional importer. So, it’s likely that, however you’re importing your products into the U.S. today, it’ll be cheaper to get your products to your customers using Direct Importing.
By leveraging Direct Importing, you eliminate the need to pay tariffs and duties as your inventory arrives in the U.S.. This generates significant cost savings for many brands—whatever you pay to ship your products with Amazon includes the brokering fees instead of adding to costs for you.
When a brand ships all of its orders to Amazon Fulfillment instead of your domestic warehouses, the process generally takes longer. This additional time allows brands and ecommerce accelerators to plan inventory months in advance, rather than a week or two.
For instance, rather than guessing on the amount of inventory you’ll need to ship to Amazon in two weeks, you’d be able to plan much further ahead with purchase orders, as far as months in advance. Typically, this advanced planning gives brands a leg up in leveraging their supply chain to advance order what they need.
Direct Importing also removes your dependency on your domestic fulfillment teams for the manpower needed to get products from their port of origin to your warehouses. Removing these processes allows you to save both the money and the time it takes to unpack, repack, and label your items. Instead, all of those tasks are taken care of at a lower cost at the origin port.
In addition to eliminating time and manpower spent packaging and labeling, you also remove the need to store product domestically, meaning you can save domestic warehouse space and reduce the amount of time spent fulfilling domestic orders.
As your teams eliminate the extra steps in the fulfillment process, you’re able to free up precious time in getting your products directly to Amazon customers. What would you be able to accomplish in getting 2-3 weeks back from your current speed to market model? As you get products into your customers’ hands faster, you can stay more competitive as shipping times continue to shrink across the globe.
As the benefits of DI start to build upon each other, the savings can be significant for brands and the momentum for any brand to achieve new sales potential is truly powerful. Brands that partner with Pattern know they are getting premier resources in logistics and fulfillment as well as the competitive advantage of working with a top seller on Amazon.
Since brands sell their products to Pattern months in advance, they avoid freight, shipping, port, packaging, labeling and other costs associated with their inventory coming from overseas. Additionally, brands who partner with Pattern can also take advantage of time and cost savings as part of their access to our fulfillment resources while, at the same time, experiencing multiple other ways we’re able to accelerate their products on Amazon.
Accelerate your brand on Amazon, starting at the port of origin. Contact Pattern.
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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.