The success of Pattern can be attributed to our amazing team and the people within it. Our #PeopleofPattern series highlights our people; the faces, roles and responsibilities behind what makes Pattern great. This week, we sat down and spoke with Desiree Wong, Senior Ecommerce Consultant, Mandy Guo, Brand Manager, and Ariel Tsai, Brand Manager, all sitting in Pattern’s London office working with UK & US brands to accelerate their sales in China.
Desiree: I’ve been working at Pattern for over six years now. I first joined the company as an Associate Consultant back in Hong Kong. My responsibilities have changed quite a bit since first joining the company, when I first joined I worked in the Consulting team in Hong Kong with Arthur Cheung (General Manager, Asia) and a few other colleagues focusing on consulting projects. We then had some trading elements added into our China business, which meant I was responsible for more trading-related tasks.
My title is now Senior Ecommerce Consultant, covering the APAC region. Following Practicology’s acquisition by Pattern in 2018, 90% of my time is now related to trading activity. When I relocated to London in early 2020, I was given more opportunity to work on business development. All of the brands that my team are working with are either from Europe or from the U.S., so working in the UK meant I was in a much better time zone to speak with clients and attend offline events, like Interzoo or Alibaba-organised events, here in Europe.
Ariel: My responsibilities are quite similar to Desiree. I joined Pattern in January this year, so I’ve been working here for about six months now. I started as a Brand Manager, managing the trading side of the business of different brands for Asia markets. I also do a bit of work on the side for the Consulting team. For example, we’re currently working on a project for a global luxury jewellery brand, providing a consulting service for China.
Mandy: I joined Pattern nearly 3 months ago as a Brand Manager. The role is very interesting, and I feel very supported. My role helps our clients find the best solutions in China’s market through social marketing and ecommerce business. From my previous China FMCG industry experience at Unilever, LVMH, and Mars, I feel very fulfilled identifying the best USPs and business strategies to achieve a better business position for our clients.
Ariel: I previously worked for a digital marketing agency, also focusing on China business with UK companies. In that job, I did a lot of marketing for British and U.S. brands who sell their products in China. I worked with companies like Royal Mail, amongst other big brands, which I found really interesting. This experience really fueled my interest in ecommerce, which is why I got in touch with Pattern as it is a trading and ecommerce-focused company. I also liked that Pattern didn’t just focus on trading in China, but also other countries in Asia like Japan, Korea, and South-East Asia.
Desiree: Before I joined Pattern I worked at MAC Cosmetics for almost two years. In that time I felt that I’d learnt everything I could in that role and wanted more of a range and challenge in my career. At MAC, I luckily gained a lot of experience working in ecommerce and wanted to pursue this further. Pattern seemed like a great opportunity as it is a global company working in ecommerce and has seen a huge amount of growth as a business. Before Pattern, I also studied a Master of Science in Marketing, where I met a professor who introduced me to the consulting industry. This was another reason why I was really interested in joining Pattern’s consulting team.
Interestingly, I was introduced by a headhunter who told me that there was a company that had newly-launched in Hong Kong called Practicology. We didn’t even have an office, we were so new! I remember meeting Arthur Cheung in a restaurant after he’d just finished a trip to China, carrying all of his luggage with him. Arthur told me that the company was new but that it was an ecommerce consulting firm, which was really interesting to me and covered the two aspects I was looking for in my next role.
Starting in the Hong Kong business, we had the opportunity to choose the office that we’d set-up in and even built IKEA furniture together in the office. It was such an experience! What I really loved about Practicology (now Pattern) was learning so many new things and expanding outside of my scope of knowledge that I’d been working in comfortably for so long. It wasn’t just about marketing, ecommerce, or consulting, it was about entrepreneurship. Arthur was tasked to build up the whole Asia/China business, which really opened my eyes to how to build a business from the ground up.
My role also continues to evolve as the company grows and changes, I never feel bored. That’s why I’ve stayed here for six years!
Mandy: My previous experience and passion connect well with my role at Pattern. As previously stated, it is fulfilling to use my previous experience to provide the best solutions for our clients. I have great supportive teammates like Desiree who guides and helps me understand Pattern’s processes and systems.
Desiree: For me, it’s the recognition from the brands. I know we all talk about numbers, but when the brands can see more than just the numbers that you help them to achieve, and they really appreciate the strategy and transparency that we have, it’s really satisfying. We stick to our Pattern values. We always want to be ‘Partner Obsessed’, and our partners really feel that.
Ariel: For me, it’s the opportunity of working with different brands across different regions. We’re expanding so fast and keep finding new brands in different categories, giving us the opportunity to work with for example Alliance and Jan Marini, a skincare brand, and Holland and Barrett selling supplements. This broad range has really expanded my knowledge across different industries and has been really interesting and rewarding for me.
Mandy: The most rewarding aspect for me has been recently handling prospective clients with Desiree and identifying potential improvements for a couple of our clients’ ecommerce business in China. Another rewarding moment is when our clients positively react to my efforts.
Desiree: I think that working at Pattern has a suitable level of challenge, you will never get bored. Ecommerce is an ever changing industry. When you work in the Asia market, which is not as mature as others and is still developing, it is even more challenging and you learn new things every day. I know there are plenty of ecommerce and trading companies in the industry, but I’d say that everyone working at Pattern is smart and willing to share their knowledge. As we’re all growing together, it gives us all a great opportunity to learn from each other. Our team culture is also really strong.
Ariel: I’d say I agree with Desiree. There’s not much of a hierarchy inside Pattern. In our China team, we learn more from them every day and they’re always helping to share what’s happening in the market. Again, the team culture is really positive. Everybody who works at Pattern is a ‘Doer’ and is willing to share their experience and knowledge with one another as well. The company is also growing so fast into different regions, for someone who wants to expand their knowledge on a global scale, that’s also a big bonus as you’re unlikely to get that opportunity very often.
Mandy: In agreement with Desiree, ecommerce is changing very quickly in Asia. With different clients, Pattern gives me the opportunity to evolve my knowledge through challenging and interesting contracts. We have good morale, supportive teammates, and I feel very engaged through growth opportunities because of our team and clients. I’m growing with Pattern and I highly recommend working at Pattern!
If you're looking to start a career in ecommerce or even if you're a seasoned professional and want to learn more about our exciting opportunities, check out our open positions here.
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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.