Brands who sell on marketplaces are responsible to ship products to as many as 75 different fulfillment centers, or more–and that’s just for Amazon U.S.. Once you add international marketplaces and D2C channels to the mix, your distribution points get exponentially greater. How can any brand manage this without losing control or revenue?
Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, has already come head to head with each of these distribution challenges (and more) and has the experience to take them on for your brand. By working with an ecommerce accelerator like Pattern, your brand can avoid the complexity of burgeoning distribution points by shipping everything to one warehouse (ours) and letting us do the literal and proverbial heavy lifting.
What are the three greatest marketplace distribution challenges for most brands?
Watch Pattern CEO and co-founder Dave Wright explain the top 3 challenges and read more below.
Even before ecommerce, distribution has always been a challenge for brands. In the past brands had to ship products to brick and mortar stores, distributors, wholesalers, and specialty retailers, so there was still a lot of logistics involved to reach “direct” to the consumer.
Now, with ecommerce and direct-to-consumer, the same brands are being forced to break apart pallets, break apart the cases, and individually take out each product to ship to consumers–from their own ecommerce site and marketplaces like Amazon.
Alone, brands do not have the infrastructure or capabilities to do all of that, and need a partner who can aggregate all products into a single warehouse, divide as needed, and distribute from one central hub. Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, can manage all those logistics and literal moving parts since it owns its own fulfillment and logistics, including warehouses around the world.
In addition, since Pattern owns stock in the inventory, it has the full picture of how products are priced and selling. By using its data-driven insights to continue to optimize each listing, Pattern is also able to ideate and sell new bundles and other combinations of products to optimize the breakdown and reassembly of each purchase.
For instance, Pattern helped YogiTea to create 6-pack bundles to introduce customers to different product lines, while also improving the distribution process. The quick sales growth led to the bundles being featured on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” page in the top 10 new releases, and the variety pack sales led to incremental top line revenue growth, accounting for 14% of all revenue in December 2019.
You offer the best quality product at the very best price, but before a consumer hits the “buy” button, the real competition heats up. They want to know, “When will it arrive?”
If you go through Google shopping, it’ll say, “arrive in 10 days,” and infrastructure wise it is difficult to get good at logistics for just that package. Then, Amazon says generally 2 days, and maybe Prime same day (or within 24 hours). The logistics just got more difficult. Next, imagine you are in China. JD.com says 6 hours, and that is across all of China. How can your brand deliver?
So brands think they have a problem with distribution now, but it's just going to get tougher to compete as delivery windows shrink and your brand expands internationally. Because if your product gets delivered in 9 days and your competitor delivers in 6 hours, you lost the sale.
If this all seems daunting, the good news is you do not have to be amazing at logistics and fulfillment, you just have to find partners who are. Since Pattern ships from its own warehouses, with a global footprint, you can eliminate a few steps (and days and hours) from production to delivery by avoiding shipping and re-shipping between marketplace’s warehouses then to the customer.
Brands who aren't selling globally yet, or don’t really have it as a focus, will likely struggle to just figure out how to get product into countries. Then, once the product arrives overseas via ship or air, you also have to figure out how to drop ship to the consumer and how to ship your product to mass retail channels (and probably a few more retail outlets, too). In addition, every region provides its own complexities, with its own rules, policies, and traditions, which means your brand needs to become local experts in dozens of countries.
In the process of going global, a brand may choose to work with third party agencies or trading partners, and may dedicate too many resources to launch and succeed in the new market. Pattern works with partners around the world, in small and large markets alike, to put the right controls and strategies in place to make sure the deliveries happen and your brand navigates all local customs, traditions, and policies and avoids brokerage fees, unexpected costs, or extra tariffs.
Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, has the experience and global resources to help your brand handle its distribution challenges ahead. Whether the consumer purchased one unit from Amazon, Walmart, TMall, or another global marketplace, or a wholesaler needs an entire pallet, Pattern has the fulfillment and logistics infrastructure and expertise to deliver within today’s timelines.
Let Pattern take the stress off distribution with fulfillment and logistics so you can continue to see your sales grow.
Contact Us to learn how Pattern will deliver for your brand.
Want to learn more? Watch Dave Wright, Pattern CEO and co-founder, talk more about distribution challenges ecommerce CEOs must solve.
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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.