Looking to grow your global ecommerce presence? Going global may be a daunting task for brands—it’s difficult to align and build out marketplace teams, understand the nuances of different regions, gather the right resources, and establish a logistics process that works for your brand. For these reasons and many others, brands are either hesitant to fully embrace a global strategy or try to move forward without the right support, wasting significant resources and likely pulling out of regions later.
So, what are brands to do? Our first recommendation is to find a global ecommerce expert like Pattern to partner with. With the right teams, resources, and knowledge, an effective marketplace partner can guide you through the process in a way that will yield long-term success.
Whether you’re working with an ecommerce accelerator like Pattern or taking a different approach to expansion, one of the best ways to start the process is to test your products’ performance in stages through Amazon’s global market. Here’s how we recommend proceeding:
FBA export is an easy way to test international interest in your products. There’s no extra cost to enroll, no product registration required, no localized pricing, and Amazon helps you throughout the process. They’ll work with you to determine which products are a good fit, then handle fulfillment, import duty, customs clearance, and logistics when customers purchase from you.
It’s good to keep in mind that there are a couple of drawbacks to the FBA export strategy—products aren’t listed on local Amazon storefronts (like Amazon.co.uk), and are ineligible for Prime shipping.
Most brands are pre-enrolled in FBA export, but you can manage your participation at any time, as well as disable certain countries to narrow your testing focus. Overall, it’s an easy, low-risk option to test international demand, and could pair well with strategy tests like country-specific social campaigns before you decide to move forward with a full-fledged regional brand launch.
If you’d like to take your international presence to the next level, selling your products through Amazon’s Global Store is a great option. This is different from using FBA export because orders are fulfilled by your U.S.-based merchant, you’ll have the support of dedicated inventory, and your products get localized listings on Amazon’s international sites.
Selling on the Amazon Global Store allows your brand to gain access to local customers without having to register your products. You get the advantage of in-region advertising and SEO optimization, with local customer support, too. By selling on the Amazon Global Store, you can get a better sense of demand for your products and ramp up your strategy without spending the money to fully establish a local presence.
If you’re looking to extend your Amazon reach, this could be a solution for your brand. The drawbacks are—since your products are being shipped from the U.S., your fulfillment process will take longer and your customers will need to pay for higher shipping costs.
If selling on Amazon’s Global Store is going well and you’re confident in your products’ performance in your target regions, you’re ready to set up a true Amazon local presence. This levels up your strategy up from step 2 with in-region Amazon fulfillment and fast shipping, allowing you to be more competitive with other players on Amazon’s international storefronts.
At this stage, you’re fully invested in your regional consumers and ready to optimize your product performance for traffic, conversions, and price to fully ramp up your revenue potential. You’ll want to consider that you’ll need to go through product registration with a full Amazon local presence, and you’ll be responsible for all of the taxes, duties, and tariffs that apply to your products.
For U.S.-based brands with great performance on Amazon, testing product viability in global markets is a great way to grow and increase revenue. At Pattern, we’ve helped many brands expand internationally, and we know from experience that the best way to approach global expansion is to have the right resources, strategy, and support in place before you do so. As a Pattern partner, we’ll help you analyze your regional competitive landscape, set up a strategic and integrated fulfillment plan, and guide your brand through the process from start to finish.
Ready for global ecommerce success? Set up a call with us here.
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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.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.