We don’t need to tell you the importance of differentiating your brand from competitors on ecommerce. More competitors are entering the marketplace each day—Amazon is home to 2.3 million active sellers and Walmart boasted a 97% digital sales growth in Q2 of 2020. If brands aren’t actively focusing on differentiating themselves, they’ll quickly drown in the sea of competitors that are.
The key to differentiating yourself is simple: Data. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement. It’s challenging to access the data that tells you how to set yourself apart. It’s even more challenging to analyze that data. And mastering the plethora of marketing tools and channels that help you adjust your strategy based on the data you’ve analyzed? That’s nearly impossible for brands to do on their own because of the myriad marketplaces, platforms, and softwares they use to manage it all.
Let’s talk about why data is crucial in setting yourself apart in ecommerce and how you can leverage its power to overcome the most common challenges ecommerce marketers face when trying to differentiate themselves from competitors.
At Pattern, we’re data fanatics—and for a good reason. For brands selling on ecommerce, data-driven strategy is the key distinguishing factor between mediocre performance and phenomenal success. Brands that use data make more money and experience significantly more growth and opportunities. It’s as simple as that.
Here’s a few things data can help you do:
When you use data to its full potential, your business is more efficient and effective. You spend less and get more, paying less in advertising and awareness per sale. You may be tempted to think that you can’t afford to incorporate data into your strategy, but the reality is that you can’t afford not to. Data gives you vision, perspective, opportunity, efficiency, and scalability—factors that together lead to more sales, stickier sales, better retention, cross-selling, and, at the end of the day, better margins.
The first challenge marketers face with data is accessing it in the first place, especially considering that Amazon notoriously keeps data close to its chest. You may know how your brand and products fare on Amazon, but little about marketplace trends as a whole.
This is where it can be helpful to work with a partner. Pattern is the 5th largest seller on Amazon, and the sheer quantity of products we sell gives us valuable insights for our partners to apply. We also rely on Predict, our all-in-one ecommerce tracking tool that pulls live data from over 4,000 ecommerce sites each day. Predict helps brands make data-backed decisions when it comes to product listings, advertising, SEO optimization, keyword selection, and much more.
It can also be difficult to know how to interpret and apply data once you’ve accessed it. Even the best marketers can’t possibly know all of the marketing tools and platforms, much less be proficient in them. Processing and analyzing the near-limitless data and information isn’t just a full-time job—it’s a full-time job for a team. This is where Pattern comes in. And the best part? Our team of specialists, who are experts in marketing tools, don’t cost you a dime when you partner with us for free.
Amazon data is certainly insightful, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Data wields the most power when it’s integrated from across different platforms and channels, including marketplaces, search engines, and social media. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Facebook Business Manager are all powerful tools that are too frequently ignored. Using these tools along with the data from Amazon gives you a more complete picture of how your brand is performing and what messages resonate with your customers.
In practice, what does it look like to integrate data? A brand might see, for example, Amazon search trends mirrored on other platforms, like Google, and know that the challenge they’re facing is universal, not platform-specific. They can then set goals to tackle that challenge from all angles. Another brand may notice that a specific ad is overperforming on Facebook, and they can then take that ad’s messaging and imagery and implement it in their Amazon product listing. Pattern has seen amazing results in implementing these strategies.
Building your brand is an oft-overlooked aspect of differentiating your product from competitors. Brands often make the mistake of only focusing on bottom-of-the-funnel marketing, which leads to conversion, while largely forgetting about top-of-the-funnel marketing, which leads to awareness.
Even though conversion is the quickest and easiest result to see, building awareness is just as important. People don’t just buy products anymore—they buy experiences. They want to buy these experiences from brands that they trust, and trust is preceded by familiarity. Brand building drives sales because, without it, people aren’t aware of a brand, much less trusting of it. When people trust a brand, they’re more likely to search for it organically and recommend it to their friends.
Like with all ecommerce marketing decisions, how to build your brand can and should be driven by data. Data can tell you about brand awareness and help you identify the awareness gaps your marketing strategies should be aiming to fill. Like we’ve mentioned before, data can also help you understand your customers and know how to effectively market your product to them.
When you’re building your brand, focus on what your consumers value about your brand and your product. One way we use data in this process is by creating word clouds out of product reviews and taking note of the most commonly praised features. Advertise these features front-and-center in your ads and product description pages.
At Pattern, we’re professionals at addressing the top of the funnel. Our experienced writers, advertisers, and creative team see the bigger picture and know how to manage every aspect of advertising across the funnel. We focus on long-term success, not quick wins, and prioritize sustainability and growth. We want our partners to thrive and grow for years to come, which wouldn’t be possible without advertising to customers at every step in their journey.
Data is the beginning, middle, and end of a successful ecommerce strategy. If you’re not making marketing decisions based on data, your brand is likely performing below its potential. But the good news is that it’s never too late to incorporate more data-driven decisions into your strategy and start reaping the rewards.
Are you ready to differentiate your brand from competitors by leveraging the power of data? That’s Pattern’s specialty, and we’re here to help. Our revolutionary software and specialized teams have the tools and expertise to help you leave your competitors in the dust. Fill out the form below to book a free consultation and get a free demo of our Predict software.
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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.