Your ecommerce team is a skilled group of individuals who know strategy and online sales like the backs of their hands. That’s why you hired them—they know their stuff. Your ecommerce team is also something else: overworked.
Caught up in the minutiae of managing an online brand, many ecommerce teams like yours are failing to realize their full potential. They’re getting bogged down with the task of putting out fires and managing too many ecosystems, platforms, and marketplaces at once when they should be creating innovative solutions and growth for your business. While this might not seem like a big problem initially, it will eventually burn up both your talent and your profits.
Ecommerce is a far bigger animal than it used to be, and many brand leaders aren’t as equipped to wrangle it as they think they are. Ecommerce doesn’t just involve creating and managing a D2C website anymore. It involves working with various sales platforms, live chats, SEO, advertising and marketing, social media, shipping logistics, marketplaces like Amazon or Walmart, online listings, MAP pricing, price control, and more. Brands finding the most success in ecommerce aren’t only managing all of these areas well, but they’re hitting it out of the park across multiple channels. That takes a lot of time and resources.
A small ecommerce team can’t manage all of these things on their own. No matter how talented they might be, something will always slip through the cracks, and too many CEOs make the burden worse by not realizing the breadth of the issue. As a brand leader, you stifle your ecommerce team’s ability to give you strategic direction and innovation by giving them too many things to do and not enough support or resources to do it. It’s crucial that you have the right priorities in order to maximize their potential.
Your end goals are to have innovation that beats the competition, create awesome new products that bring your customers joy, and grow your market share and revenue bigger than ever. But how do you do that without undermining what your ecommerce team is already doing? The easy answer is to give them more resources, but providing more resources can get spendy and eliminate any long-term growth in profit you’re trying to achieve.
Your team might be pro at D2C, but not well-versed in advertising or social media. You might hire out an agency to take care of these elements of your brand instead. Most brands opt for this route to give themselves more air and expertise. While a good agency can free up time for ecommerce teams to nail down better a better strategy and get more creative, not all agencies are created equal. Agency costs can pile up quickly if you're not careful. And if you choose a bad egg, suddenly the freed up time is now partially spent managing, communicating, and correcting the agency.
An agency can cost thousands of dollars every single month, and you might be paying that amount for several years based on what kind of contract you sign. That’s only for one agency. Think about how much you’ll be paying if you have to hire multiple agencies to cover different parts of your business. It’s quite a bit of change.
The bad news is that almost every other option for your business is either going to increase your costs or not free up the time your ecommerce team needs. You’ll either have to pour funds into training your team on different systems, platforms, and subjects to expand their expertise, which still doesn’t give them more time to get everything done, or you’ll need to hire more personnel, which will still cost you more.
If hiring is your solution, you’ll continue to find that your ecommerce team will need to expand faster than your profits grow in order to tap every new market and speciality. Any way you shake it, that sweet spot of growing your business, making a profit, and brand innovation is going to be hard to come by.
Your best bet to get there is a 3P partnership with Pattern.
At Pattern, we help you build an omni-channel powerhouse from the ground up so that you can save on costs, improve your brand equity, and become a more profitable business. One of the ways we do this is by breaking bad cycles and eliminating all of the pressure points that get in the way of your ecommerce team finding creative solutions for your business and doing the things they love.
We don’t require any monthly fees or costs, we just buy your inventory—no strings attached. Those piled up agency fees? Gone. Those stretched thin and stressed out ecommerce teams? Gone. Those ecommerce dumpster fires that there isn’t enough time in the day to douse? All of them are eliminated with a partnership with Pattern. We help you clean up your channels and listings, win big and save money on keyword advertising, build and maintain your brand presence across multiple marketplaces, control your pricing, and cover all of your shipping and packaging needs. We’re a bit like a one stop shop for ecommerce: We give you access to every tool you need to improve.
With your biggest ecommerce obstacles out of the way, your team has the space it needs to build sharper strategies for your brand and get creative on innovation. They can finally do what you hired them to do: Make your brand sing. Pattern provides the resources to help them do that, too.
Our Pattern Predict software helps us provide our brand partners with unique insights and data analysis about each corner of their business. We can show you which keywords you’ll find the most or least success on, what is and isn’t working with your marketing, where price erosion is happening on your products, how you can win the Buy Box on Amazon, how you can thrive on new marketplaces like Walmart, and how you can improve your product design based on what your customers are saying. We get you the data and the support, and your team gets you the strategy and the solutions.
At Pattern, we pay you first, not the other way around, and we help you save big on all those pesky fees and costs you’d typically spend for your ecommerce team. Your incentives are our incentives, and we’re stoked to make your brand’s potential a reality.
Reach out for a demo of our services and to learn more about what a potential Pattern partnership could look like with your brand.
Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.
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.