Ecommerce Accelerator vs. Agency: What Makes Them Different?

Akta Bavalia

November 29, 2022

ecommerce acclerator vs agency

Ecommerce accelerators are taking the industry by storm, and catapulting brands to new successes.  But, since an ecommerce accelerator is a third party relationship, isn’t an ecommerce accelerator actually just another agency on a brand’s roster?

While the two sound similar, ecommerce agencies focus more heavily on providing services and deliverables within a specific scope of work and time period in exchange for payment, while ecommerce accelerators lean into full-fledged partnership, helping grow brands in exchange for a share of profits.

As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern partners with brands to provide the technology, expertise, and resources brands need to grow revenue and profits across marketplaces around the world.  And, unlike other accelerators or agencies, Pattern invests even deeper in each opportunity by taking stock in a brand’s inventory.

Ecommerce Agency vs. Ecommerce Accelerator

Agencies Provide Deliverables

Ecommerce agencies work for your brand to provide a variety of services.  From marketplace SEO to product photography, agencies are contracted to provide a set period of support and/or a number of specialized deliverables.  By taking things like content creation, listing optimization, and reporting analysis off of your plate, agencies allow your brand to focus on other important aspects of your ecommerce business.

However, agencies have their downsides. A scope of work usually includes a flat agency fee, or retainer, aka the benefit of working with them, as well as variable costs.  Plus, the “unexpected costs” like creative shoots, overages, and rush fees.  Because agencies are often paid for work completed and not results achieved (for instance, media agencies are typically paid on a percentage of total ad spend) your goals aren’t always aligned.

Hiring a handful of different, specialized agencies only makes aligning a brand’s marketplace goals even harder since each agency is working with its own data and providing siloed reporting.  Having a bloated agency roster typically means that the tech stacks do not integrate or even talk to one another. By working with one team for advertising, another for graphic design, yet another for customer service, and the list goes on, your ecommerce team is left piecing together the different results to identify new opportunities and create one holistic strategy.

Ecommerce agencies help alleviate some of the stress on your team, but can create more work connecting the data to the larger business strategy, wasted time going back-and-forth on approvals and processes, and may require more investment in technology to integrate the disparate reports.

Accelerators Provide Partnership

Like an agency, an accelerator is a third party that works with your brand to provide the expertise and resources you need to optimize for marketplaces and ecommerce opportunities.   But unlike an agency, an accelerator buys your inventory and works side-by-side with you to grow your brand and is a one-stop shop for an entire marketplace solution.

Ecommerce accelerators have the same services and capabilities like listing copy, product imagery, and data and analytics that both relieve your ecommerce team and drive traffic to and conversion for a product. But accelerators have the scale go a step further and full-service resources to provide every step along the way like customer support, inventory forecasting, warehouse storage, packaging product bundles, shipping logistics, and more.   All without surcharges, separate fees, or hidden costs.

Accelerators provide these services under one roof. No more disparate data or disconnected strategies. Ecommerce accelerators can help you optimize your marketplace offering from start to finish, and help you understand how each aspect (inventory, SEO, promotions, etc.) affect the others.

At Pattern, we accelerate your brand by buying your product inventory, helping you optimize for sales, getting orders to customers, and finding actionable insights along the way to enhance the process going forward. As an extension of your ecommerce team, we don’t succeed unless you do, helping us get aligned from day one.

Accelerators—A Long-Term Solution for Brands

While agencies may relieve some pressure and provide expert advice on one specific area of your ecommerce business, accelerators partner with your brand, taking on the workload to drive your revenue. Agencies want you to succeed, but accelerators rely on your success, instantly aligning accelerators to growing your brand.

A leading ecommerce accelerator, Pattern takes stake in your inventory and provides the resources and technology needed to accelerate ecommerce growth and drive profitable revenue on marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Tmall, and beyond.

Want to streamline your agency roster? Set up a meeting now.

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