Elinor Li, Head of Business Unit 1 & Kyle He, Associate Operations Specialist: People of Pattern

Ronald Wu

April 4, 2022

 

Clea Boyd-Eedle

April 4, 2022

At Pattern, we believe our people are integral to our success. With more than 1,170 team members and 10 office locations across the globe, we’re proud to have some of the world’s best and brightest minds working to make Pattern great. Our #People of Pattern series puts a spotlight on our people – their responsibilities, achievements, and why they choose to work at Pattern.

This week we spoke with two members of our China team based in our Guangzhou office - Elinor Li, Head of Business Unit 1, and Kyle He, Associate Operations Specialist. Both joining us in mid-2021, they have leveraged their expertise to make great contributions to our operations in the Chinese market, in particular the selling of health supplements and healthcare products.

Could you tell me a bit about your role and experience working at Pattern?

Elinor: I started working at Pattern last August and am now leading one of the business units in Guangzhou, with healthcare products as my team’s focus. At Pattern, my main responsibility is building sales channels on Chinese local marketplaces for our brand partners. I am also in charge of compliance matters for the products we are selling, engaging with regulators on necessary licenses and documents for products to be on sale.

Kyle: I became a member of Pattern last July. My main responsibility here is to review marketing materials for healthcare products, as developed by my team members. I have pharmacological knowledge, thanks to my education and previous work experience. I ensure the accuracy of those materials in terms of context and highlight the product’s benefits to better resonate with customers. I am also involved in assisting our brand partners with any customs clearance issues. Pattern can help products move through customs quickly by explaining the product’s ingredients to the agents.

Why do you choose to work at Pattern?

Elinor: The great potential to grow is the main reason I chose to work at Pattern, as I saw its management team’s agility in running the business and thorough understanding of the Chinese market. Before Pattern, I worked at several state-owned enterprises, and worked with some global names in the pharmaceutical industry. I can tell Pattern’s flat organisational structure is the best fit for ecommerce nature, as it offers swiftness. For example, my team was requested by Tmall for a price adjustment on some product listings on the eve of Singles’ Day 2021. None of my previous workplaces would be able to accommodate such a short-notice request. Here, the leadership culture and organisational structure encourage fast reaction, allowing me and my team to tackle the challenge successfully.

Another thing I recognise is Pattern’s global expansion strategy. Most of our Chinese local competitors can only serve foreign brands with local offices in China. We are on the upper hand but Pattern, with the active collaboration among its talents in major markets around the globe, can provide professional service to clients in the same time zone and the same language.

Kyle: I graduated from a pharmaceutical university in China and was then hired at a state-run science academy. Under the leadership of a renowned scholar, I worked on research and development, production, marketing, amongst other responsibilities, for healthcare products and health supplements. It was an enlightening experience, but my development was hindered by the bureaucracy, due to the organisation’s complex structure and excessive regulations. I saw delivering concrete results as my sole purpose at the job. I eventually made up my mind to leave the private sector, striving for a more agile workplace to turn my knowledge into actions. At Pattern, I am pleased to contribute my expertise to a company that yields remarkable, tangible results.

What’s the most rewarding part of working at Pattern?

Elinor: Pattern has the ideal environment for me to fully exert my experience in the healthcare and ecommerce industries, as well as my bilingual communication skills in Chinese and English. What I enjoy most is the autonomy at work. Take the building of sales channels as an example. In my previous workplaces, I was expected to follow established rules, with narrow room to experiment with my ideas, even though I was in senior executive positions. Here, I have plenty of chances and sufficient trust and autonomy to plan, endeavour and execute the strategies I develop with my team. That’s exactly what I strive for in my career – to prove my capabilities in a fast-paced environment.

Kyle: My motivation at work is boosted greatly by Pattern’s workplace culture, particularly the close collaboration with team members that I never experienced at my previous workplaces. The lack of teamwork undermined efficiency, and eventually, those who were originally keen on delivering concrete business results became unmotivated. I am also grateful for having ample opportunities to extend my knowledge beyond my pharmacological profession. Since working with the ecommerce veterans here, I have learned a lot about doing ecommerce and data analytics. I have started applying these new skills to complement my original profession, trying to understand how consumers receive and interpret product information from another perspective. I trust that this new skill set is greatly beneficial to my future development in the ecommerce industry.

Why would you recommend working at Pattern?

Elinor: Pattern is an ideal place for people who are creative, capable, and willing to push themselves. Our workplace culture encourages discussion and exchange of ideas on an equal footing, which is not common among local companies. In traditional Chinese companies, it is the leaders who make the decision, while the team members simply execute their given orders. I am proud to see all Pattern’s people be so passionate about the work we do. We are happy to have autonomy at work that allows us to think, endeavour and implement what we want to achieve.

I also appeal to those who want to train themselves to the highest standard of ecommerce to join Pattern. We are setting the standard for how to form a partnership with foreign brands. We know some ecommerce agencies focus on results only. They overlook necessary and transparent communication with their brand partners. We always attach great importance to integrity when working with our partners. It is proven by not only the detailed and credible reports we provided, but also our enthusiasm to assist them to understand the market landscape and regulatory regime in China.

Kyle: The strategic mind and respect for knowledge of Pattern’s leaders make our company recommendable. I am delighted to see at that variety of talents are brought together to form a highly cooperative team. I know the young Chinese generation desires workplaces that offer reasonable autonomy at work and work-life balance – that’s exactly what Pattern offers. On the other hand, these innovative and energetic minds are essential for us to stand out from the fast-paced, ever-changing ecommerce market in China.

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Improve Your Amazon Advertising Strategy With One Simple Metric: True RoAS
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Improve Your Amazon Advertising Strategy With One Simple Metric: True RoAS

The purpose of advertising on Amazon is simple: increase traffic and conversions. But the approach to get those conversions is not always so simple. Your Amazon advertising strategy is based on current ad data and performance results such as your return on ad spend (RoAS). 

At a minimum, your RoAS number tells you how well you’re maximizing your ad spend. The problem is the RoAS you’re getting from Amazon or an advertising agency isn’t always accurate. 

As a top 3P seller on Amazon, Pattern helps brands improve their Amazon advertising strategy and results by providing them with one simple metric: true RoAS.

Understanding True RoAS

To understand why true RoAS is helpful to brands, you need to understand how Amazon and other agencies calculate and present your RoAS.

The key to growing your brand and maximizing your ad spend is to drive incremental traffic, rather than cannibalizing what has already taken place. For example, if you are selling probiotics, and paying for sponsored ads to win the keyword “probiotics for women”, but also organically ranked in the top results with the same keyword, that’s cannibalization. The RoAS score you would receive from Amazon includes that level of cannibalism, which inflates the number, causing you to pay more on ad spend. The best ads drive incremental growth instead of cannibalizing organic sales. 

At Pattern, we’ve created the acceleration software to make sure brands are getting their “true RoAS”. Pattern’s patented tool applies artificial intelligence to advertising to maximize incremental growth or true return on investment. 

Our software helps brands optimize their efforts by providing live and updated information on where your brand is not organically ranking, and what you should be paying for. If your ranking improves in one area, the ad spend will automatically decrease for those words or phrases until the software detects a drop in ranking, signaling that your ad spend should go up again. This dynamic monitoring of ad spend will help you maximize incremental growth and improve your RoAS.

Improve Your Amazon Ad Strategy with Pattern

Knowing your true RoAS is key to improving your Amazon performance. Advertising agencies and marketplace account managers often give you an inaccurate RoAS ratio or value, which only incentivizes you to spend more on advertising, ultimately increasing revenue for the agencies and/or marketplaces.

At Pattern, a 3P partner on Amazon and other marketplaces, we view our brands just as that: a partnership. When you win, we win. You succeed on Amazon by maximizing your ad spend and we have the data and resources to help you do just that. Accurate, transparent data and reporting will help improve your advertising strategy to drive more traffic to and conversions on your products. 

Ready to finally get your true RoAS? Contact us.   

Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears
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Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears

**Instrument Pricing Changes Tune Amid Record Inflation** Compared to 2022, consumers should expect to pay more for musical instruments, but the rate of inflation shows signs of slowing. **The backstory:** America’s most popular musical instruments saw a notable price increase in 2022 compared to 2021, but the rate of inflation eased in Q4 ’22. **Why it matters:** Slowing inflation within this product category could indicate economic pressures like increased demand, rising labor costs, and supply chain disruptions are easing across the consumer landscape. **What we’re seeing:** The average cost of musical instruments increased 7.5% from 2021 – 2022; however, when analyzing individual increases year over year, some instruments saw price increases as high as 21%. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Instruments — 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-02Lwk" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/02Lwk/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="379" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * Trombones experienced a 21.73% increase compared to 2021 * Trumpets +20.08% * Flutes +18.6% * Recorders +16.13% * Saxophones +13.63% * Clarinets +10.55% * Drums +5.41% * Ukuleles +5.17% **However:** Inflation among these same instruments was significantly less in Q4 ’22 compared to Q4 ’21. In some cases, prices decreased from Q4 ’21 – Q4 ‘22: <iframe title="Price Change for Instruments — Q4 2022 vs. Q4 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-6X6GZ" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6X6GZ/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="379" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * Trombones +11.23% * Flutes +10.41% * Saxophones +5.94% * Clarinets +5.59% * Trumpets +3.10% * Recorders +2.85% * Drums -2.59% * Ukuleles -8.46% **Moreover:** Certain instruments saw inflation reverse in 2022. On average, prices for melodicas, guitars, and violas saw their prices decrease by 4.41%, 3.19%, and 0.97%, respectively. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Instruments — 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-0Tefk" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/0Tefk/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="259" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **Diving Deeper:** Inflation was more significant when comparing Q4 ’21 to Q4 ’20 than when comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, indicating a slowing down of price increases for consumers. <iframe title="YOY Q4 Price Change for Instruments — 2020 – 2022" aria-label="Stacked Bars" id="datawrapper-chart-p6iqt" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/p6iqt/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="206" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * In Q4 ’21, average prices for all instruments were up 8.89% compared to Q4 ’20. * When comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, the average price for all instruments only increased by 2.65%. **The takeaway:** While consumers should expect to pay higher prices for instruments this year, overall inflation impact within this product category appears to be slowing down. With National Ukulele Day coming up on February 2, now is a great time for ecommerce brands to take advantage of slowing economic worries and reach new consumers. * Want Pattern’s data science team to power your brand with consumer insights like these? Contact us to [request more information](https://pattern.com/contact-us/) today.

Slowing Inflation? What Musical Instrument Pricing Tells Us
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Slowing Inflation? What Musical Instrument Pricing Tells Us

It’s safe to say consumers and brands alike are eager for a change to the pattern of rising inflation, steadily increasing in many ecommerce categories . Pattern’s internal team’s data scientists analysis of instrument pricing shows a glimmer of hope that inflation may be slowing, which would be great news for brands selling online.

At Pattern, we’re interested in and monitoring trends and news related to pricing since price is a key factor in a brand’s profitability (as explained in the Ecommerce Equation). When brands are able to optimize their price, conversions, and traffic, they can optimize their profitability. And profitability leads to better allocation of resources, better brand control, and gives leaders the ability to expand their presence to new markets worldwide.

YoY Instrument Pricing Increased at a Slower Pace

When analyzing the pricing changes of instruments from 2021 to 2022, our teams found that prices increased, but at a slower rate than from 2020 to 2021.

As shown below, the year over year Q4 changes show quite a lower rate of increase.

Inflation Improvements Raise Profitability

Because inflation impacts online shopping behaviors, lower inflation can lead to better overall profitability for brands. This idea, of course, is nuanced, but Pattern’s Ecommerce Equation can help illustrate the general principle.

When inflation rises, consumers change their spending habits. Shoppers spend more time researching products, forego premium, higher-priced brands, and buy more in bulk. Brands tend to see a loss of loyalty as they’re forced to raise prices.

Price is a key variable in the Ecommerce Equation: price x conversion x traffic = profitability. As inflation lowers, brands can expect better performance in all of these areas—more traffic as spending habits return to normal, higher conversion from returning customers, and price that better fits consumer demand. As inflation lowers and these variables stabilize, brands will see profitability increase.

Raise Your Profitability with Pattern

As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern is obsessed with gathering data that helps our brand partners succeed. We’ve created best-in-class technology, models, and analytics to understand changes on the horizon and inform our decisions. With an incredible team of data obsessed Pattern employees, we see what makes the difference in truly great ecommerce performance and apply those learnings for brand partners. 

Ready to improve your profitability? Contact us here.