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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Walmart.com has announced important changes regarding the “Was Price” and promotions on the digital marketplace. These updates make it more important than ever to optimize your price through implementing proper strategies, controlling your distribution channels, and being intentional about your pricing strategy.
And, as with all digital marketplaces, succeeding on Walmart.com requires performing well in all areas of The Ecommerce Equation. Which means as you optimize your listings’ pricing, as well as traffic, conversions, and availability, your revenue increases.
Pattern has the resources ecommerce brands need to optimize on marketplaces for each factor in the ecommerce equation. We have the technology and strategists to help you improve your traffic, the brand dedication and passion to help you achieve greater conversions, connections to econtrol specialists who help brands regain marketplace control, and the data you need to be able to make smart forecasting decisions for better product availability.
Below, we’ll cover how Walmart.com’s recent platform changes impact ecommerce brands’ ability to drive traffic and conversions for their products and how to strategize around them to work best in your brand’s favor. But first, let’s go over the changes themselves.
Walmart.com’s newest changes reflect their mission to be the leader in low, everyday pricing. Therefore, Walmart’s customers come to the platform and expect low prices no matter what. Overall, these updates give consumers more visibility into the value they’re experiencing and hold brands more accountable in the pricing information they display.
Due to Walmart’s updates, in order for your products to qualify for a strikethrough and show “Reduced Price” or “Clearance” flags on Walmart.com, your product’s promotion must be at least 10% off the “Was Price.” (Note: “Reduced Price” is the most common type of badging. Your teams can request this badge when filling out promotion upload files.)
To specifically qualify for “Clearance,” the product needs to be discontinued and no longer replenished after selling through the remaining inventory.
Although “Rollback” is sometimes seen on site, it is a form of 1P-only badging.
Walmart now prohibits promotions lasting longer than 365 days.
Walmart’s “Was Price” was previously loosely defined and manually inputted on Walmart.com as an MSRP. Now, stricter rules are in place with regulations in the broader market to encourage enforcement and protect consumers.
The “Was Price” is now defined by these terms on Walmart:
Either the 90-day median price paid by customers for the item on Walmart.com (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance);
Or the median price offered by Walmart or Marketplace sellers for the item on Walmart.com for at least 28 out of the last 90 days (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance).
To protect your “Was Price” from price erosion, be intentional when planning promotions. To be most effective in your promotion, you’ll want to be able to give your customers a large enough discount to qualify for the slash-through and reduced price badging.
Without the right pricing strategy in place, your products are in danger of falling into deeper and deeper discounting as you chase the ability to achieve slash-throughs and proper badging. Without the slash-throughs and badging, you’ll lose the ability to easily communicate the increased value of your product and the traffic and conversions you’re trying to earn by running the promotion in the first place.
It’s important to keep your products’ prices as steady as possible to protect your promotion periods. As you prevent high-low price fluctuations, you’ll be able to use slash-through prices and promotional badges like “Reduced Price” and “Clearance” to your advantage in driving better traffic and conversions for your listings.
Without the ability to display badging, a promotion falls flat even if the price has been dropped. With steady pricing over time, you’ll be able to keep a stable “Was Price” and ultimately enjoy more rewarding promotional periods long-term.
It’s important to remember that the “Was Price” policy also applies to 1P and other 3P sellers representing your products on Walmart.com. Unfortunately, your other strategies will be ineffective if other sellers are breaking your MAP policy or playing the high-low price game. So, it’s more important than ever for brands to be conscious of their distribution channels and keep rogue and unauthorized sellers in check.
By allowing Pattern to be the authorized seller of your brand’s products and working with Vorys eControl law firm to eliminate rogue sellers, you can be confident in creating and executing a powerful selling strategy on Walmart.com and other digital marketplaces. As a 3P seller partner, Pattern is truly invested in our partners’ success, we’ll help you to create and execute a strategy that truly prioritizes the long-term performance of your products on digital marketplaces.
Contact us today to learn more about the changes on Walmart.com and how you can optimize your performance.
If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.