The Three Phases of Online Marketplace Internationalisation

Misha Pabari

May 26, 2021

Marketplaces have become an increasingly important route to market for brands who want to grow their international online sales. In this blog, we share the three key phases to online marketplace internationalisation that every consumer brand will go through during its journey to full localisation into new markets.

Cross-border online sales have grown significantly in recent years, and the global e-commerce market is forecast to surpass $6 trillion USD by 2024. However, launching in new markets is a complex process which requires expert knowledge and a willingness to invest to reach scale.

Our newly launched Marketplace Internationalisation Checklist highlights what consumer brands need to think about when considering whether marketplaces should be a key channel within their international ecommerce strategies.

Three phases of online marketplace internationalisation

1. Test your demand

Entering new markets however is no easy task. A brand that resonates in its domestic market may not do so in its target market. For this reason, we recommend that brands test for demand in the new market to be sure that customers exist.

A simple way to do this is through cross-border sales via marketplaces. By selling cross-border your products will be readily available in markets that previously might have required a localisation strategy; providing a shortcut to marketplace internationalisation for many brands. 

2. Grow your demand

Once you’ve established that there is demand for your products in your target market, you can begin to increase your profile. Investing in local marketing - while still selling cross-border - is one way to increase sales momentum.

Running local marketing campaigns in your target market with native content can help with demand generation. Engaging with influencers on popular social media channels provides plenty of opportunities for brand awareness and drives customers directly to your sales channels.

3. Full localisation

Finally, localising your proposition is the third phase of online marketplace internationalisation. Create a local entity, local listings on marketplaces and move product to the market to fulfil orders once demand warrants this investment. You may also consider launching a localised direct-to-consumer site or partnering with third-party retailers as a means to full localisation. Many brands who choose to sell their goods via marketplaces often work with an authorised seller to execute this phase of marketplace internationalisation.  

Online Marketplace Internationalisation Checklist

Download our five-step guide to determine if your brand is ready to launch on international marketplaces here.

For more information on how we could support you in developing your international ecommerce strategy, or if you are interested in us becoming the authorised marketplace seller for your brand anywhere in the world please contact us today.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

Sept 29, 2022

How Pricing Changes on Walmart.com Affect Your Brand

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 “Was Price” and Promotional Changes

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.

Promotional Policy Changes

  • 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.

“Was Price” Changes

  • 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).

How to Strategize for Success

1. Plan for Promotions Well in Advance

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. 

2. Keep Pricing Consistent

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.

3. Establish Excellent Brand Control

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.

Find Marketplace Confidence with Pattern

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.

Sept 29, 2022

How Global Soccer Scores with U.S. Shoppers

**How Soccer Leagues & FIFA World Cup Influence U.S. Consumer Demand** In this analysis, Pattern evaluates changes in U.S. consumer demand for soccer products. This report will help uncover: * When are soccer products in highest demand in the U.S.? * Major League Soccer vs. English Football League * Does the FIFA Club World Cup influence consumer demand? * Do FIFA World Cup group announcements impact consumer demand? * Which soccer player jerseys are the most popular among U.S. consumers? * North American players * South American players * European players * How ecommerce retailers can prepare for the World Cup and more The [FIFA World Cup](https://www.fifa.com/tournaments/mens/worldcup/qatar2022) is hosted every four years, and the next tournament will kick off on November 20, 2022. With soccer top-of-mind for many consumers, we thought it would be a great opportunity to evaluate how consumer demand is impacted by soccer events in the U.S., Europe, and globally. To help ecommerce retailers and social media strategists better meet their consumers’ preferences, we also analyzed which player jerseys were the most popular among U.S. Amazon shoppers. **When are Soccer Products in Highest Demand in the U.S.?** Unsurprisingly, consumer demand for soccer products appears to be highest when league-specific events are in play. What is interesting to note, however, is which leagues have the strongest influence on consumer demand. Despite what one may believe, it isn’t North American activity that drives the most demand for U.S. shoppers. **Major League Soccer vs. English Football League** In the U.S., Major League Soccer is the official league for soccer players. Similarly, the English Football League is the official league in the United Kingdom. When comparing change in U.S. consumer demand month over month from 2019 – 2022, we found some noteworthy behaviors. As can be seen in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 charts below, there are moderate increases in consumer demand for soccer balls and jerseys when the Major League Soccer season starts across all years: <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2019" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-Y5KoK" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/Y5KoK/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></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> At the start of the Major League Soccer season in 2019, demand for soccer cleats rose by 43%, demand for soccer balls rose by 38%, and demand for soccer jerseys rose by 28% compared to the month prior. <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2020" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-byv7E" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/byv7E/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></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> Again, at the beginning of the Major League Soccer season in 2020, demand for soccer balls rose by 28%. During this same period, however, interest in soccer cleats and soccer jerseys fell by 46% and 38%, respectively. This is likely due to the fact that the Major League Soccer season’s 2020 start date nearly coincided with the formal announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic. <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2021" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-cBDJT" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/cBDJT/4/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></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 2021, the start of the Major League Soccer season in the U.S. saw a 46% increase in demand for soccer balls and 16% increase in demand for soccer jerseys. However, demand for soccer cleats fell by 24% during this same period. While moderate changes can be observed each year at the start of the Major League Soccer season, even more significant increases can be seen when the English Football League season commences. Here’s how consumer demand was impacted across all three years at the start of the English Foot League season: * **2019:** 47% increase in demand for soccer cleats; 0% increase in demand for soccer balls; 10% decrease in demand for soccer jerseys * **2020:** 54% increase in demand for soccer cleats; 47% increase in demand for soccer balls; 19% increase in demand for soccer jerseys * **2021:** 66% increase in demand for soccer cleats; 38% increase in demand for soccer balls; 40% increase in demand for soccer jerseys Except for 2019, consumer demand for soccer products in all three categories was higher at the start of the English Football League season than at the beginning of the Major League Soccer season. This suggests consumers are more closely following the English soccer season than the American league. **Does the FIFA Club World Cup Influence Consumer Demand?** As aforementioned, the FIFA World Cup occurs once every four years. However, the [FIFA Club World Cup](https://www.fifa.com/tournaments/mens/clubworldcup) is held every year. In 2020, the FIFA Club World Cup was originally planned for December; however, this got postponed until February 2021. As we can observe in the graph below, demand across all three soccer product categories reached their peak for the year during this time: <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2021" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-cBDJT" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/cBDJT/4/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></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> This same trend was not observed during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup tournament. During the timeframe of the tournament from December 11 – 21, 2019, demand across all three soccer product categories was relatively low: <iframe title="Seasonal Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2019" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-d4ECO" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/d4ECO/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></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> Several factors could explain why consumer demand increased coinciding with the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup compared to the 2019 tournament, including: * **Pandemic Worries:** While the global pandemic was not officially announced until March 11, 2020, initial reports on the coronavirus outbreak began in December 2019. Consumers may have been less interested in recreational activities and more focused on the emerging updates coming out of Wuhan, China. * **Tournament Planning:** The 2019 FIFA Club World Cup was formally announced on September 30, 2019 (only about two months from the tournament start date). By contrast, the 2021 tournament was announced in September 2020, originally slated for December 2020, and finally postponed until February 2021. The added anticipation and game delay could have contributed to more buzz around the tournament. * **Seasonality:** Since December marks the height of the basketball season in the U.S., consumers were likely more focused on basketball-related events than on soccer. This could also explain why more consumers were interested in soccer products during the FIFA Club World Cup in 2021 than in 2019. **Do FIFA World Cup Group Announcements Impact Consumer Demand?** We were able to take a look at how U.S. consumer demand changed following the 2022 FIFA World Cup group announcement. As it turns out, U.S. consumers actually experienced decreased demand following the announcement on April 1, 2022: <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2022" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-lX0B6" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/lX0B6/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></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> Since the FIFA World Cup announcement coincided with the end of March Madness and the start of the 2022 National Basketball Association playoffs, this could explain the decreased demand in soccer products among U.S. consumers. **Which Soccer Player Jerseys are the Most Popular?** Our team wanted to see which soccer player jerseys were most popular among U.S. consumers. To find this, we compiled a list of the most searched-for players in North America, South America, and Europe. From there, we tallied up all the searches in each category for all players from 2019 – 2022. Then, we compared the total searches for each individual player to the total for all players in their category. **North American Players** When it comes to soccer player preference for North American players, U.S. consumers have a clear favorite. According to our data, 95% of all searches for North American player-specific soccer jerseys between 2019 – 2022 were for American soccer player, Christian Pulisic. <iframe title="U.S. Consumer Demand for U.S. Soccer Team Member Jerseys 2019 – 2022" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-fBlO2" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/fBlO2/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="255"></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> While Pulisic is an attacking midfielder/winger for the United States national team, he currently plays for the Premier League club Chelsea in the United Kingdom. Since U.S. consumer demand for soccer jerseys is highest at the start of the English Football League season, this could explain Pulisic’s extreme popularity among U.S. shoppers. **South American Players** Consumer preference for South American players is a little less cut-and-dry; however, there is still a clear winner in the category. It turns out that most U.S. consumers (49%) prefer to support Lionel Andrés Messi of Argentina when it comes to South American soccer jerseys. Since many of these players also play in Europe, it makes sense that U.S. shoppers would be more interested in their jerseys than in U.S.-based players: <iframe title="U.S. Consumer Demand for South American Soccer Team Member Jerseys 2019 – 2022" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-0dK9s" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/0dK9s/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="255"></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> **European Players** When observing the top searched-for European players, we were surprised to see that no players from the English Football League appeared at the top. However, there was a clear favorite again in this category for U.S. consumers: Kylian Mbappé. With 88% of total searches for European players, Mbappé’s popularity among U.S. consumers is undeniable: <iframe title="U.S. Consumer Demand for European Soccer Team Member Jerseys 2019 – 2022" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-cIRiH" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/cIRiH/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="279"></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> **How Ecommerce Retailers Can Prepare for the World Cup & More** Understanding how U.S. consumers follow and respond to soccer leagues, both nationally and internationally, is essential for ecommerce retailers to anticipate and satisfy changes in demand. Using this data, online sporting retailers now understand the relationship between higher consumer demand for soccer products and gear to the start of the English Football League season. Empowered with this information, they can plan their supply chain and marketing calendars more effectively, ensuring all inventory, advertising, and customer support needs are met. Here are the top takeaways ecommerce retailers should prepare for based on our knowledge: * While demand is higher during the English Football League season start than the Major League Soccer season start, demand for soccer products is higher than the seasonal average at both times, so prepare accordingly. * The top three most popular soccer player jerseys among U.S. consumers are for Christian Pulisic, Kylian Mbappé, and Lionel Andrés Messi. * The FIFA Club World Cup may also have an impact on soccer product sales, so it’s a good idea to ensure products are well-stocked during this time each year. **If you’re interested in uncovering more data like this to empower your ecommerce strategy, [request a demo](https://pattern.com/contact-us/) from Pattern today!**
Sept 22, 2022

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

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. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

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:

Prioritize Your Success

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.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

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.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

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.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

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.