Why & How to Use Social Selling in APAC

Misha Pabari

December 20, 2021

We’ve previously written about brands using livestreaming techniques as part of their Tmall marketing strategy, to build awareness in the Chinese market. In this blog, we’ll outline how other South East Asian markets are following in China’s footsteps and realizing the importance of social selling in APAC.

Maximize your brand’s discoverability

Customer acquisition marketing costs can be high when you first enter a new market. For all brands looking to internationalize through marketplaces, we recommend establishing brand awareness in the target market via social channels, along with advertising on the marketplaces themselves. Livestreaming content can be used to promote your products in several ways; both to engage those who are already aware of your brand, and also to help consumers discover your brand and products for the first time.

Livestreaming has been adopted by marketplaces across the APAC region. Tmall, JD.com, Lazada and Shopee have all developed livestreaming platforms and reported uplifts in usage during 2020; particularly during lockdowns when stores were closed.

How social selling in APAC works

Your trade partner should have their own presenters on staff, who can present your products on livestream shows that are dedicated to your brand. This can help you to educate and convert customers who already have awareness of your brand.

You may also work with influencers (called KOLs or key opinion leaders) to showcase your products to their followers and extend your reach. We’ve successfully used livestreaming platforms to engage and convert customers in China, and the same techniques can work in South East Asia too.

Collaborating with KOLs and micro-influencers

While the most well-known KOLs can have millions of followers they are also extremely expensive. If you are prepared to pay for their involvement, then you can work with more widely known KOLs to feature your products on a livestream and drive thousands of purchases during the stream.

Alternatively, some brands opt to work with micro-influencers with expertise in their category instead. This can be an extremely effective way of engaging smaller audiences who are most likely to purchase your products.

But collaborating with KOLs and micro-influencers should not be restricted to just livestreaming content—social selling in APAC can expand further to content on other offline marketing channels including Douyin (Tiktok), WeChat, and RED, ensuring that you have the optimal marketing mix in place for your brand.

Optimize your social selling strategy with Pattern

Competition for brand awareness in the Asia Pacific region is fierce, and international brands should be prepared to invest enough in marketing when preparing for a successful launch. When used effectively, social selling techniques in APAC can help your brand to engage and retain customers.

Download our Influencer Marketing Report to learn more about how brands can use influencers to acquire new customers on marketplace such as Tmall, Shopee and Lazada.

Or you can Contact us today to discuss how we could support your marketplace sales in APAC, or resolve other marketplace challenges you’re facing.

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Aug 10, 2022

Pattern Increases American Pet Brand Tmall Sales by 500%

American Pet Brand, one of the largest manufacturers of electronic pet training products in the U.S., had entered into the China market and, after a few years, established an impressive level of brand awareness in the country.  Content with their level of success in China, the brand was cruising on Tmall without much support. 

However, without investing in their brand growth and maintaining a competitive edge with advertising on Tmall, sales slowed down and their social media engagement with customers became idle. The brand was left trying to figure out how to regain its momentum.

After a year of flailing, American Pet Brand realized they could not do it alone and partnered with Pattern to redirect its trajectory on Tmall. Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, provided the global expertise and resources the brand needed to regain control and succeed on Tmall.

Pattern Developed and Executed a Brand Creative Strategy 

Building from a strong brand foundation in one of the world’s largest ecommerce markets, Pattern’s experts:  

1. Focused on Brand Image across Advertising and Marketing

Pattern’s China experts worked with the brand to reactivate the existing customer base and attract new customers through a series of marketing activities. Using proprietary technology and data-driven insights, Pattern developed and launched advertising campaigns to drive both traffic and conversion to its listings. 

Additionally, the brand launched influencer marketing campaigns that heavily revolved around Key Opinion Leader (KOL) and Key Opinion Consumer (KOC) campaigns. With the extra validation from key voices in the market, increased the reach of and American Pet Brand profile.  

2. Updated Product Listings to Optimize Tmall Presence for All Products

Pattern experts helped the brand optimize the Tmall store set up, design, and customer service support. The increase of customer support is essential to gain a competitive edge on Tmall.  Primarily because positive customer experiences improve a brand’s Detailed Seller Rank (DSR), and is crucial if you want to ensure that one-time purchasers of your brand are converted into repeat purchasers.  Together, these improvements provided for a global increase in customer experience satisfaction.

3. Re-established Seller Control with a New Reseller Cooperation Arrangement, including Marketing Terms

Pattern’s team worked with the brand to set and execute a new reseller cooperation arrangement that invited resellers to purchase through the official channel with better control of pricing, discount, content, and marketing messages.

Creative Refresh Leads to 500% Sales Growth on Tmall

Together with Pattern’s China experts, American Pet Brand was able to achieve incredible results:

  • 500% sales growth in only 3 months

  • Successfully reactivated the customer base and existing resellers with effective, consistent, and focused marketing campaigns

  • Increased brand awareness from social marketing activities, which also increased engagement 

Pattern Drives Revenue on Tmall and Beyond

Working together with the American Pet Brand team, Pattern revived the brand and redirected its sales trajectory on Tmall. The quick sales success showcases that by focusing an ecommerce strategy on key brand and advertising components that drive traffic and conversion, a brand will grow its profitability on global marketplaces.

Looking to succeed on Tmall and beyond?  Contact Us.

Aug 9, 2022

The Ecommerce Equation: 4 Levers CEOs Use to Drive Marketplace Revenue

Developing your ecommerce strategy for digital marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Tmall, and Alibaba gets complicated fast—there’s a lot to think about, including marketplace SEO, product photography, advertising tactics, disjointed sellers, distribution logistics, managing ratings and reviews, and more. It can be overwhelming for brands, especially those with small teams, to know which behaviors to optimize for for the highest gains in profitability.

The good news? Revenue performance all comes down to data. Pattern was built on a data science approach to ecommerce success. We find the patterns that drive profitability, then apply them to boost our brand partners’ revenue on ecommerce channels.

And a key pattern we follow for all brands on digital marketplaces is the ecommerce equation: revenue = traffic x conversions x price x availability. As brands zero in on these four pieces of the equation, they can simplify and focus their efforts to reach truly profitable ecommerce growth. 

1. Drive Traffic to Products

The first part of the equation is traffic—you need to get people to see your listings if you want to generate sales. There are two ways to drive traffic to your products: through organic search and paid search. Striking the right balance between both for your brands is crucial to driving enough of the right traffic to your products, ultimately increasing your ecommerce revenue.

Knowing this, Pattern provides the resources and technology needed to drive traffic to your product listings. Our brand management team, advertising specialists, and SEO technicians work in harmony to create a unified strategy to boost your brand’s organic profile and balance that with a paid advertising approach that works for your brand and listings.

Using this method, we took Feetures socks from ranking on longer-tail terms like “no show athletic socks black” to driving traffic on parent keywords like “no show socks.”

2. Create Content that Converts

Getting customers to your product listing is only half the battle. Once on your listing, you need customers to convert. Conversion is key to the ecommerce equation because it leads to real product purchases and revenue. Traffic without conversion leads to more time and ad spend without the ROI.

Optimizing your images, product description, bulleted details, customer reviews, and buy box performance is key to successful conversion. If you’re going to spend time and effort driving traffic, you should make sure customers can easily and clearly find what they’re looking for when they arrive at your listing.

While your imagery and descriptions are important, you also need to build customer trust to drive conversions. Studies show that your customer service efforts matter too—84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends, making strong reviews an important factor of conversion on marketplaces.

The good news is as you provide a quality product and a great marketplace experience, you’ll build brand equity, increasing your customer loyalty. Then, as your reputation, reviews, and traffic grow positively, marketplace algorithms will recognize your popularity and improve your rank accordingly. Rank drives both traffic and conversions, helping you to optimize your performance further. As your brand equity grows, your conversions will continue to grow with it.

3. Control Your Price

While setting a strategic price is an important step in your ecommerce strategy, it takes more than that to truly control your price on marketplaces. 

Without proper control and with wide distribution, your product could end up in the hands of disjointed sellers who lower your marketplace price to sell their inventory and make quick profits. With one seller lowering price online, other authorized sellers and retail partners are forced to lower their price to compete, creating price erosion and sending your brand down the profitability death spiral.

This Death Spiral damages brand equity, hurts conversions, and can lead to Buy Box Suppression on Amazon, hindering traffic as well. And as prices get lower and lower, your profit margin withers away, decreasing your overall revenue.

Using our data-driven insights and Pattern’s eControl partner Vorys, we help brands implement narrow distribution, identify and take-down unauthorized sellers, eliminate price erosion, and control their price online. Focusing on price control, Pattern helped LifeSeasons, a premium supplement company, take back 91% control of the Buy Box on Amazon.

Download the LifeSeasons 1-Page Case Study Here

4. Optimize Your Product Availability

The last piece of the ecommerce equation is availability. It makes sense to think of availability as a contributing factor in conversion, but we felt that it’s important enough to call out on its own—you can fully optimize your traffic, conversion, and price, but without availability, you can’t grow revenue for your brand.

A lack of availability leads to stock outs, losing conversions to competitors, losing possession of the buy box, poor customer reviews, a decrease in traffic…the list goes on. The best-performing brands on ecommerce digital marketplaces optimize their availability with high-end technology, optimize their cash on hand, and inventory time on hand to keep the ecommerce equation powered and optimized in their favor.

How Pattern Drives Revenue Using the Ecommerce Equation

Pattern is committed to  solving the ecommerce equation. We partner with brands to provide the expertise, resources, and technology needed to drive traffic, create content that converts, protect price, maintain availability, and ultimately accelerate ecommerce revenue and profitable growth. 

Interested in improving the results of your ecommerce equation? Schedule a call.

Aug 8, 2022

Global Insights: Spotlight on Amazon in Emerging Markets

We have analyzed Amazon in emerging markets compared to countries where it has already achieved dominance, following its reported growth of 22% between [2020](https://www.marketplacepulse.com/articles/amazon-gmv-in-2020) and [2021](https://www.marketplacepulse.com/articles/amazon-gmv-reached-600-billion-in-2021). Pattern’s [Amazon Consumer Insights Report 2022](https://info.pattern.com/amazon-consumer-insights-report-2022) has highlighted some interesting insights into the similarities and differences in the ways Amazon is used across 17 different countries. We carried out research on various macroeconomic indicators and data related to Amazon usage in each country to better understand the key factors that determine the suitability of the markets. In this blog we outline the most interesting Amazon global insights that will be of interest to brands determining where they should have a presence on the marketplace, particularly Amazon in emerging markets. Population, urbanization, and GDP per capita are all factors which have a large effect on ecommerce and marketplace strategy in a country. These factors need to be taken into consideration when understanding the potential a brand has when entering a new market. Notable takeaways from the report are highlighted below. Price of Amazon Prime The monthly cost of Amazon Prime varies greatly depending on how developed the Amazon market is in the country. We noticed that in countries with a higher GDP per capita and a more dominant Amazon presence, the price of Prime is substantially higher, for example, in the US ($14.99) and in the UK ($10.08). The monthly cost of Prime in the UK has [recently increased by $1.26](https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-62297014) due to higher operating costs, but we believe that UK consumers will accept this increase. As a comparison, less developed markets with lower GDP per capita figures, such as Poland ($2.56) and Brazil ($3.12), have significantly lower monthly Prime prices. Amazon purposely prices Prime to be very cost-effective for customers in emerging markets as a customer acquisition strategy and to help grow its market share more quickly. Desktop vs. Mobile India, Japan and Mexico were found to have higher percentages of traffic from mobile devices compared to other markets. This is in line with data which looks at the [leading countries based on retail mobile commerce sales growth](https://www.statista.com/statistics/1261743/leading-countries-mobile-commerce-sales-growth/), and shows how particular countries spend more time online using mobiles rather than desktops. App Downloads & Ranking In this year’s report, we made the decision to include data on the Amazon App (Android), as more consumers are shopping online on mobile devices. This is reflected in the average monthly downloads and category rank of the app. Mexico sees an average of 1.2 million monthly downloads of the Amazon (Android) App. This is expected, as Mexico is one of the regions that has a higher percentage of traffic from mobile devices compared to desktops. In terms of average monthly Amazon web traffic, Mexico is the 9th largest out of the 17 countries analyzed, but after the US and Brazil, is the 3rd largest in terms of monthly downloads of the Android App, highlighting the country’s preference for using the Amazon App. Visit Duration & Page Views In markets where Amazon is robust and well developed, like the USA, UK and Germany, consumers tend to spend more time on the platform and view more pages per visit, as there is more choice from a wider range of products to explore. On the other hand, in markets where Amazon is still either at its early implementation or growth phase, like the Netherlands, Poland, and Brazil, there is less on offer and a far smaller selection or products. Inevitably, we noticed consumers have a lower average visit duration and view fewer pages in these markets. We would expect to see these metrics increase as Amazon’s product selection increases in these markets. Top Selling Categories There are many similarities between the different markets in terms of the top selling categories in each country. Out of 17 countries, 12 had Home & Kitchen and 11 had Electronics in their top 3 categories. Regional differences can be seen with Sports & Outdoors only ranking as a top category in the UK, Video Games only in Japan, and Hardware only in Germany. It is important for brands to acknowledge that not all categories will sell successfully across all markets. Just because the category is popular in one or more markets, does not mean that it will work across all 17 instances that we analyzed. Our Amazon consumer insights report shows that although the online marketplace dominates online retail in the USA and several other Western European countries, the company is aiming to build that position in countries where it is newer in the market by taking into account the regional differences in consumer behavior and expectations within its proposition. [Download the full report here](https://info.pattern.com/amazon-consumer-insights-report-2022), and [contact us here](https://info.pattern.com/contact-us/) to learn how we could support your global marketplace strategy or for more information on how we partner with brands to represent them on Amazon.