8 Signs Your Brand Is Out of Control on Amazon

Sarah Abel

April 28, 2022

Amazon is a growing digital channel for ecommerce brands, but when brands lose control on the marketplace it damages profitability for both their online business and their brick and mortar channels. Below are 8 signs to look for to see if your brand is out of control on Amazon.

8 SIGNS YOUR BRAND IS OUT OF CONTROL ON AMAZON

You can also download the cheat sheet here.

Sign #1: Lots of Sellers

Whether all of your sellers are authorized or not, they have the same access to update your product listing, image stack, and feature description—giving them equal power over your brand. Plus, they all want to win the Buy Box, forcing them to compete on the only thing that differentiates sellers of the same product: price. The more sellers your product has, the more vulnerable your listing and price become.

Sign #2: Poor Content

Your product title, image stack, bullet points, product description, and A+ Content are all part of your Amazon content. In short, your Amazon content is the information your customers use to decide the quality of your brand and whether or not to buy. Not maintaining control of your #1 conversion tool (images & bullets) on Amazon is a recipe for poor brand representation, confused customers, and lost sales.

Sign #3: Poor Reviews

Poor quality is not the only thing that causes poor reviews. Unauthorized sellers who have poor customer service, create misleading product listings, and send damaged products cause poor reviews that don’t accurately reflect your brand or product. Without control of your Amazon business, poor reviews can plague your listings, hurt customer trust in your brand, and result in lost sales.

Sign #4: Buy Box Suppression

Amazon is committed to providing the lowest price to its customers. So, when a product is listed for less elsewhere on the web, Amazon can suppress your product listing from the Buy Box according to their Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy. But price isn’t the only factor for the Buy Box, other influences include customer service, quality listings, and in-stock rate. Regardless of which factors you struggle with, not owning the Buy Box is a surefire way to squander sales.

Sign #5: Price Erosion

In order to win the Buy Box, rogue sellers are lowering the price of your product, stealing your sales, and diminishing your brand value. Then, to compete, the other sellers drop prices even more, creating a vicious race to the bottom and blocking everyone’s profits. Unfortunately, price erosion is easy to spot and hard to stop.

Sign #6: Stock Outs

Amazon can’t sell product it doesn’t have, so the platform makes staying in stock critical for maintaining organic rank, customer experience, Best Sellers Rank (BSR), and profitable sales. Unfortunately, Amazon may not place the same priority on your in-stock rate as you do. But, having true control of your Amazon business allows you to control inventory availability based on your forecasts.

Sign #7: Price Matching

Deep discounts on Amazon fuel price competition at retail locations. If your brand has lower prices online, you can keep retail partners happy by covering the cost of a price match. When consumers shop in-store but find a lower price online, the retailer sells your product at the lower price but charges you the difference between their listed price and the price-matched sale. So, when price matching becomes the norm, your brand ends up paying the bill.

Sign #8: Retail Partners Complain

Amazon is not in a vacuum—everything your brand does online affects your brick and mortar partners. Customers’ shopping in retail stores will check prices online before buying, and they will almost always choose the lower price. When Amazon wins on price, your retail partners can’t move product, and it hurts the retailer’s (and brand’s) profits. The stores may move your brand to a less ideal location or simply take it off the shelf altogether.

Get in Control with Pattern

Do these signs sound familiar? You’re not alone.

At Pattern, your marketplace accelerator, we understand how to eliminate the 8 signs and get your brand in control on Amazon.

Schedule a time with us and get in control on Amazon.

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Ecommerce Accelerator vs. Aggregator
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Ecommerce Accelerator vs. Aggregator

You may be a big brand or an emerging challenger looking to grow on Amazon and other marketplaces. Your goals seem simple: to grow your profits and stay in brand control. You know you need help, but who do you turn to? An aggregator or an ecommerce accelerator? Like most executives you ask, “What is the difference?”

As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern helps brands stay in control and maximise profitability worldwide. We are acutely familiar with the confusion (aggregator vs accelerator) and will break down the differences so you can understand why an ecommerce accelerator, like Pattern, is the right partner for your brand to maximise its potential on global marketplaces.

The Simple Difference: Purchase vs Partner

Aggregators are typically purchase-focused. They will buy and scale third-party brands on marketplaces. Their strategy is to acquire brands that fit their strategic vision and then grow them through operation. 

In ecommerce, aggregators tend to be relatively new companies that invest in Amazon-focused brands and then apply a wide range of strategies to grow them. Strategies like technology, economies of scale with other brands, and tapping into historical data on Amazon from their portfolio of brands.

Rather than purchasing brands, ecommerce accelerators partner with brands to apply data-driven technology and expertise to increase revenue growth for that brand across major online commerce channels, including D2C sites, ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Tmall, JD.com, noon, Zalando, and beyond.

Accelerators can help their brand partners bridge the gap between one-off metrics and the lifetime value of a customer, which is a much more accurate indicator of the long-term growth and success of a brand. This collaboration and communication typically enables the brands to become much more strategic about both short-term investments and longer-term product development.

Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, works with brands to accelerate sales by buying the brand’s inventory, using proprietary technology to maintain brand control on marketplaces, and accelerate growth (traffic, conversion). Pattern uses data insights and expertise to figure out where the gaps are in sales, optimising the brand across marketplaces, and identifying insights for boosting margins.

They Can Co-exist

Accelerators and aggregators are not direct competitors. Remember, aggregators buy brands, whereas accelerators buy stock in the inventory, so aggregators may hire an accelerator to move product.

But, even together, accelerators do the heavy lifting. Brand aggregators may get the press, but ecommerce accelerators often do the hard work of helping brands grow on Amazon and beyond. Accelerators bring the data and operational know-how to identify and capitalise on opportunities and the experience to help overcome common difficulties.

As a result, brand aggregators and accelerators are not competitors but different approaches to the same goal: sustained growth for brands. And with all the aggregation that has already occurred, acceleration with a partner like Pattern will be the mandate for future proofing your brand.

Which Will Bring Your Brand Success?

Most aggregators are good at sizing up an acquisition but may lack the total experience needed to operate a business on Amazon and other marketplaces. Aggregators need to become accelerators if they are going to continue to survive. It's not enough to acquire brands, you have to grow them.

Pattern is an ecommerce accelerator that helps brands succeed on marketplaces like Amazon, TMall, JD.com, Zalando, and more. As a partner who has stock in your inventory, Pattern applies its proprietary technology and data-driven insights to help brands stay in control and get a piece of the $6 trillion global ecommerce market.

Are you ready to accelerate? Contact Us Today.

Ecommerce Accelerator vs. Agency: What Makes Them Different?
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Ecommerce Accelerator vs. Agency: What Makes Them Different?

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 specialised deliverables.  By taking things like content creation, listing optimisation, and reporting analysis off 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, specialised 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 optimise 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 to 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 optimise 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 optimise 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, Tmall, JD.com, and beyond. 

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

People of Pattern - Ellie Dolphin
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Ellie Dolphin, Brand Manager: People of Pattern

At Pattern, we believe the key to success is our team members. Our PeopleofPattern series shines a light on the people that make Pattern great, learning about their roles, experiences, and what it’s like to work at Pattern. This week we spoke with Ellie Dolphin, Brand Manager in our London office. Could you tell me a bit about your role and experience working at Pattern? I work as a Brand Manager in the Brand Management team here in Pattern’s London office. I’ve been working here for two years now, having started in 2020. I act as the main point of contact for our brand partners, in my case I work with Rituals. I work as their key stakeholder within the business to help them liaise with all of our other functions. This includes our merchandising team, ordering team, advertising team, the warehouse team, and operations team, so it is a beast of a task! This alignment ensures the brand’s business is optimised and we are making good commercial decisions to hit their objectives on marketplaces like Amazon. Why do you choose to work at Pattern? My previous role was quite different to where I am today. I previously worked in a translation team, so we were always reacting to decisions that other people made and translating work that they’d made for other marketplaces. What I liked about Pattern, was that I would be the driver instead. Here, I get to drive forward the strategy and tactics for my brand partners that are best for them on the platform. In my role as a Brand Manager I am no longer reactive to other’s actions, I get to be really proactive and make key decisions. This suits me really well and has helped me develop as a person in terms of my commercial and strategic knowledge. I have learnt a lot about ecommerce in general and also about Amazon and marketplaces specifically, which has been really beneficial for my personal development. What has been the most rewarding part of working at Pattern for you? For me, it’s when I get positive feedback from my partners and when I’m able to cultivate a good relationship with them as well. When a brand partner is succeeding on marketplaces, it means we’re both winning. Pattern is winning, and most importantly our brand partners are winning as well. It feels great knowing that our team has helped them, such as supporting them in achieving their internal goals or sharing data that allows them to validate trends they see in other areas of their business. I enjoy championing my brand partner’s best interests and being their advocate. What does a typical day as a Brand Manager look like? One of the best things about being a brand manager is that no two days look the same. For me, it’s normally reviewing how my brand partner’s business is performing as a whole, so how my listings are appearing, how sales are performing, and then seeing if there are any opportunities to drive more sales in the short term. I plan for new product launches, coordinating with the creative team for new assets, or with the ordering team for forecasting what we might need to order, or with the overseas team on actually setting up those listings and getting them live. I also look at the bigger picture, thinking about the brand’s biggest goals for marketplaces and what our strategy will be in order to achieve this over the next quarter and year, The other part would be communicating with the brand partners themselves, to make sure they are aware of all developments and updates in the business, they have all the information they need to make decisions on their side, and that they are confident in what we’re doing and aware of the results. Why would you recommend working at Pattern? Like I said earlier, the days are really varied and interesting. This is great from a working perspective. For me, it’s also the people I work with. Pattern is a really social company, which makes coming into the office and getting through the work day really enjoyable. I’m actually in the social committee, a responsibility I really enjoy. I love getting the team involved in all the activities that we do. We enjoy going to the pub together, participating in charity races, we have our own Pattern bar in the London office called the Pattern & Crown where we host events each month, there’s lots of things that we all enjoy getting involved in as a team - it’s great. We’re growing our team at Pattern! If you're looking to start a career in ecommerce or even if you're a seasoned professional and want to learn more about our exciting opportunities, check out [our open positions here](https://pattern.com/about/careers/).