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.
Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.