Many brands speak to us about wanting to expand to new markets, before having thought through their strategy to trade online internationally. We thought it was worth highlighting what consumer brands need to think about when considering whether marketplaces are right for your international ecommerce strategy and how to assess your marketplace opportunity.
Online marketplaces have picked up demand that offline channels could not service in every region that we operate in 2020, due to the onset of the pandemic and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. The rapid acceleration of marketplaces has also had a direct impact on consumer behaviour, offering convenience, ample product choice and fast delivery.
Whilst marketplaces have been slower to take online market share in Europe than the USA or China, the likes of Amazon and Tmall have attracted significant traffic and high visitor engagement, which has translated into sales. That said, marketplaces have become a prevalent channel allowing brands to acquire new customers and drive revenue.
A thorough landscape analysis can help to determine the most appropriate markets for your brand to target. A deep dive into your category, brand and competitors will allow you to make an objective assessment of the marketplace opportunity.
A brand that resonates in physical stores may not do so on marketplaces or in an overseas market. It’s important to test demand and be sure that customers exist when assessing your marketplace opportunity.
We recommend that brands consider whether the chosen marketplace is the right environment for your brand by sense-checking your online channel strategy to understand the role of your marketplace channel. Likewise, establishing which products you need to sell to achieve fair share on the marketplace is crucial.
Using market research data and tools to gain insight into category size, best-sellers and average product prices will help you to determine whether selling on marketplaces is worthwhile for your brand.
Proprietary software can help you to assess any sales trends for your category, analyse the products that are selling well and why customers prefer them. This can help you to make informed data-driven decisions when assessing your marketplace opportunity.
Marketplaces offer consumers the choice to purchase from wide range of brands and act as a product discovery hub for many online shoppers. Though marketplaces are an important route to market to acquire new customer groups, analysing which of your competitors are already present plus how they are represented on the marketplace can be a great way to identify gaps in the market where they may be falling short and capitalise on those areas.
We recommend that brands undertake a benchmarking exercise to assess their product ranges and pricing against the competition, as well as the online proposition and customer experience provided, to help support the optimisation of their marketplace channel.
Now more than ever, marketplaces will be seeking to continue their growth by adding new customers, as well as selling more to those they have already converted to online customers. we anticipate that the online shopping trends seen will further convince consumer brands that being present on marketplaces is more important than ever to maintain awareness and protect your market share.
Pattern can help you to break into international markets and marketplaces like Tmall, Amazon, Shopee, Zalando, and more. Our strategy consultants can help your brand to identify ecommerce opportunities and build a market entry strategy, or audit your current presence and create a roadmap for growth.
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.
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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.