On Friday, May 3rd, Silicon Slopes hosted Pattern Co-founders David Wright (CEO) and Melanie Alder (CIO) as featured guests for their entrepreneur spotlight breakfast event. The event consisted of moderated questions from the Director of Operations at Silicon Slopes, Garrett Clark, along with some final Q&A from attendees.
Dave and Mel (as they are affectionately referred to by their employees) shared everything from Pattern’s humble beginnings in Melanie’s living room to its rise as the premier partner for global commerce with more than a dozen offices worldwide.
Humble beginnings and humble founders
At first blush, Dave Wright and Melanie Alder come off as unlikely entrepreneurs. They don’t exude the stereotypical tech founder vibe. There’s no braggadocio. No flash. No swagger. But their soft-spoken, self-effacing style belies their success in building Utah’s fastest-growing 9-figure private company. —all while cultivating a successful marriage and a blended family of 10 kids.
How Dave and Melanie started Pattern—and just how far they’ve come—is nothing short of unstoppable. But first, a bit of perspective: Last year, Amazon’s online marketplaces generated just shy of $123 billion in revenue—with more than half of the units sold coming from its four million third-party sellers. Pattern sits near the top of that uber-competitive list of sellers revenue-wise. It is the #1 third-party seller of Health and Personal Care items on Amazon and among the top 5 third-party sellers overall. Today, Pattern represents brands such as TUMI, Nestle, Clorox, Panasonic, Sylvania, Skullcandy, and more than 50 others.
Not bad for a couple who spent the first several years of their company’s existence shipping packages out of Melanie’s living room. Despite generating four years of revenue growth exceeding 300%, the company has experienced harrowingly close calls. Pattern has thrived thanks to Dave and Mel’s relentless obsession on delighting its partners—no matter the cost.
Hiring “A” players
During the event, Dave discussed how Pattern’s six-year overnight success story was built on the backs of phenomenal teams. The primary human capital strategy has been two-fold:
- Find “A” Players with a demonstrated academic and professional track record
- Hire for cultural fit—look for employees who are obsessed with partners, have a bias for action, are fanatical about data and numbers, and are winners at heart
Industry challenges and competitive landscape
More than 3,000 third-party sellers join Amazon every day. Pattern started as one of those lowly sellers with Dave working a separate full-time job, Melanie hunting for products to sell, and both founders refusing to take a paycheck for nearly three years. Despite facing steep marketplace regulations, stiff competition, and sobering cash flow constraints, failure was never an option for them. Their focus has always been on the partners— including buying their inventory, subsidizing their advertising, and refusing to break their pricing policies. Risks were addressed by focusing on attracting the right partners, keeping them happy, and growing them profitably.
The Pattern community is an amalgamation of its partner community (which includes more than 50 global brands), its employee community (which spans 12 global offices), and its marketplace community (representing millions of customers buying the products it sells). To date, Dave and Mel’s primary focus has been creating value for its partners. Pattern partners experience on average nearly 60% revenue growth during their first year with Pattern and attain, on average, 93% brand compliance—meaning that 93% of sales are going through authorized sellers and being sold at the brand’s minimum advertised price (MAP).
Innovation and future plans
Pattern is regularly approached by eager investors—many of whom are ultimately turned off by its business model of buying inventory from partners, building out distribution and fulfillment capabilities and generally doing hard, unattractive stuff.
Make no mistake, Pattern is a tech company—with proprietary software that tracks pricing, handles forecasting, manages reviews, reverse-engineers SEO algorithms and much, much more. Pattern’s newest software is an automated advertising technology that identifies arbitrage opportunities, pricing inefficiencies, and emerging trends using mathematical formulas that predict marketplace movements and automatically execute dynamic bids across thousands of keywords and advertising campaigns—millions of times each day.
But all Pattern software was developed in service of better managing its own business—the business of accelerating partner growth on eCommerce platforms. A major lesson that Dave and Mel learned early on (from Jeff Bezos, ironically), is that unstoppable entrepreneurs aren’t always looking for the highest multiples or the fastest exits or the most straightforward business models. They’re just trying to delight their customers. And what’s more unstoppable than that?
Thanks to everyone who came to the event. If you’d like to learn more about Pattern, fill out the form below.
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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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.