Ecommerce Professionals Are Asked to Do Too Much

John LeBaron

February 18, 2021

Working in ecommerce can feel a lot like juggling five to ten objects of different shapes and sizes and hoping they don’t crash to the floor or into each other. Leading the ecommerce efforts for your brand is involved and exhausting, made more so because many brands’ ecommerce arms are woefully under-resourced.

Most brand executives only hire two to three ecommerce experts to run their business online, and it isn’t enough to keep up with everything your business needs to grow. Sound familiar? Ecommerce teams like yours are overworked and overwhelmed, and without proper support or resources you’ll never reach your true business potential. At best, you can keep your head above water and continue pushing off new initiatives and strategies, but at worst, a too thinly spread ecommerce team can turn into one big money pit for business.

Why ecommerce teams are overwhelmed

Ecommerce has evolved into a massive arm of business—ecommerce sales in Q3 of 2020 alone leaped to 37.1% year over year, showing how vital it is to the economic ecosystem. It’s the quickest way to reach consumers, wherever they are, with the biggest wins. It’s also evolved far beyond the scope most brands’ ecommerce teams are equipped to manage.

D2C Websites

Brands generally start with a D2C because it gives them greater control of the brand experience. It also makes up 3% of their overall revenue. D2Cs, however, can rapidly turn complex. You have to manage the retail platform you build your site on—i.e. Shopify, Magento, Google—or build a retail platform on your own. Then there are ancillary ecosystem modules you have to oversee and incorporate into your D2C, like your purchasing systems, your shipping logistics, your customer service infrastructure, and live chat provider. At a minimum, you’re looking at 18 different modules associated with your site that you have to build out and manage as an ecommerce team.

Once these things are built out on your D2C, you then have to drive traffic to your D2C. This requires creating and managing the digital arm supporting your brand—like Instagram and Facebook—working with SEO to drive traffic via search engine, overseeing paid advertising, and maybe even influencer marketing.

All of this is a tall order on its own for an ecommerce team, but D2Cs are only the tip of the ecommerce iceberg.

Marketplaces

Global marketplaces make up a six trillion-dollar industry—Amazon is three times the size of Shopify and Alibaba is 10 times the size of Shopify. Omni-channel marketplaces are the way for your brand to see serious and sustained growth, but they add several more obligations to the shoulders of your already overworked staff and amplify your brand’s main challenges.

With marketplace management, you’re looking at ad spend, SEO and keywords, product listings, MAP enforcement, and online control just to start. That doesn’t take into account additional responsibilities you’ll take on if you choose to sell your product on more than one marketplace. Frankly, even if you think you do, you don’t have the expertise and manpower on your own, across all of these channels, to manage all of them well.

International Sales

Going international adds an additional layer of challenges for your brand, because then you start dealing with obstacles like tariffs, export duties, different MAP laws, localization within each country, different images, and different packaging requirements. It gets spendy to have feet on the ground worldwide, but global ecommerce only continues to grow.

Combined, each of these areas of your ecommerce business are completely inundating your team. You have a higher potential of seeing disparate data across channels and marketplaces, making it harder to let the data guide your strategy. You have siloed expertise, where your team members might be well-versed in one thing like Instagram, but can’t possibly be well-versed in everything your ecommerce brand needs to grow, making it hard to scale. In almost every scenario, being under-resourced is the nail in the coffin for your ecommerce team.

The Executive Dilemma

All of these pressure points cause what we call the “executive dilemma.” This is when CEOs are forced to grapple with the question of whether or not they should invest in an ecommerce team that continues to need more resources and cost them more money. An under-resourced and overworked team gives them lower returns, even if it isn’t that team’s fault, and in order to make up for that, executives will pour additional money into agencies, temp workers, contractors, and software designed to make up for the competencies their ecommerce team is ill-equipped to provide on its own. This just eats into their profits and exacerbates the problem.

Pretty soon, CEOs are questioning if their ecommerce teams are actually any good or if they’re just a waste of their investment. When you’re doing your best to put out fires for your business, juggle everything you need to do, and still failing to meet your potential as a result, this response can be devastating.

The solution

The most important thing you should do right now to address these pressure points is to communicate them to your brand executives. Make sure they know exactly what your ecommerce team needs to help the brand grow, and let them know there’s a better way of doing business: the Pattern way.

Pattern helps ecommerce teams just like yours eliminate pressure points so they can realize their full potential and focus on the strategic direction of their ecommerce business, instead of just cleaning up messes. With Pattern’s partnership, brands become self-sufficient and achieve long-term profitable growth, while allowing ecommerce professionals to grow and flourish.

Without Pattern, your business may go through 3-5 or more agencies to cover the work your ecommerce team can’t, paying thousands of dollars in fees each month in addition to costs for personnel, your D2C, marketplaces, and lost margins due to lack of control online.

At Pattern, we pay you—literally. We purchase your inventory from you and then arm you with every tool you need to dazzle on ecommerce, including invaluable data analysis about your conversion rates and listings, marketing and advertising resources, SEO, shipping and distribution logistics, and even international sales when you’re ready. We also help you get control of your brand online, so not only are you making money, but you’re saving it.

Our brand managers are devoted to the success of your brand, not how much they can make on commission or how much of your money they can spend. We work hand in hand with your ecommerce team to give you the support you need to not only thrive, but to reclaim the space and time your team needs in order to focus on doing what you love again.

To learn more about how Pattern can help your brand, set up your demo today.

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Sept 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)
Sept 13, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider](https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-closes-2-facilities-scraps-plans-42-new-buildings-report-2022-9?r=US&IR=T) --- Other Marketplace News --- JD.com is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star](https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2022/09/08/chinese-ecommerce-giant-jdcom-bets-big-on-online-grocery-lower-tier-markets-amid-slowing-economy) Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times](https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/seas-shopee-shuts-operations-in-argentina-chile-colombia-mexico-sources) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday](https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-scales-back-in-stream-shopping-elements-as-it-re-examines-its-app/631276/) FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel](https://postandparcel.info/149889/news/e-commerce/fedex-express-supports-the-growth-of-cross-border-e-commerce-within-the-amea-region/) India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](https://www.businessinsider.in/business/ecommerce/news/the-great-indian-festival-of-hiring-e-commerce-companies-gear-up-for-indias-shoppers/articleshow/94000346.cms)
Sept 6, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/02/amazon-introduces-new-service-to-help-solve-supply-chain-challenges/) Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/30/amazon-web-services-launches-region-in-uae/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360](https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2022/09/01/alibabas-lazada-to-take-on-amazon-zalando-in-europe-push/) Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance](https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/pinduoduo-launch-international-e-commerce-034129263.html) Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/alibaba-launches-super-september-b2b-sales-event/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times](https://www.ft.com/content/483451db-9221-4ca4-83a6-b4ddc6bfcfbb) [Read more on the Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/31/klarna-losses-more-than-triple-as-consumer-spending-slows) One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/snap-to-lay-off-20-of-its-workforce-and-wind-down-a-number-of-projects/)