Perfecting the Customer Experience Through Brand Control & Branding

Josh Mendenhall

January 5, 2021

A solid customer experience can be the difference between a brand that wins big and a brand that totally flops. Every experience a customer has with your business, from viewing your product online to pulling it out of the box and holding it in their hands is a significant one, and making sure their expectations are met from end-to-end is the trick to winning big on ecommerce.

Through brand control, consistent storytelling, and customer service that looks outside of the box, brands can create exceptional customer experiences for their customers and ultimately remain profitable.

Brand control on ecommerce

Getting control of your brand on ecommerce directly and often deeply affects your customer experience. Iconic brands like Apple and Nike are as dominant in their markets as they are because they’re so good at control. They’re selective with who they let distribute their product, and when lines are crossed, they enforce their policies with teeth.

Most brands when they’re starting out or trying to grow quickly are more inclined to do the opposite. They opt for as wide a distribution as possible to get their products in as many hands as possible, because more is better, right? Well, not so much, and especially not for customer experience.

Having wide distribution on ecommerce without proper checks can be a bit like wrangling livestock on foot. You can get some and maybe even most distributors where you want them to be, but there’s no way you can control all of them, and without full control, your channels can become chaotic. When one distributor breaks the rules—drops their prices below your MAP, for example—others will follow to compete. That harms your margins and your profits online and off. It also devalues your product and your brand equity.

Wide distribution means a bigger pool of sellers who can represent your brand however they’d like to online. They may offer poor customer service. They might have blurry photographs on listings of your product or incoherent product descriptions. That doesn’t just reflect badly on them. It reflects badly on you.

Exceptional customer experience starts with making sure you have control of your brand on ecommerce, that unauthorized sellers aren’t distributing your products, and that your distributors are limited so it’s easier to maintain control and consistency.

Consistent storytelling

With billions of products and brands scrambling for the attention of online shoppers, you have to have consistent branding and storytelling to stand out on ecommerce. Consistency—consistent product quality, consistent imagery, consistent voice—communicates trust. It helps your brand become familiar, and it shows consumers they can rely on you.

Your goal is to make sure that a customer can pick your brand out of a lineup no matter which distributor is standing there holding your product. Ideally, the customer experience should be the same on two fronts: your visuals and your customer service.

When we talk about visuals we mean things like the photography in your image stacks, the video content you use, the typography, the way your content is formatted, and the colors on the page. These should be consistent on both your D2C site and on marketplaces where your product is being sold so that your customers can immediately recognize you.

You also want to choose distributors who care as much about your customers and your product as you do so they’ll offer the same level of service. If your distributors are providing poor customer service, it can be reflective on the experience with your brand as a whole.

So where do you begin? First, determine what story you want your brand to tell. Is your brand young and exciting? Luxurious and sophisticated? Edgy or clean? Once you’ve found your story, you can begin to decide what you want your branding to look like and then, with the help of a partner like Pattern, you can clean up your product listings on ecommerce and maintain consistency.

Popsockets Brand Equity Example | Pattern

PopSocket is an example of a Pattern brand that has done really well with its storytelling across multiple distributors. Its D2C is young and vibrant, as are its pop grip products. PopSocket listings are easily recognizable on Amazon because the imagery is consistently the same, as is the formatting of the listings. Customers know that what they see is what they’ll get.

Case study: KONG

Another area where businesses have the space to improve customer experience is through their customer service, particularly their packaging and shipping. Packaging can be a great way to reinforce your branding as well as build positive connections between your customers and your business. You might handle your packaging directly to make it more personalized, for example, or add more collateral to a shipment as a treat for your customers.

One brand that has leveraged their packaging and shipping to provide exceptional customer experiences with Pattern is KONG. The KONG brand is centered around training dogs to behave well through play. Along with selling dog toys and treats individually online, KONG sells them in a monthly subscription service called KONG Box. KONG Boxes typically come with three toys, three treats, an easy-to-make dog snack recipe, and personality tips based on the personality of each subscriber’s dog.

KONG box example of great customer experience on ecommerce | Pattern Blog

One of the biggest selling points of a KONG Box is that it makes purchasing dog snacks and toys more convenient for pet owners who already purchase them regularly. They’re also fun to receive—subscribers are surprised with different hand-picked toys and unique treats each month that their dogs will love. Check out the Facebook Live event we did with KONG here.

With Pattern’s help, KONG has been able to make the shipping experience an exciting event for their customers, but they’ve also been able to leverage data to address problems and make the shipping experience more aligned with their story.

The KONG Box was designed to be a party in a box for dog owners and their pups, and initially KONG toys and treats were packaged with tissue paper and crinkle paper to improve the aesthetic of the packaging and make it feel more giftlike. Through Pattern’s data analysis, KONG was able to learn that the way they were packaging their product was in fact detrimental to the mission of their brand.

KONG Box case study example of great customer experience on ecommerce | Pattern Blog

Consumers would open their boxes in front of their dogs, and their dogs would immediately pull out the packaging and make a mess in their homes. What was party packaging for KONG was an annoyance for customers and, on a larger scale, a disconnect from KONG’s branding story about improving dogs’ behavior through play. KONG used that analysis to change the way they packaged their products. Dog owners still get surprise treats and toys for their dogs in a fun box, but now with less of a mess to clean up and definitely no crinkle paper.

How Pattern can help brands improve customer experience

KONG is one of many brands Pattern has helped achieve success on ecommerce through improved customer experience. As an exclusive 3P seller, Pattern gives control back to the brands we partner with and provides expansive data analytics to help those brands win on every facet of their ecommerce business, including advertising, SEO, product innovation, and growth.

Pattern uses data to identify what your consumers expect from your brand, which areas you should address to meet those expectations, and missed opportunities for growth. We identify the story your brand is best positioned to tell, clean up, and create content for your ecommerce listings that help them become more aligned with that story. We also help you gain control of your brand across ecommerce marketplaces by finding the bad players eroding your pricing, connecting you with resources you need to eliminate them, and giving you tools for long-term profitable growth.

To learn more about how Pattern can help you improve your brand experience, contact us in the form below.

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Sept 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)
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)