What Are Acceleration Gaps? How Pattern Helps CEOs Fill in the Gaps For Rapid Growth

Burke Alder

October 7, 2021

Despite having countless different approaches and priorities, most CEOs share at least one goal—growing their brands faster and with more profit across all ecommerce channels and marketplaces.

But ecommerce growth isn’t as simple as developing and listing a great product. All brands run into challenges as they expand their D2C sites and onto marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Tmall, and Mercado Libre. The common thread of these challenges? Brands lack the resources and skills to successfully expand and thrive on ecommerce.

What does this look like? It may mean that your brand wants to expand to international Amazon marketplaces, but you don’t have anyone on your ecommerce team who knows how to do that effectively. Maybe you want to make data-backed decisions, but your insights are so scattered between marketplaces that it’s difficult to form a clear picture of how your products are performing compared to competitors. You may have an amazing product, but you’re lacking a top-notch creative team to help you powerfully convey your product’s key features.

While these challenges may look slightly different for every brand, in all cases, they cause what we call “acceleration gaps.” Acceleration gaps are just that—deficiencies in a brand’s ecommerce strategy that keep them from accelerating their ecommerce growth and reaching their full ecommerce potential. What exactly are acceleration gaps? How can your brand identify them? And, most importantly, what can you do to fill these gaps and maximize profit? Below, we’ll answer each of those questions and more.

What are acceleration gaps?

At Pattern, we’ve found that brands succeed on ecommerce marketplaces when they master five core competencies—insights, traffic, content, price, and logistics. We use this framework to grow our brand partners and achieve global success.

To master insights, brands need to consolidate data to make data-backed decisions. To master traffic, brands need to increase traffic across marketplaces through SEO and advertising. To master content, brands need to optimize content to boost conversion. To master price, brands need to monitor price and sellers to maintain control and uniformity. Finally, to master logistics, brands need to sell everywhere, remain in stock, and reduce shipping costs.

Brands see acceleration gaps when they do not master any of these core competencies on any ecommerce channels. It may look something like this:

Acceleration Gaps Before Pattern - New

The example brand in the graphic above has mastered the 5 core competencies on its D2C site. But on Amazon, although the brand has a solid handle on insights and logistics, it struggles to drive traffic to its listings, convert that traffic to purchases, and maintain price parity. Although there may be significant demand for the product on other marketplaces, the brand hasn’t expanded to them yet.

These acceleration gaps—which are likely due to a lack of resources, knowledge, skills, or any combination of the three—aren’t uncommon. Small teams are often expected to run ecommerce for even massive brands, and it’s unrealistic to expect 2 or 3 people to have both the time and expertise to master every core competency on every ecommerce channel in every market. Even if your ecommerce team is highly trained and qualified, there may just not be enough hours in the day to fill these gaps.

Despite acceleration gaps being common and even understandable, they still keep brands from growing their presence and profit on ecommerce.

How can I identify my brand’s acceleration gaps?

Unfortunately, acceleration gaps aren’t typically as obvious as they seem in the graphic above. However, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you identify where your brand falls short on ecommerce.

First, you can ask yourself this: “Am I currently on any marketplaces other than Amazon?” If the answer is no, your first acceleration gap is evident. Your brand needs to focus on expanding its reach across marketplaces to new audiences and greater visibility.

If the answer is yes, you can then ask yourself, “Am I on all Amazon marketplaces across the world where there’s demand for my product? Besides Amazon, are there other marketplaces I should be on that I’m not?”

If you’re on all marketplaces that could increase your profit, you can begin looking at where you fall short in specific core competencies on each channel. The graphic below may be a helpful tool in forming these questions. Do you know where you stand compared to competitors? Is your advertising strategy building your organic reach? Is your creative content consistent across channels? Are you consistently winning the Buy Box and maintaining MAP? Do you struggle to keep your product in stock? It can be overwhelming to handle all of these things at once, so focus on each competency, one at a time, to really understand how your brand performs.

Acceleration Framework 5 Core Competencies - New

As you evaluate your brand’s performance in each of the core competencies, your acceleration gaps will soon become evident. In general, you can find acceleration gaps in any area of your ecommerce strategy that could be improved with more time, resources, or expertise. Thoughts like, “If we just had the time, we could really thrive on that marketplace,” or “If I had more people with the right skills, we could do better in this area,” or “I wish we could expand to that part of the world, but it’s just not feasible” can all point to potential acceleration gaps.

While every brand will struggle with different acceleration gaps, there are a few common gaps to watch for. The first is a lack of clear data and coherent insights. Ecommerce data is often compartmentalized and difficult to analyze quickly. Brands also commonly see gaps in their content, especially when they expand to international marketplaces but don’t create customized content in the target language. Price becomes an acceleration gap when brands have unauthorized sellers, multiple ecommerce partners, and inconsistent pricing.

How can I fill my brand’s acceleration gaps?

There are two ways that brands can fill their acceleration gaps. The first is to hire more people that have experience in the areas you’d like to improve in. While potentially effective, this method gets very expensive very quickly. (And it’s also a never-ending game.)

The second option is to partner with an ecommerce accelerator like Pattern, which has the resources to help brands master all the competencies on every ecommerce marketplace. When you partner with us, you enlist the help of our state-of-the-art software and highly qualified ecommerce teams who specialize in each competency.

Let’s return to our example brand above. After becoming aware of its acceleration gaps, the brand partnered with Pattern. Where the brand fell short on its own, Pattern stepped in and filled the gaps:

Acceleration Gaps After Pattern - New

Our proprietary software provided easy-to-read data and actionable insights for every marketplace and helped easily enforce MAP policy. In fact, after working with Pattern this brand saw 98.9% MAP compliance. Our advertising and SEO teams optimized strategies to make the most of advertising money, driving increased traffic to product listing pages. Our first-class creative teams crafted powerful content to convert traffic at a much higher rate. Our global distribution network made shipping internationally easy and attainable. Additionally, we helped the brand expand to every marketplace that saw a demand for the product.

Overall, this brand saw a 1250% increase in sales rank and a 73% average monthly revenue increase during the 1st year working with Pattern. Not too shabby for simply filling a few acceleration gaps.

Ready to see these results for yourself? We can help your brand where you need it most. Learn how we can identify and fill your acceleration gaps at no cost to you: Get in touch 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/)