Desiree Wong, Sr Ecommerce Consultant, Mandy Guo & Ariel Tsai, Brand Managers: People of Pattern

Clea Boyd-Eedle

August 23, 2022

The success of Pattern can be attributed to our amazing team and the people within it. Our #PeopleofPattern series highlights our people; the faces, roles and responsibilities behind what makes Pattern great. This week, we sat down and spoke with Desiree Wong, Senior Ecommerce Consultant, Mandy Guo, Brand Manager, and Ariel Tsai, Brand Manager, all sitting in Pattern’s London office working with UK & US brands to accelerate their sales in China.

Could you tell me a bit about your role and experience working at Pattern?

Desiree: I’ve been working at Pattern for over six years now. I first joined the company as an Associate Consultant back in Hong Kong. My responsibilities have changed quite a bit since first joining the company, when I first joined I worked in the Consulting team in Hong Kong with Arthur Cheung (General Manager, Asia) and a few other colleagues focusing on consulting projects. We then had some trading elements added into our China business, which meant I was responsible for more trading-related tasks.

My title is now Senior Ecommerce Consultant, covering the APAC region. Following Practicology’s acquisition by Pattern in 2018, 90% of my time is now related to trading activity. When I relocated to London in early 2020, I was given more opportunity to work on business development. All of the brands that my team are working with are either from Europe or from the U.S., so working in the UK meant I was in a much better time zone to speak with clients and attend offline events, like Interzoo or Alibaba-organised events, here in Europe.

Ariel: My responsibilities are quite similar to Desiree. I joined Pattern in January this year, so I’ve been working here for about six months now. I started as a Brand Manager, managing the trading side of the business of different brands for Asia markets. I also do a bit of work on the side for the Consulting team. For example, we’re currently working on a project for a global luxury jewellery brand, providing a consulting service for China.

Mandy: I joined Pattern nearly 3 months ago as a Brand Manager. The role is very interesting, and I feel very supported. My role helps our clients find the best solutions in China’s market through social marketing and ecommerce business. From my previous China FMCG industry experience at Unilever, LVMH, and Mars, I feel very fulfilled identifying the best USPs and business strategies to achieve a better business position for our clients.

Why do you choose to work at Pattern?

Ariel: I previously worked for a digital marketing agency, also focusing on China business with UK companies. In that job, I did a lot of marketing for British and U.S. brands who sell their products in China. I worked with companies like Royal Mail, amongst other big brands, which I found really interesting. This experience really fueled my interest in ecommerce, which is why I got in touch with Pattern as it is a trading and ecommerce-focused company. I also liked that Pattern didn’t just focus on trading in China, but also other countries in Asia like Japan, Korea, and South-East Asia.

Desiree: Before I joined Pattern I worked at MAC Cosmetics for almost two years. In that time I felt that I’d learnt everything I could in that role and wanted more of a range and challenge in my career. At MAC, I luckily gained a lot of experience working in ecommerce and wanted to pursue this further. Pattern seemed like a great opportunity as it is a global company working in ecommerce and has seen a huge amount of growth as a business. Before Pattern, I also studied a Master of Science in Marketing, where I met a professor who introduced me to the consulting industry. This was another reason why I was really interested in joining Pattern’s consulting team.

Interestingly, I was introduced by a headhunter who told me that there was a company that had newly-launched in Hong Kong called Practicology. We didn’t even have an office, we were so new! I remember meeting Arthur Cheung in a restaurant after he’d just finished a trip to China, carrying all of his luggage with him. Arthur told me that the company was new but that it was an ecommerce consulting firm, which was really interesting to me and covered the two aspects I was looking for in my next role.

Starting in the Hong Kong business, we had the opportunity to choose the office that we’d set-up in and even built IKEA furniture together in the office. It was such an experience! What I really loved about Practicology (now Pattern) was learning so many new things and expanding outside of my scope of knowledge that I’d been working in comfortably for so long. It wasn’t just about marketing, ecommerce, or consulting, it was about entrepreneurship. Arthur was tasked to build up the whole Asia/China business, which really opened my eyes to how to build a business from the ground up.

My role also continues to evolve as the company grows and changes, I never feel bored. That’s why I’ve stayed here for six years!

Mandy: My previous experience and passion connect well with my role at Pattern. As previously stated, it is fulfilling to use my previous experience to provide the best solutions for our clients. I have great supportive teammates like Desiree who guides and helps me understand Pattern’s processes and systems.

What has been the most rewarding part of working at Pattern for you?

Desiree: For me, it’s the recognition from the brands. I know we all talk about numbers, but when the brands can see more than just the numbers that you help them to achieve, and they really appreciate the strategy and transparency that we have, it’s really satisfying. We stick to our Pattern values. We always want to be ‘Partner Obsessed’, and our partners really feel that.

Ariel: For me, it’s the opportunity of working with different brands across different regions. We’re expanding so fast and keep finding new brands in different categories, giving us the opportunity to work with for example Alliance and Jan Marini, a skincare brand, and Holland and Barrett selling supplements. This broad range has really expanded my knowledge across different industries and has been really interesting and rewarding for me.

Mandy: The most rewarding aspect for me has been recently handling prospective clients with Desiree and identifying potential improvements for a couple of our clients’ ecommerce business in China. Another rewarding moment is when our clients positively react to my efforts.

Last question, why would you recommend working at Pattern?

Desiree: I think that working at Pattern has a suitable level of challenge, you will never get bored. Ecommerce is an ever changing industry. When you work in the Asia market, which is not as mature as others and is still developing, it is even more challenging and you learn new things every day. I know there are plenty of ecommerce and trading companies in the industry, but I’d say that everyone working at Pattern is smart and willing to share their knowledge. As we’re all growing together, it gives us all a great opportunity to learn from each other. Our team culture is also really strong.

Ariel: I’d say I agree with Desiree. There’s not much of a hierarchy inside Pattern. In our China team, we learn more from them every day and they’re always helping to share what’s happening in the market. Again, the team culture is really positive. Everybody who works at Pattern is a ‘Doer’ and is willing to share their experience and knowledge with one another as well. The company is also growing so fast into different regions, for someone who wants to expand their knowledge on a global scale, that’s also a big bonus as you’re unlikely to get that opportunity very often.

Mandy: In agreement with Desiree, ecommerce is changing very quickly in Asia. With different clients, Pattern gives me the opportunity to evolve my knowledge through challenging and interesting contracts. We have good morale, supportive teammates, and I feel very engaged through growth opportunities because of our team and clients. I’m growing with Pattern and I highly recommend working at Pattern!

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If you're looking to start a career in ecommerce or even if you're a seasoned professional and want to learn more about our exciting opportunities, check out our open positions here.

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People of Pattern - Ellie Dolphin
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Ellie Dolphin, Brand Manager: People of Pattern

At Pattern, we believe the key to success is our team members. Our PeopleofPattern series shines a light on the people that make Pattern great, learning about their roles, experiences, and what it’s like to work at Pattern. This week we spoke with Ellie Dolphin, Brand Manager in our London office. Could you tell me a bit about your role and experience working at Pattern? I work as a Brand Manager in the Brand Management team here in Pattern’s London office. I’ve been working here for two years now, having started in 2020. I act as the main point of contact for our brand partners, in my case I work with Rituals. I work as their key stakeholder within the business to help them liaise with all of our other functions. This includes our merchandising team, ordering team, advertising team, the warehouse team, and operations team, so it is a beast of a task! This alignment ensures the brand’s business is optimised and we are making good commercial decisions to hit their objectives on marketplaces like Amazon. Why do you choose to work at Pattern? My previous role was quite different to where I am today. I previously worked in a translation team, so we were always reacting to decisions that other people made and translating work that they’d made for other marketplaces. What I liked about Pattern, was that I would be the driver instead. Here, I get to drive forward the strategy and tactics for my brand partners that are best for them on the platform. In my role as a Brand Manager I am no longer reactive to other’s actions, I get to be really proactive and make key decisions. This suits me really well and has helped me develop as a person in terms of my commercial and strategic knowledge. I have learnt a lot about ecommerce in general and also about Amazon and marketplaces specifically, which has been really beneficial for my personal development. What has been the most rewarding part of working at Pattern for you? For me, it’s when I get positive feedback from my partners and when I’m able to cultivate a good relationship with them as well. When a brand partner is succeeding on marketplaces, it means we’re both winning. Pattern is winning, and most importantly our brand partners are winning as well. It feels great knowing that our team has helped them, such as supporting them in achieving their internal goals or sharing data that allows them to validate trends they see in other areas of their business. I enjoy championing my brand partner’s best interests and being their advocate. What does a typical day as a Brand Manager look like? One of the best things about being a brand manager is that no two days look the same. For me, it’s normally reviewing how my brand partner’s business is performing as a whole, so how my listings are appearing, how sales are performing, and then seeing if there are any opportunities to drive more sales in the short term. I plan for new product launches, coordinating with the creative team for new assets, or with the ordering team for forecasting what we might need to order, or with the overseas team on actually setting up those listings and getting them live. I also look at the bigger picture, thinking about the brand’s biggest goals for marketplaces and what our strategy will be in order to achieve this over the next quarter and year, The other part would be communicating with the brand partners themselves, to make sure they are aware of all developments and updates in the business, they have all the information they need to make decisions on their side, and that they are confident in what we’re doing and aware of the results. Why would you recommend working at Pattern? Like I said earlier, the days are really varied and interesting. This is great from a working perspective. For me, it’s also the people I work with. Pattern is a really social company, which makes coming into the office and getting through the work day really enjoyable. I’m actually in the social committee, a responsibility I really enjoy. I love getting the team involved in all the activities that we do. We enjoy going to the pub together, participating in charity races, we have our own Pattern bar in the London office called the Pattern & Crown where we host events each month, there’s lots of things that we all enjoy getting involved in as a team - it’s great. We’re growing our team at Pattern! If you're looking to start a career in ecommerce or even if you're a seasoned professional and want to learn more about our exciting opportunities, check out [our open positions here](https://pattern.com/about/careers/).

Pattern UAE Shopper Report 2022 Cover Image
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Shopper trends and growth opportunities for brands in the United Arab Emirates

Pattern’s 2022 Amazon United Arab Emirates (UAE) shopper research has highlighted the consumer habits in the region, and demonstrated why it is fast becoming one of the most exciting growth opportunities for brands selling online. We surveyed UAE online shoppers at the beginning of 2022 to determine how their shopper behaviour was likely to develop during the year compared to 2021. We compiled our findings in the UAE Shopper Report 2022 and share the most interesting insights shown below. Shoppers have an appetite to spend Online spending in the UAE is set to see a year-on-year increase during 2022. Overall, 74% of online shoppers polled said they would spend more online shopping this year compared to 2021. A further 19% expected to spend the same as in 2021, with just 6% expected to spend less. Of the 74% who expect to spend more during 2022, nearly half (47%) said this figure was likely to be a lot more. Online marketplaces lead the way More respondents expected to purchase online this year from Amazon or Noon than other online retailers for every major product category, including fashion, consumer electronics, home and kitchen, and beauty. For example, in the consumer electronics category, 61% of online shoppers expect to buy from Amazon, and 42% from Noon. In comparison, only 14% expect to buy online from retailers with both stores and a website. For home and kitchen, 60% expect to buy from Amazon, 46% from Noon and just 18% to buy online from retailers with a store and website. This pattern is mirrored in many other categories. Amazon opens new doors The opportunity for consumers to discover new products and brands through Amazon is evident. 42% of Amazon.ae shoppers purchased a product from a brand that they had never purchased before. Our findings show that Amazon.ae is a great platform for brands to raise their profile amongst UAE’s online shoppers. Our UAE Shopper Report shows the growing popularity of Amazon in the region, with shoppers using Amazon to find new products and discover new brands. With increases in usage, spending and Prime membership across almost all age groups, Amazon.ae is a platform where consumer brands must build a strong presence if they want to achieve Middle Eastern sales growth. The UAE’s ecommerce market size is predicted to grow from US$10 billion in 2021, to US$17 billion in 2025, reinforcing the opportunity for brands to achieve profitable growth in the region. Download the full [2022 UAE Shopper Report](https://info.pattern.com/uae-shopper-report-2022) to learn more about the insights we have gained from this research.

UK Shopper Report 2022 Cover
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Top Insights for Global Brands from Pattern’s Amazon UK Shopper Research 2022

A team of data fanatics, Pattern seeks to better understand UK shopper behaviour across ecommerce, with a focus on Amazon, to provide strategic support to the consumer brands authorised to sell on Amazon UK as well as many global consulting clients. Pattern leverages this research to supplement our own Amazon transaction data in order to build a comprehensive picture of Amazon shoppers, and understand buyer behaviour. The Post-Pandemic UK Online Shopper Throughout the numerous lockdowns experienced during COVID-19 in the UK, shoppers had little choice but to adopt online channels for non-essential purchases. These circumstances incentivised many brands to shift to digital marketplaces, like Amazon, to capture a growing audience looking for variety and convenience across all product categories. But what does that mean for Amazon and other marketplaces as the UK and Europe ease out of restricted living? In January 2022, Pattern polled online shoppers to build on the findings from the [2021 UK Shopper Report](https://info.pattern.com/uk-shopper-report-2021) to learn how shoppers use online channels, why they choose Amazon, and identify key trends to future-proof your brand on the marketplace and beyond. [Download the full report here](https://info.pattern.com/uk-shopper-report-2022) Top Three Data-Driven Insights It is clear that part of the change in customer behaviour brought about by the pandemic has stuck. Amazon is the Start of the Shopper Journey Last year our research supported the idea that most online shoppers begin their journey on Amazon. This year, we found 93% of online shoppers had visited Amazon to research potential purchases. More than half of shoppers (63%) reported visiting Amazon to check the prices of products, 56% to look for gifts, 50% to look for product information, and 37% to find inspiration. [Edge by Ascential](https://www.ascentialedge.com/press/amazon-become-uks-largest-retailer-gmv-sales-2025) reports Amazon is expected to account for 15% of all retail sales by 2025 – up from 9% in 2020. Coupled with the data that a high percentage of online shoppers begin their journey on Amazon, identifies for brands that their presence on Amazon affects purchase decisions through all sales channels. Gifting The majority of UK online shoppers buy gifts online, and, in 2022, 66% of UK online shoppers are regularly logging on to purchase gifts. In our study, we found 56% of respondents turn to Amazon UK for gifting, which is high traffic for any brand. However, being a gifting destination comes with a sense of responsibility and buyer confidence. Overall, 40% of shoppers who purchased from Amazon in the past year faced at least one issue. Out-of-stock was noted by 21% of all respondents and the product not delivered within the expected time frame a close second (16% of answers). Brands need to ensure they have enough inventory in the right channels to service this demand, particularly during peak trading. As Amazon was the most cited channel for online gift purchases, this should be reflected in brands’ range planning decisions. Prime Position Prime membership is a forward indicator for any brand on Amazon UK – once people have Prime, they tend to visit Amazon more frequently and to buy more. Our 2021 research found that 50% of online shoppers had access to their own or someone else’s Prime account. Now, a total of 58.5% report having access to their own or someone else’s Prime account, and a further 6.2% said they were likely to become Prime members in the next 12 months. With access to low prices, key deals and exclusive promotions, more Prime members will prioritise the marketplace in 2022 and beyond. This also matches our survey data that has about 25% of respondents stating they will spend a little or a lot more on Amazon.co.uk in 2022. Amazon is a Prime Opportunity for Global Brands UK-based online shoppers are savvy and choose to shop online because they’re looking for the best prices, exclusive products, better delivery options, and convenience. Amazon.co.uk delivers on these fundamental consumer ecommerce behaviours, and more, which indicates traffic and conversion will grow year over year. Our research shows DTC online sales can continue to grow as well, provided brands do not charge a premium. Simultaneously, Amazon continues to expand into a broad range of categories and is seen by consumers as the online gateway for shopping. This means brands need to: - Ensure inventory is in the right channels, such as Amazon – particularly during peak trading - Prices on Amazon are viewed as anchor prices and price depreciation on the marketplace will impact the price consumers are prepared to pay in all retail channels Year after year, our research shows that a brand’s DTC channel is not enough to win at ecommerce. As more shoppers start their journey on Amazon, become (or get access to) Prime, and reset their expectations from Amazon, brands need to capitalise on the actionable insights. [Download the complete UK Shopper Report](https://info.pattern.com/uk-shopper-report-2022) to learn more about online shopper behaviour in 2021 and 2022. For more information about how Pattern accelerates brands on Amazon and beyond, please contact us uk@pattern.com.