Do You Know the 3 Greatest Marketplace Distribution Challenges for Ecommerce Brands?

Katie Lavin

July 12, 2022

Brands who sell on marketplaces are responsible to ship products to as many as 75 different fulfillment centers, or more–and that’s just for Amazon U.S..  Once you add international marketplaces and D2C channels to the mix,  your distribution points get exponentially greater.  How can any brand manage this without losing control or revenue?

Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, has already come head to head with each of these distribution challenges (and more) and has the experience to take them on for your brand.  By working with an ecommerce accelerator like Pattern, your brand can avoid the complexity of burgeoning distribution points by shipping everything to one warehouse (ours) and letting us do the literal and proverbial heavy lifting.

What are the three greatest marketplace distribution challenges for most brands?

Watch Pattern CEO and co-founder Dave Wright explain the top 3 challenges and read more below.

Challenge 1: Direct to Consumer

Even before ecommerce, distribution has always been a challenge for brands.  In the past brands had to ship products to brick and mortar stores, distributors, wholesalers, and specialty retailers, so there was still a lot of logistics involved to reach “direct” to the consumer.

Now, with ecommerce and direct-to-consumer, the same brands are being forced to break apart pallets, break apart the cases, and individually take out each product to ship to consumers–from their own ecommerce site and marketplaces like Amazon.

Alone, brands do not have the infrastructure or capabilities to do all of that, and need a partner who can aggregate all products into a single warehouse, divide as needed, and distribute from one central hub.  Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, can manage all those logistics and literal moving parts since it owns its own fulfillment and logistics, including warehouses around the world.  

In addition, since Pattern owns stock in the inventory, it has the full picture of how products are priced and selling.  By using its data-driven insights to continue to optimize each listing,  Pattern is also able to ideate and sell new bundles and other combinations of products to optimize the breakdown and reassembly of each purchase.  

For instance, Pattern helped YogiTea to create 6-pack bundles to introduce customers to different product lines, while also improving the distribution process.   The quick sales growth led to the bundles being featured on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” page in the top 10 new releases, and the variety pack sales led to incremental top line revenue growth, accounting for 14% of all revenue in December 2019.

Challenge 2:  Same Day Delivery

You offer the best quality product at the very best price, but before a consumer hits the “buy” button, the real competition heats up.  They want to know, “When will it arrive?” 

If you go through Google shopping, it’ll say, “arrive in 10 days,” and infrastructure wise it is difficult to get good at logistics for just that package.  Then, Amazon says generally 2 days, and maybe Prime same day (or within 24 hours).  The logistics just got more difficult.  Next, imagine you are in China. says 6 hours, and that is across all of China.  How can your brand deliver?

So brands think they have a problem with distribution now, but it's just going to get tougher to compete as delivery windows shrink and your brand expands internationally.  Because if your product gets delivered in 9 days and your competitor delivers in 6 hours, you lost the sale.  

If this all seems daunting, the good news is you do not have to be amazing at logistics and fulfillment, you just have to find partners who are.  Since Pattern ships from its own warehouses, with a global footprint, you can eliminate a few steps (and days and hours) from production to delivery by avoiding shipping and re-shipping between marketplace’s warehouses then to the customer.

Challenge 3:  International Complexities

Brands who aren't selling globally yet, or don’t really have it as a focus, will likely struggle to just figure out how to get product into countries.  Then, once the product arrives overseas via ship or air, you also have to figure out how to drop ship to the consumer and how to ship your product to mass retail channels (and probably a few more retail outlets, too).  In addition, every region provides its own complexities, with its own rules, policies, and traditions, which means your brand needs to become local experts in dozens of countries.  

In the process of going global,  a brand may choose to work with third party agencies or trading partners, and may dedicate too many resources to launch and succeed in the new market. Pattern works with partners around the world, in small and large markets alike, to put the right controls and strategies in place to make sure the deliveries happen and your brand navigates all local customs, traditions, and policies and avoids brokerage fees, unexpected costs, or extra tariffs.

Pattern Solves Marketplace Distribution Challenges for Brands

Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, has the experience and global resources to help your brand handle its distribution challenges ahead.  Whether the consumer purchased one unit from Amazon, Walmart, TMall, or another global marketplace, or a wholesaler needs an entire pallet, Pattern has the fulfillment and logistics infrastructure and expertise to deliver within today’s timelines.

Let Pattern take the stress off distribution with fulfillment and logistics so you can continue to see your sales grow.

Contact Us to learn how Pattern will deliver for your brand.

Want to learn more? Watch Dave Wright, Pattern CEO and co-founder, talk more about distribution challenges ecommerce CEOs must solve.

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Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (6th September 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]( 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]( --- 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]( 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]( 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]( --- 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]( [Read more on the Guardian]( 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](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (30th August 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC]( Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve]( Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard]( Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (23rd August 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail]( GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian]( Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire]( H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](