Scaling Ecommerce Growth: Partners vs. Agencies

John LeBaron

December 16, 2020

We’re about to say something you might find surprising: working with an agency is not the most effective way to grow your ecommerce business. Sure, agencies offer the expertise and the perspective you need to excel, but gone are the days when an agent could give a brand all the resources they need to thrive.

Brands today deal with far more complexities than agencies are equipped to solve, and to win big, brand leaders need a different relationship with the body helping them manage their brand. If you’re looking to scale your growth quickly and at less cost with the expertise you need to win in every corner, you should consider working with a partner instead of an agency.

An agency vs. a partner

When we talk about a “partner,” we mean someone who prioritizes your brand’s success, has a real relationship with you, and brings a full deck of experience to the table to help you thrive in every element of your business. Agencies can partially get you there, but there are some key differences that make a partnership with a company like Pattern a better option for growth.

Partners give you a wider breadth of expertise

Agencies rely on a fairly antiquated, specialized model for success. The upside to that is you get an expert with a honed focus helping you win on platforms like Amazon. The downside is that, while an agency might have expertise on one element of your ecommerce business, let’s say marketing, they may not be great at things like SEO, content syndication, or listing optimization. They might be well-versed in one platform, but not have the depth of experience to help your brand win on another. In a market where omnichannel is king, that can create some serious blindspots.

Double Your Resources With the Benefits of an Ecommerce Partner Over an Ecommerce Agency | Pattern

What tends to happen when a brand works with an agency is they don’t just stick to one agency. They have to make contracts with other agencies to help them cover the bases of their ecommerce business left uncovered. This creates a spendy smorgasbord of a team that can be difficult for brands to manage.

A partnership with Pattern gives you centralized expertise for every channel of your business at significantly less cost to you. This includes expertise on advertising, domestic sales, international sales, SEO, customer experience, design, different marketplaces, and more. Instead of jugging five or six accounts you only have to worry about one. You’re working with fewer personnel, but even more expertise.

Partners have aligned financial incentives

Working with an agency can often undermine the very thing you’re trying to achieve because of how agencies are incentivized. Let’s say you want to grow your brand at a lower cost. While you’re incentivized to keep ad spend low, an agency might be incentivized to spend more because they get a commission of the funds that your brand is spending in a given marketplace. They might be bonused based on something like Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) and therefore bid on branded keywords that cost less but only give you vanity metrics instead of driving incremental sales.

Pattern Partner Key Outcomes in Their First Year, Revenue Growth, Control, Expansion to New Marketplaces | Pattern

In a partnership with Pattern, your incentives are our incentives. Our brand managers are compensated for helping you hit your revenue and growth targets, not based on how much you spend. Brands working with Pattern ultimately spend less than they did on their own or with an agency because we offer more bang for their buck and put them first. We, in fact, cut you a check upfront, not the other way around.

Partners offer more flexibility

Most agencies expect their clients to commit to a contract of several months or several years. That can be draining financially and it can be difficult if your relationship with an agency sours over time.

The average contract with Pattern only requires you to commit to sixty days out, and we give you the best value for your dollar so that when the time comes, you feel incentivized to stay. 97% of our new clients do.

How Pattern helps brands grow their revenue

Unlike working with an agency, working with Pattern as your partner means you’re armed with every tool you need to tackle every problem you have across your ecommerce channels. We’ve got the tech and the data to back you up.

Pattern helps brands rapidly increase their growth at a significantly lower cost through an ecommerce equation focused strategy: **Revenue = Traffic x Conversion x Price **

Ecommerce Equation to Grow Revenue | Pattern

Once brands are able to increase their traffic and conversion and get control of price, they’re primed to watch their long-term profits and ultimately their revenue grow. Here’s how a partnership with Pattern can do that.

Increased traffic

Getting more traffic to your listing is an important way to grow your brand, whether it be paid traffic, organic traffic, referral traffic, or others. Pattern helps you expand your traffic tributary both on an organic front by optimizing things like your digital shelf and analyzing your product destiny as well as a paid front by using technology to accelerate your dominance and authority along a vector of keywords. SEO is our first language.

Another way we increase your brand’s traffic is by helping you show up on new marketplaces. If you’re on Amazon today, but you’re not on Walmart, you can safely assume you’d get a 10% lift in traffic just by showing up on Walmart (one of our brands saw a 771% increase in YoY sales). The same goes for international platforms, like Amazon.UK, Tmall, and JD.com. Having a presence on a wide variety of markets is a significant way to increase traffic to your listings. While a single agency may be ill-equipped to take your business global and won’t have access to all of the resources you need to succeed on these platforms, Pattern does.

Pattern has a network of highly trained experts with boots on the ground in every major market in the world. We help you sell your product to international audiences and get your product on international platforms so your brand can grow on a global scale as well as a domestic one.

Increased conversion

Traffic has to convert to sales for your business to grow, and in order to effectively increase your conversion, you need to have access to the data on what works and what doesn’t. If you’re in a 1P relationship with Amazon, you can’t get that data. Amazon doesn’t share it with their 1P brands. As a third-party seller, Pattern does.

We give brand leaders the data to inform their branding decisions by performing A/B testing to determine what works best and what doesn’t. We look at everything from your product photography and page content to what customers are saying they like or dislike about your product in reviews. We work to optimize your titles, your descriptions, and image stacks so they’re slick and informative to customers. The quicker your product listings answer the questions a customer has when they go searching for your product, the higher your add-to-cart rate will be.

Another way we tackle the conversion vector of your ecommerce business is through promotions, coupons, or virtual bundles that entice shoppers to buy.

Most brands may have a conversion rate of 3 to 10% on a given listing. At Pattern, we have listings that convert to 40%. Just by increasing this one lever of your ecommerce business, you can 4x your revenue.

Price control

You really can’t optimize for traffic and conversion in a meaningful way until your authorized seller has some control over the Buy Box, and that requires control over your pricing and distribution online. Without control, your margins and your profits across ecommerce and brick-and-mortar channels get sliced.

Let’s say the MAP price on your product is $50. Without control, it might show up in the Buy Box for $25. That’s 50% margin lost on every single sale, and left unchecked, the seller creating this erosion can make it bad enough that your distributors are coming to you and demanding you lower the cost of your product so they can afford to sell it.

Pattern helps you restore your margins and protect them so your profitability is protected, too. We help you see where erosion is happening, kick out bad players, and give you the teeth to enforce your policies so it doesn’t happen again.

Revenue

Once your business is optimized for traffic, conversion, and price, you’re prepared to see your revenue and your margins grow. Most brands that work with Pattern are more profitable from day one, and Pattern works to ensure that growth is sustained overtime by using premiere technology to help your brand improve its customer experience and maintain a dominant presence on ecommerce marketplaces. An agency might get you to the curb. We get you through the door with quickly and effectively scaled growth.

To learn more about how a partnership with Pattern can help you grow your ecommerce business profitably, contact us below.

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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/)
Aug 30, 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](https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/24/amazon-is-shutting-down-amazon-care-telehealth-service.html) 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](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/24/peloton-strikes-deal-to-sell-fitness-equipment-on-amazon/) --- 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](https://themalaysianreserve.com/2022/08/25/around-60-malaysians-are-buying-from-local-sellers-on-shopee/) 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](https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/flipkart-s-social-commerce-platform-shopsy-hits-100-million-users-1220828006851.html) 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](https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2022/meta-joins-amazon-walmart-indian-ecommerce-market/) --- 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](https://ecommercenews.eu/ecommerce-in-spain-was-worth-e57-7-billion-in-2021/)
Aug 23, 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](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/11/amazon-plans-to-add-mental-health-support-to-primary-care-service/) 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](https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/09/gmb-calls-for-15-an-hour-minimum-pay-at-amazon-warehouses-in-uk) 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](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/17/amazon-third-party-sellers-have-received-their-first-ever-holiday-fee-hike/) 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](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/08/21/amazon-pauses-uk-grocery-shop-roll-out-following-disappointing/) --- 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](https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2022/08/18/shopee-surpasses-alibaba-in-international-sales-amazon-searches-for-entertainment-exec/) 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](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/16/hm-returns-to-alibabas-tmall-platform-16-months-after-xinjiang-controversy/) 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](https://www.theindustry.fashion/klarna-launches-new-feature-allowing-uk-consumers-to-view-full-online-order-history/) --- 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](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/09/online-marketplaces-responsible-for-280-billion-business-turnover-in-uk/)