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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Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (6th September 2022)
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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/)

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (30th August 2022)
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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/)

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (23rd August 2022)
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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/)