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!

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.

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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 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Consultant Must-Haves

Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces. 

Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.

So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.

Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.

An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.

Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services. 

2. Proven Results

It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.

4. Network of Resources

The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces. 

With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.

Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.

Sept 15, 2022

The 3 Tmall Metrics That Every Brand Needs to Know

If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.

At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.

What is Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR)?

Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.

Why DSR Determines Success on Tmall

DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.

Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.

DSR Score Elements

1. Service

Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.

So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.

2. Delivery

Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.

So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.

3. Content

As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.

The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).

Expand Internationally With Pattern

As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter. 

It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.

Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.