How Pattern Helps Company Direct Sales Strategy

Steve Ellis

April 12, 2021

Direct sales (or multi-level marketing) comes with a set of unique and often frustrating challenges that other retail brands or companies don’t experience. As a direct sales company, you need to figure out how to grab the attention of potential distributors and successfully pitch your business model to them so your products have more pipelines to move from point A to point B. Your direct selling strategy can’t be to wait for consumers or distributors to come to you. There are myriad moving parts.

Perhaps the biggest challenge that direct sellers face today is competing in an omni-channel ecommerce landscape with marketplace giants like Amazon or Walmart. Not only are these big fish in the retail pond, they can be a big threat to your direct sales strategy. Play the game right, however, and you can steadily grow your distribution channels without being disrupted by other marketplaces.

How marketplaces harm company direct sales strategies

Gone are the days when your brand could sleep easy at night without ecommerce channels undermining brand control beneath your nose, and gone are the days when selling through your downlines was the most effective way to grow. Marketplaces have made both much more difficult, and one of the biggest reasons is that they’re an easy solution for your distributors trying to make a sale.

Let’s say a company is carrying a new hair product, and they choose to take the direct seller route to market. They’ll sell their product wholesale to a distributor, who in turn will sell that product at the retail price to people in their circle of influence who are interested in improving their hair care routine. They may do this by hosting product parties or making grassroots contact with friends and family. This not only helps the brand grow; it also helps that distributor rise in the ranks until they’re eventually able to make a tidy profit and have more incentives to sell.

While some distributors might do everything the right way and excel at hitting their sales goals, others may struggle and seek out alternative methods to move products and support their business. An easy solution? Taking products to ecommerce marketplaces.

To sell or get rid of their products, a distributor—and even some of a brand’s customers—will gravitate toward Amazon, or other online channels, where they can make a business storefront, list the product, and sell it there rather than through slower traditional marketing methods. Sometimes to compete in this space and make the sale, the rogue distributor will drop the price down. That single unauthorized action is a trigger that complicates the entire market and makes selling much harder for the distributors doing it the right way.

Customers who are interested will go to Amazon, find the product listed for less, and choose to purchase it there with no incentive to buy it from anyone else at the higher, but normal, price point. The brand’s other distributors, in turn, will not be able to compete unless they markdown the cost of their own inventory.

Soon, that company is fielding complaints that the online price is too low and the rest of their distributors can’t make a profit selling their inventory unless they get it from the company for less. If that company marks down wholesale prices, they lose margin. If they don’t, they start losing distributors. In one fell swoop, that company’s downline, its upline, and the entire brand at large takes a hit, all because they didn’t have a strategy to take control and stop unauthorized practices on Amazon.

The fact is, if you aren’t putting your products on Amazon, somebody else is, and they’re likely doing a worse job than you would. You don’t want to be the brand that has no control of the direct sales strategy because it allowed distributors and third parties to dictate its marketplace presence and prices.

The opportunity cost of not selling on marketplaces

Lack of control and price erosion across channels aren’t the only business costs of not being on Amazon. The truth is that direct sales strategies are getting trickier to do via traditional methods—that’s why brands are turning to influencer marketing to sell their products. Social media and marketplaces make up a big chunk of the market. Leaving it up to distributors and their circles of influence alone to get the word out means your product is unavailable to a large segment of consumers, and fewer consumers means fewer sales.

In order to change that, you need to have control online, and you need to have a presence on marketplaces. This opens the door to big sales opportunities that can help your brand grow in exciting ways without harming your distributors. That’s not something you should miss out on.

How Pattern can help

At Pattern, we’re marketplace experts, and we also understand the direct selling space better than any other partner you can find. Our people have the tools, data, and know-how to help you get your brand under control on marketplaces.

The Amazon market is complex with lots of moving parts, as is the media pointing to the market. Our Pattern experts work in close collaboration with your brand to help you establish a powerful and personal ecommerce presence and direct sales strategy that reflects your brand image and has messaging congruent with your overall brand strategies. We help you create clean and beautiful listings, capitalize on the right marketing keywords to increase conversions and retain control of the Buy Box, and identify third-party sellers who are undermining your sales in an unauthorized way to prevent price erosion. We also provide data to help you set optimal pricing and control policies among your distributors.

Another benefit of working with Pattern to get control of your brand on ecommerce is that you’re able to give your distributors more breathing room. Having a presence on Amazon and establishing rules for control gives your distributors more freedom and opportunity to sell there, too. Instead of just their immediate circle of influence, they’ll have their friends and family plus all of Amazon’s consumers to sell to. This strengthens your brand’s relationship with the independent sales reps putting in the work to help it succeed, and it ultimately helps you reach a wider audience.

Last but not least, Pattern not only helps you optimize your current efforts for success, but also helps to identify international marketplace opportunities to expand into. And, of course, we’ll be with you every step of the way, applying our same proven methodologies in every new region we tackle together.

To learn more about what a Pattern partnership can do for your brand’s direct sales strategy, contact us today.

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Amazon's Sponsored Product ads
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What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

Utilizing Amazon sponsored ads can be a smart way for a brand to drive greater traffic to a product listing and start increasing sales. While many brands still struggle to manage their advertising strategies, 30% of Amazon brand sellers increased their advertising budgets in 2022. As ecommerce executives (or even on the nose with VPs of ecommerce?)  approve their 2023 advertising budgets, it may be worth it to take a look at Amazon’s advertising products and the benefit they may have on increasing conversions. 

​​Pattern is the premier ecommerce accelerator with all of the expertise, data-driven insights, and technology brands need to gain control on Amazon and maintain their competitive niche. We know the high value of and how to utilize Amazon’s advertising products to drive the most traffic and conversions to benefit and accelerate your brand.

Here are Amazon’s three main advertising products you should know about in order to drive listing traffic to your products and increase conversions: 

For a brand executive who is selling their product on Amazon, you may not already know the differences between campaign type, so we will walk you through the differences and uses for each of these three ad campaigns.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Products are a mid-funnel advertising strategy that gives visibility to products above the top organic listings (see example below). This strategy uses custom keywords to get products in front of the consumers who are searching for them, however it can be used to capture new audiences as well.These cost-per-click (CPC) ads require no additional copy or images, but usually receive the most interaction of the campaigns and need to be monitored closely.

As you can see, these ads look just like an organic listing, however they say, “Sponsored,” on them. These types of ads can be especially effective forms of advertising because they tend to blend in with the organic results around them. With Sponsored Products, you can get your products in front of qualified customers who are searching for your product in such a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being served an advertisement.

Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads are a top-of-funnel brand awareness tool and function on keywords. This ad format helps show a customer what they may be in need of and where to get it.  Commonly used to promote product lines or best sellers, a Sponsored Brand ad shows up as a banner above the search results (see example below). This type of ad requires that the brand showcase at least three separate products.

Unlike other campaigns used on the Amazon platform, Sponsored Brand ads require ad copy and a unique logo. These ads also can take customers to a custom landing page, or a page on the brand store, that way they get a clear and overall picture about who your brand is, what other products you sell, and why they can trust your brand

Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display ads can be a tactic for top, middle, or bottom of the advertising funnel due to its varying targeting abilities. Although most commonly found under the bullet points of a detail page, these ads can also show in emails, newsletters, and even more locations off platform.

Unlike the previous ad campaigns discussed, sponsored display ads can target shopping behaviors, like repeat purchasers, similar product purchasers, and even people who viewed the detail page but did not buy. Sponsored Display ads help customers discover your brand, drive awareness, and create loyalty. 

The example above shows just one of the many placements Sponsored Display has.

Accelerate Your Sponsored Products With Pattern 

Rather than competing with each other, each of the three sponsored ad products focus on a different section of the sales funnel, allowing you to target your customers and hit your sales numbers, all while edging out possible competitors. When brands use these advertising campaigns, they can better optimize their ad budget to improve ROAS and build revenue. 

At Pattern, we have all the resources to help your brand build successful advertising and digital marketing campaigns on Amazon so you can increase traffic and conversions, which will in turn increase your revenue

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand
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How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.

Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.

At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise  are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.

A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:

Prioritize Your Success

Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance

Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS. 

To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.

It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins. 

Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.

Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.