Pattern’s success can be attributed to our incredible team, harnessing the skills of some of the world’s brightest, most data-driven, and partner-obsessed minds. Employing more than 1,200 people across 10 global locations, Pattern’s operations are a powerhouse of innovation and acceleration. Our #PeopleofPattern blog series shines a spotlight on our people - their responsibilities, achievements, and why they choose to work at Pattern. This week we spoke with Peter Boldt-Christmas, Senior Strategist in Pattern’s London office.
I worked with Practicology before it got acquired by Pattern, so I’ve been with the business for five and a bit years now and have always been part of the strategy team. My role, being part of the consulting arm, is to provide strategic support and services to our brand partners as well as clients that would perhaps not work for our marketplace model, which means that we can work with tech companies, research companies, government bodies, and more. Anything from small family businesses all the way up to global industry leaders.
What the consulting team does is provide advice and strategic support. This includes UX/CX use on a client’s website, benchmarking their DTC or omnichannel experience versus competitors’, and analysing how they can work with their online partners more efficiently. We also offer support for international expansion, coordinating with our teams in Asia, Australia, and the US, to work on these sorts of global projects and help our clients find the largest opportunities.
We also provide playbooks for Amazon, including 1P advice, and organisational structure evaluations, i.e. do you have the right capabilities in your team to conduct ecommerce in the best way.
Since I’ve joined, there’s only been about three to four months where we haven’t been involved in a Google project, so they are definitely among my favourite clients. We’ve done quite a few things with them, and they are a very engaging and interesting client to work with. Thought pieces that utilise our strategic thinking in general are really satisfying, especially when we see our advice being taken onboard.
Our benchmarking projects tackle so many different markets; we’ve done Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Asia and the US as well. It involves a lot of different facets and helps us better understand how the proposition works in different markets and also consumer expectations. This is really interesting to me from a personal perspective, but also really helps us as a company to truly become a global partner who can help brands with very specialised markets. Travelling there and exploring how they shop in the first person is really useful, and brings a lot of life to the recommendations we come up with.
I also really enjoy working with smaller companies! For example we worked with a small, family-owned, bathroom tile retailer based in the UK. Clients that are really engaged and take what we say to heart, those are always exciting, regardless of the size of the company or the industry they’re in.
Firstly, it’s really interesting to be part of a big, global, growing business, having all that support and reach that we’re seeing now. Having the marketplaces proposition is also really exciting. People are always really impressed when you say you work for Pattern.
Secondly, the exposure to such a wide array of different types of businesses is really exciting. I personally don’t like too much of a routine, I like a new challenge and I enjoy the fact that you’re working on a project for a couple of months, that wraps up and then you’re onto something else entirely. Sometimes it’s sad that projects end, because they can be really engaging, but it also means that you’re never doing the same task and you never get too comfortable. Yes, a lot of the work we do in strategy is repeated but you get exposure to everything from global brands, like Google or Moët, all the way to start-ups or mom-and-pop shops. We work across such a vast range, from dog food to walkers for people with disabilities. So many different types of products and businesses, each exciting in their own way.
It’s also the different types of people that you interact with inside the businesses we work with. If I were working for a big consultancy, I don’t believe I’d have the same exposure to the heads, directors, and C-suite executives as young as I did when I started working at Pattern. We get a lot of valuable facetime with really incredible people.
I love to see the team succeed. We’ve had our ups and downs over the years and consulting work can be quite ebb and flow, there are times when we’re not as busy, and other times we’re working really hard together to get projects completed. Seeing how everyone in our team band together in these times is amazing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a director, senior, junior, level strategist, everyone pulls their own weight and everyone is really approachable and does great work. That’s what I find the most rewarding.
In terms of the client side, what’s great is when clients come back for more because they see the value in the work you’ve completed. The long-term clients are the ones that I find the most rewarding because it shows that in terms of business development, the best type of business development is good quality consulting work. If you do it well, and it’s proven, they will always come back for more.
If you like working in a fast-paced environment, where no day is exactly the same as the one before, no client is exactly the same as the last, then Pattern is a very exciting place to work. It’s hands-on, but if you like variety, a challenge, and applying your thinking to different types of businesses but continuing the thread of what it means to provide a true, effective ecommerce experience, it can be very rewarding. The people who work at Pattern are also great, there’s a real sense of camaraderie. You also get the opportunity to work with really engaging, exciting brands.
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 there.
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Developing your ecommerce strategy for digital marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Tmall, and Alibaba gets complicated fast—there’s a lot to think about, including marketplace SEO, product photography, advertising tactics, disjointed sellers, distribution logistics, managing ratings and reviews, and more. It can be overwhelming for brands, especially those with small teams, to know which behaviors to optimize for for the highest gains in profitability.
The good news? Revenue performance all comes down to data. Pattern was built on a data science approach to ecommerce success. We find the patterns that drive profitability, then apply them to boost our brand partners’ revenue on ecommerce channels.
And a key pattern we follow for all brands on digital marketplaces is the ecommerce equation: revenue = traffic x conversions x price x availability. As brands zero in on these four pieces of the equation, they can simplify and focus their efforts to reach truly profitable ecommerce growth.
The first part of the equation is traffic—you need to get people to see your listings if you want to generate sales. There are two ways to drive traffic to your products: through organic search and paid search. Striking the right balance between both for your brands is crucial to driving enough of the right traffic to your products, ultimately increasing your ecommerce revenue.
Knowing this, Pattern provides the resources and technology needed to drive traffic to your product listings. Our brand management team, advertising specialists, and SEO technicians work in harmony to create a unified strategy to boost your brand’s organic profile and balance that with a paid advertising approach that works for your brand and listings.
Using this method, we took Feetures socks from ranking on longer-tail terms like “no show athletic socks black” to driving traffic on parent keywords like “no show socks.”
Getting customers to your product listing is only half the battle. Once on your listing, you need customers to convert. Conversion is key to the ecommerce equation because it leads to real product purchases and revenue. Traffic without conversion leads to more time and ad spend without the ROI.
Optimizing your images, product description, bulleted details, customer reviews, and buy box performance is key to successful conversion. If you’re going to spend time and effort driving traffic, you should make sure customers can easily and clearly find what they’re looking for when they arrive at your listing.
While your imagery and descriptions are important, you also need to build customer trust to drive conversions. Studies show that your customer service efforts matter too—84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends, making strong reviews an important factor of conversion on marketplaces.
The good news is as you provide a quality product and a great marketplace experience, you’ll build brand equity, increasing your customer loyalty. Then, as your reputation, reviews, and traffic grow positively, marketplace algorithms will recognize your popularity and improve your rank accordingly. Rank drives both traffic and conversions, helping you to optimize your performance further. As your brand equity grows, your conversions will continue to grow with it.
While setting a strategic price is an important step in your ecommerce strategy, it takes more than that to truly control your price on marketplaces.
Without proper control and with wide distribution, your product could end up in the hands of disjointed sellers who lower your marketplace price to sell their inventory and make quick profits. With one seller lowering price online, other authorized sellers and retail partners are forced to lower their price to compete, creating price erosion and sending your brand down the profitability death spiral.
This Death Spiral damages brand equity, hurts conversions, and can lead to Buy Box Suppression on Amazon, hindering traffic as well. And as prices get lower and lower, your profit margin withers away, decreasing your overall revenue.
Using our data-driven insights and Pattern’s eControl partner Vorys, we help brands implement narrow distribution, identify and take-down unauthorized sellers, eliminate price erosion, and control their price online. Focusing on price control, Pattern helped LifeSeasons, a premium supplement company, take back 91% control of the Buy Box on Amazon.
The last piece of the ecommerce equation is availability. It makes sense to think of availability as a contributing factor in conversion, but we felt that it’s important enough to call out on its own—you can fully optimize your traffic, conversion, and price, but without availability, you can’t grow revenue for your brand.
A lack of availability leads to stock outs, losing conversions to competitors, losing possession of the buy box, poor customer reviews, a decrease in traffic…the list goes on. The best-performing brands on ecommerce digital marketplaces optimize their availability with high-end technology, optimize their cash on hand, and inventory time on hand to keep the ecommerce equation powered and optimized in their favor.
Pattern is committed to solving the ecommerce equation. We partner with brands to provide the expertise, resources, and technology needed to drive traffic, create content that converts, protect price, maintain availability, and ultimately accelerate ecommerce revenue and profitable growth.
Interested in improving the results of your ecommerce equation? Schedule a call.