The Acceleration Framework: 5 Pillars for Growth

John LeBaron

October 6, 2021

To say ecommerce is a big opportunity for brands is an understatement. Ecommerce is on pace to do $6 trillion in sales in 2024, and $7 trillion by 2025. Not only is is the global indstury growing, currently about 18% of all retail sales in the U.S. go through ecommerce, making the local industry just as appealing.

But thriving on ecommerce isn’t as simple as it seems—and not nearly simple enough for a small ecommerce team to handle on its own. Even if your team can handle your direct-to-consumer website, it quickly becomes a mammoth task to successfully expand to additional marketplaces, languages, and countries.

The tasks of handling shipping and returns, managing website plugins and marketplace platforms, maintaining high-quality listings, ensuring consistent prices across channels, and preserving your brand image quickly become complicated and overwhelming. Your ecommerce team is likely left to wonder where and how to best spend their limited time and resources.

At Pattern, we believe brands can more simply and easily attain ecommerce success by focusing on five core competencies: insights, traffic, conversion, price, and logistics. We’ve found that as brands focus their efforts on excelling in these competencies, they drive profitable, tangible growth for their companies.

To simplify this process for as many brands as possible, we’ve carefully crafted an ecommerce acceleration platform to help brands master the competencies and harness their full ecommerce potential. This platform includes software built around each key competency layered with expert services. The best part? We don’t charge for this platform.

Read on to learn Pattern’s role as an accelerator and take a deep dive into each core competency.

What is an ecommerce accelerator?

In the last year, ecommerce has seen the rise of ecommerce aggregators. Aggregators buy Amazon businesses and sellers, either to continue selling the products on their own or to eventually sell the companies for a profit. Thrasio is the leader of this movement.

At Pattern, we consider ourselves ecommerce accelerators. Unlike aggregators, we’re not here to buy your business and make a profit on it. We’re here to help you accelerate your own brand’s sales and growth. And we’re the first ecommerce accelerator with a dedicated acceleration platform to make that process as effective as possible.

Our acceleration results speak for themselves. Pattern partner Pure Encapsulations has seen a sales growth of 513% over 4 years of working with Pattern. Pandora Jewelry’s growth has accelerated by 300%. Owlet has seen 300% revenue growth and decreased unauthorized sellers with 95% compliance. Simply put, we specialize in accelerating brands like yours.

The five core competencies of acceleration

Our acceleration platform is built on five core competencies that, when mastered, accelerate brands into ecommerce success.

Insights

Insights refers to monitoring data about your brand’s performance on ecommerce. This includes data about your brand’s revenue, market share, traffic, ad results, customer satisfaction, and more. It’s crucial to accurately track this data in real-time to know what’s working well for your brand and where you need to improve. Doing so will help you anticipate consumer needs based on historical activity, spot information disconnects from abandoned carts and high bounce rates, and learn about your target audience.

Although it sounds like a given to know, for example, your brand’s revenue across channels, it’s not uncommon for brands to lose visibility when selling on multiple channels. If your brand sells product to a distributor who then sells your product on Amazon, you may quickly begin to lose track of your data. The distributor may be selling some of your product on Amazon, some in a brick-and-mortar store, and some on other ecommerce marketplaces.

At Pattern, we know how frustrating this can be. Our software gives brands access to all the data available about their products and brand, making it clear and easy to know where your brand is thriving, how you’re faring against your competitors, and where you can make improvements to maximize profit.

Apart from tracking your brand’s metrics, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of the entire market in which you compete. To truly dominate the insights core competency, you must also have a real-time understanding of category and competitive trends. Our proprietary software makes this simple.

Traffic

It’s impossible to make sales if you’re not getting traffic on your listings, which makes traffic the second core competency brands should prioritize. This includes maximizing your paid advertising and unpaid SEO opportunities to improve your search rank.

Paid advertising gives your leads visibility and helps you rank in the keywords that are most frequently searched by your target audience. Utilizing best SEO practices is a free way to boost your organic search rank, which in turn creates a growth loop—as your product ranks higher, it receives more traffic, and as it receives more traffic, algorithms will see it as popular and increase or maintain its high organic rank.

Your marketplace coverage is another aspect to consider. If you want to drive more traffic to your product listings, you may consider expanding to additional marketplaces like Walmart, Tmall, and Mercado Libre.

With Pattern’s ecommerce acceleration platform, we increase your brand’s traffic by automating advertising, optimizing product listings for SEO, and increasing your return on ad spend.

Conversion

Once you’ve driven traffic to your listing, the next step is to convert that traffic into purchases. Creating a stellar product listing page is one of the most effective ways to turn browsing shoppers into customers. High quality content, detailed product descriptions, and consistent branding can all increase your brand’s conversion rates.

A good rule of thumb is to maximize every possible opportunity for high-quality content. Fill every image slot in your stack with professional, lifestyle-led photos. Utilize tools like Enhanced Brand Content, listing video, and sponsored brand video. Fill your product descriptions with simple, optimized content that answers common consumer questions. Do everything you can to improve customer experience to generate a high rating and positive reviews.

When discussing conversion, it’s also important to take a look at your brand’s competitiveness, starting with your product price, which we’ll discuss further below. Tools like coupons, bundles, and rebates can also push consumers to click “add to cart.”

Significant channel conflict can negatively influence your conversion rates. Is your product being sold across different marketplaces for different prices? Do you have more than a handful of vendors selling your product on each marketplace? Do you struggle with product compliance in terms of imagery and inventory? Are your images inconsistent across marketplaces? If you answered yes to any of those questions, your brand is at risk for channel conflict and the resulting hit to your conversion rates.

Our Predict software, alongside the expertise of highly-qualified marketing professionals, will help your brand boost conversion by optimizing content, building brand credibility, and maintaining omnichannel brand consistency.

Price

It takes significant market research and financial analysis to price your product both competitively and profitably.

Once you’ve set the ideal price for your product, you need to maintain a consistent price for your product across all sellers and marketplaces. Tracking and enforcing Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) can make the difference between sustainment and acceleration. A key element of this process is removing unauthorized sellers, who often sell your product for below MAP and thus pressure other sellers to do the same.

Stabilizing pricing, both through eliminating unauthorized sellers and keeping prices consistent over time, will help your brand win the Buy Box more consistently, giving you more conversions and more profit.

Pattern’s ecommerce acceleration platform can help your brand consistently win the Buy Box, decrease MAP violators, and stabilize pricing.

Logistics

The final core competency brands need to master to achieve ecommerce acceleration is logistics. When it comes to logistics, brands should aim to be efficient with fulfillment, returns, forecasting, and managing other third party sellers.

Relying on an exclusive seller is a solid strategy to help you more efficiently manage your logistics. Exclusive sellers often allow you to ship your product much more quickly than you would be able to on your own, helping you compete with other products with lightning fast shipping. This model can also help brands with limited warehouse space.

Customer support and experience also fall under the logistics umbrella. When you quickly respond to customer inquiries and make returns quick and painless, you’re likely to enjoy better loyalty and retention, more positive ratings and reviews, and an improved brand reputation.

Pattern’s acceleration framework ensures your product will always be in stock, helps you expand your fulfillment capabilities, and reduces your shipping costs. While we help brands master the first four competencies with a software called Predict, we rely on a warehouse management software called Shelf for logistics and distribution. Predict also facilitates and manages cross-docking—after receiving a product shipment, we relabel and package every product before sending it to one of Amazon’s 106 different facilities.

How will your brand accelerate?

Working with Pattern is like clicking the “easy” button for ecommerce. Our software and expert services fill the gaps that short-staffed ecommerce teams can’t quite reach, helping you maximize your potential (and profit) on ecommerce. Our ecommerce acceleration platform is the first of its kind, and your brand can access it at no extra cost to you. Interested in learning more? Get your demo today to get started.

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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.