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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Sept 27, 2022

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/)
Sept 22, 2022

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.

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)