Ecommerce accelerators are taking the industry by storm, and catapulting brands to new successes. But, since an ecommerce accelerator is a third party relationship, isn’t an ecommerce accelerator actually just another agency on a brand's roster?
While the two sound similar, ecommerce agencies focus more heavily on providing services and deliverables within a specific scope of work and time period in exchange for payment, while ecommerce accelerators lean into full-fledged partnership, helping grow brands in exchange for a share of profits.
As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern partners with brands to provide the technology, expertise, and resources brands need to grow revenue and profits across marketplaces around the world. And, unlike other accelerators or agencies, Pattern invests even deeper in each opportunity by taking stock in a brand’s inventory.
Ecommerce agencies work for your brand to provide a variety of services. From marketplace SEO to product photography, agencies are contracted to provide a set period of support and/or a number of specialized deliverables. By taking things like content creation, listing optimization, and reporting analysis off of your plate, agencies allow your brand to focus on other important aspects of your ecommerce business.
However, agencies have their downsides. A scope of work usually includes a flat agency fee, or retainer, aka the benefit of working with them, as well as variable costs. Plus, the “unexpected costs” like creative shoots, overages, and rush fees. Because agencies are often paid for work completed and not results achieved (for instance, media agencies are typically paid on a percentage of total ad spend) your goals aren’t always aligned.
Hiring a handful of different, specialized agencies only makes aligning a brand’s marketplace goals even harder since each agency is working with its own data and providing siloed reporting. Having a bloated agency roster typically means that the tech stacks do not integrate or even talk to one another. By working with one team for advertising, another for graphic design, yet another for customer service, and the list goes on, your ecommerce team is left piecing together the different results to identify new opportunities and create one holistic strategy.
Ecommerce agencies help alleviate some of the stress on your team, but can create more work connecting the data to the larger business strategy, wasted time going back-and-forth on approvals and processes, and may require more investment in technology to integrate the disparate reports.
Like an agency, an accelerator is a third party that works with your brand to provide the expertise and resources you need to optimize for marketplaces and ecommerce opportunities. But unlike an agency, an accelerator buys your inventory and works side-by-side with you to grow your brand and is a one-stop shop for an entire marketplace solution.
Ecommerce accelerators have the same services and capabilities like listing copy, product imagery, and data and analytics that both relieve your ecommerce team and drive traffic to and conversion for a product. But accelerators have the scale go a step further and full-service resources to provide every step along the way like customer support, inventory forecasting, warehouse storage, packaging product bundles, shipping logistics, and more. All without surcharges, separate fees, or hidden costs.
Accelerators provide these services under one roof. No more disparate data or disconnected strategies. Ecommerce accelerators can help you optimize your marketplace offering from start to finish, and help you understand how each aspect (inventory, SEO, promotions, etc.) affect the others.
At Pattern, we accelerate your brand by buying your product inventory, helping you optimize for sales, getting orders to customers, and finding actionable insights along the way to enhance the process going forward. As an extension of your ecommerce team, we don’t succeed unless you do, helping us get aligned from day one.
While agencies may relieve some pressure and provide expert advice on one specific area of your ecommerce business, accelerators partner with your brand, taking on the workload to drive your revenue. Agencies want you to succeed, but accelerators rely on your success, instantly aligning accelerators to growing your brand.
A leading ecommerce accelerator, Pattern takes stake in your inventory and provides the resources and technology needed to accelerate ecommerce growth and drive profitable revenue on marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Tmall, and beyond.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.