Ecommerce Professionals Are Asked to Do Too Much

John LeBaron

February 18, 2021

Working in ecommerce can feel a lot like juggling five to ten objects of different shapes and sizes and hoping they don’t crash to the floor or into each other. Leading the ecommerce efforts for your brand is involved and exhausting, made more so because many brands’ ecommerce arms are woefully under-resourced.

Most brand executives only hire two to three ecommerce experts to run their business online, and it isn’t enough to keep up with everything your business needs to grow. Sound familiar? Ecommerce teams like yours are overworked and overwhelmed, and without proper support or resources you’ll never reach your true business potential. At best, you can keep your head above water and continue pushing off new initiatives and strategies, but at worst, a too thinly spread ecommerce team can turn into one big money pit for business.

Why ecommerce teams are overwhelmed

Ecommerce has evolved into a massive arm of business—ecommerce sales in Q3 of 2020 alone leaped to 37.1% year over year, showing how vital it is to the economic ecosystem. It’s the quickest way to reach consumers, wherever they are, with the biggest wins. It’s also evolved far beyond the scope most brands’ ecommerce teams are equipped to manage.

D2C Websites

Brands generally start with a D2C because it gives them greater control of the brand experience. It also makes up 3% of their overall revenue. D2Cs, however, can rapidly turn complex. You have to manage the retail platform you build your site on—i.e. Shopify, Magento, Google—or build a retail platform on your own. Then there are ancillary ecosystem modules you have to oversee and incorporate into your D2C, like your purchasing systems, your shipping logistics, your customer service infrastructure, and live chat provider. At a minimum, you’re looking at 18 different modules associated with your site that you have to build out and manage as an ecommerce team.

Once these things are built out on your D2C, you then have to drive traffic to your D2C. This requires creating and managing the digital arm supporting your brand—like Instagram and Facebook—working with SEO to drive traffic via search engine, overseeing paid advertising, and maybe even influencer marketing.

All of this is a tall order on its own for an ecommerce team, but D2Cs are only the tip of the ecommerce iceberg.

Marketplaces

Global marketplaces make up a six trillion-dollar industry—Amazon is three times the size of Shopify and Alibaba is 10 times the size of Shopify. Omni-channel marketplaces are the way for your brand to see serious and sustained growth, but they add several more obligations to the shoulders of your already overworked staff and amplify your brand’s main challenges.

With marketplace management, you’re looking at ad spend, SEO and keywords, product listings, MAP enforcement, and online control just to start. That doesn’t take into account additional responsibilities you’ll take on if you choose to sell your product on more than one marketplace. Frankly, even if you think you do, you don’t have the expertise and manpower on your own, across all of these channels, to manage all of them well.

International Sales

Going international adds an additional layer of challenges for your brand, because then you start dealing with obstacles like tariffs, export duties, different MAP laws, localization within each country, different images, and different packaging requirements. It gets spendy to have feet on the ground worldwide, but global ecommerce only continues to grow.

Combined, each of these areas of your ecommerce business are completely inundating your team. You have a higher potential of seeing disparate data across channels and marketplaces, making it harder to let the data guide your strategy. You have siloed expertise, where your team members might be well-versed in one thing like Instagram, but can’t possibly be well-versed in everything your ecommerce brand needs to grow, making it hard to scale. In almost every scenario, being under-resourced is the nail in the coffin for your ecommerce team.

The Executive Dilemma

All of these pressure points cause what we call the “executive dilemma.” This is when CEOs are forced to grapple with the question of whether or not they should invest in an ecommerce team that continues to need more resources and cost them more money. An under-resourced and overworked team gives them lower returns, even if it isn’t that team’s fault, and in order to make up for that, executives will pour additional money into agencies, temp workers, contractors, and software designed to make up for the competencies their ecommerce team is ill-equipped to provide on its own. This just eats into their profits and exacerbates the problem.

Pretty soon, CEOs are questioning if their ecommerce teams are actually any good or if they’re just a waste of their investment. When you’re doing your best to put out fires for your business, juggle everything you need to do, and still failing to meet your potential as a result, this response can be devastating.

The solution

The most important thing you should do right now to address these pressure points is to communicate them to your brand executives. Make sure they know exactly what your ecommerce team needs to help the brand grow, and let them know there’s a better way of doing business: the Pattern way.

Pattern helps ecommerce teams just like yours eliminate pressure points so they can realize their full potential and focus on the strategic direction of their ecommerce business, instead of just cleaning up messes. With Pattern’s partnership, brands become self-sufficient and achieve long-term profitable growth, while allowing ecommerce professionals to grow and flourish.

Without Pattern, your business may go through 3-5 or more agencies to cover the work your ecommerce team can’t, paying thousands of dollars in fees each month in addition to costs for personnel, your D2C, marketplaces, and lost margins due to lack of control online.

At Pattern, we pay you—literally. We purchase your inventory from you and then arm you with every tool you need to dazzle on ecommerce, including invaluable data analysis about your conversion rates and listings, marketing and advertising resources, SEO, shipping and distribution logistics, and even international sales when you’re ready. We also help you get control of your brand online, so not only are you making money, but you’re saving it.

Our brand managers are devoted to the success of your brand, not how much they can make on commission or how much of your money they can spend. We work hand in hand with your ecommerce team to give you the support you need to not only thrive, but to reclaim the space and time your team needs in order to focus on doing what you love again.

To learn more about how Pattern can help your brand, set up your demo 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

4 Ecommerce Marketplace 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.