COVID-19 has radically changed business as usual, and one area where this is especially apparent is ecommerce. Brands with products in categories like health and wellness have flourished under the skyrocketing demand for their products. Others, however, have seen their profits plummet as a result of decreased demand and putting all their eggs in a single-channel basket like Amazon, which buckled under massive order volume at the onset of the pandemic and is still struggling to keep up inventory with demand.
In light of COVID-19, brand diversification has become more important than ever. Not only can it help your brand compete, but diversification can help your brand weather many of the storms that may come its way.
There are two main types of diversification that can be used to strengthen an ecommerce brand: product diversification and platform diversification.
Because markets fluctuate, brands that sell one product may be at risk if that product falls out of demand. With COVID-19 related travel restrictions and financial insecurity, for example, the demand for luggage and luxury goods has plummeted, harming brands that sell in those categories.
Through product diversification, brands can expand into complementary or related product categories, creating opportunities to cross-promote products, stand out amongst competitors, and widen their portfolio. An example of product diversification is for a computer company to start selling other electronics to their consumer base, like gaming consoles.
Leveraging more than one ecommerce channel platform (like a D2C website, Walmart Marketplace, eBay, Etsy, etc.) is another type of diversification. By diversifying the platforms you sell your product on, you can get that product to different target audiences and avoid the risks that come from being at the whim of one company.
We’ve touched on some of the reasons why diversification matters, but it’s worth a deeper dive to understand how it can strengthen your business.
Let’s say you only sell products on Amazon. You probably know that Amazon is saturated with competition. You’re competing against grey market sellers, companies with similar products, and even Amazon itself—Amazon’s private label products have created many challenges for sellers. Diversification is one way to help your brand stand out.
Selling on platforms like Walmart Marketplace or Shopify in addition to Amazon can help you access different markets where people are more likely to notice your brand while retaining traffic and sales from Amazon.
Diversifying your product on Amazon can also help you compete. If you offer a unique bundle at a great price that other brands aren’t offering, for example, customers may be more attracted to your product.
Because of COVID-19, Amazon made the choice this spring to prioritize essential and high-demand products, creating panic and massive headaches for third-party FBA sellers. Transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party processing were dramatically affected.
No new inventory was allowed to be shipped to Amazon, which opened the door for stock-outs of products that continued to sell. Brands in global marketplaces on Amazon also saw delivery estimates on their products increase to 30-days out.
The question still remains of how FBA services will operate in an anticipated second wave of the pandemic—earlier this month changes on Amazon’s Inventory Performance Index were announced that will limit distribution for sellers scoring below 500. Those changes go into effect on August 16, 2020.
By diversifying your business, you can avoid many of the risks that come from depending on a single channel like Amazon that can change the rules overnight or a single product that may not sell.
It doesn’t take a pandemic or national emergency to bring down a single-channel business, especially if that single channel is Amazon.
Amazon’s strict seller policies protect consumers from fraud, and Amazon actively suspends accounts in violation of these policies. Unfortunately, even the best of sellers can end up with their account suspended. This could be a result of poor reviews, chargebacks, A-to-Z claims, or cancellations. Suspension can also happen when vendors intentionally or unintentionally violate selling policies or restricted product rules.
If you only sell your products on Amazon and end up getting your account suspended, your business practically ceases to operate until you get that suspension appealed, and that can be devastating to your sales.
By diversifying your platforms and your products, you give your business space to breathe in case of emergency and space to thrive. To learn about how you can diversify your business and expand to growing ecommerce markets and countries, contact a Pattern representative below.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.