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What is an E-commerce accelerator, and should you work with one?

This blog was written in collaboration with Pattern.

E-commerce is a booming $6 trillion dollar market, and with the rise of online shopping, the competition is fierce.

How can you stay ahead of the game? Brands need to continually adapt and optimize their e-commerce strategies. One way to do this is by working with an e-commerce accelerator. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of e-commerce accelerators and explore how they can contribute to your brand’s growth.

E-commerce Accelerators Defined

E-commerce accelerators partner with brands, providing resources, technology, and expertise to help them grow their online businesses. They do this by purchasing inventory and layering on their omnichannel expertise, resources, and technology to help brands seize new opportunities and optimize revenue growth on marketplaces, including:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Tmall
  • Mercado Libre
E-commerce accelerators defined.

How E-commerce Accelerators Work for Brand Growth

One key feature of e-commerce accelerators is that they only make money by reselling your products, and do not charge fees or a percentage of ad spend. This buy/sell model makes them uniquely incentivized to drive profitable growth for your brand. An e-commerce accelerator purchases your inventory, so their capital is on the line, and they only make money when they resell your products. This unique structure incentivizes them to optimize your brand’s online presence, decrease costs, and only spend advertising dollars that incrementally drive sales.

Key E-commerce Accelerator Features

  • Filling resource gaps: E-commerce accelerators help brands fill resource gaps, identify patterns in data, and unleash profitable growth. With the combination of a unique data suite, industry experience, and global reach, accelerators become an extension of your team, supporting all aspects of your marketplaces business, from listing optimization and e-commerce marketing to fulfillment logistics.
  • Financial investment in your brand: E-commerce accelerators buy a brand’s inventory, creating a full financial investment in the brand’s success. They become an exclusive distributor on specific marketplaces and cover their costs by reselling your products.
  • Brand control: Accelerators bring control to your brand experience and pricing across marketplaces. By acting as your only authorized distributor on marketplaces, an accelerator can drive a consistent brand and price experience across different sites. Some accelerators even cover the costs of distribution policy enforcement to help you maintain control of the online experience.
  • Support beyond advertising and SEO: Accelerators not only drive traffic and conversions through advertising, SEO for e-commerce, content, and design, but they also go beyond that. They provide supply chain logistics, ensure brand control, and give access to proprietary data, all with the purpose of helping your brand win on marketplaces.
  • Collaborative growth: E-commerce accelerators are highly motivated to help you succeed while still giving you full control of your brand strategy. Unlike aggregators who purchase your company or agencies who charge retainers and other fees, accelerators only make money if your product sells.
  • Identifying and capitalizing on new opportunities: Due to their scale, e-commerce accelerators can help you discover and take advantage of opportunities for your brand both domestically and internationally. Examples include finding potential product innovations, e-commerce optimized bundles, expansion into global markets, and shipping efficiencies.
Features of an e-commerce accelerator.

What Makes an E-commerce Accelerator Different from Traditional Development?

Traditional development agencies focus on website design, development, and maintenance. They may also offer SEO and advertising services. The work of an agency can span both brand websites and marketplaces. E-commerce accelerators, on the other hand, are experts on marketplace selling, and rather than providing one-off services, they take on ownership of a brand’s presence on marketplaces.

What makes an ecommerce accelerator different from traditional development.

One key difference is that e-commerce accelerators typically purchase a brand’s inventory and become an exclusive distributor on specific marketplaces. This financial investment in the brand’s success sets them apart from traditional development agencies that only provide services at a fee.

Another difference is their expertise in navigating the complex world of e-commerce marketplaces. As sellers themselves, e-commerce accelerators have a deep understanding of marketplace algorithms, global selling, and consumer behavior, which they use to optimize their clients’ presence on these platforms.

Benefits of Working With an E-commerce Accelerator

Now that you understand what sets e-commerce accelerators apart, let’s delve into some of the most compelling reasons for a brand to work with one. Here are the main takeaways of the benefits of working with an e-commerce accelerator:

  • Leverage expertise without sacrificing control: E-commerce accelerators work closely with you to develop and execute effective strategies for your brand’s growth, all while keeping you in the driver’s seat. Their success is directly tied to yours, which means they are motivated to help your brand succeed.
  • Significantly scale your brand’s presence: Accelerators have a deep understanding of consumer behavior, marketplace algorithms, and global selling strategies. This allows them to tap into new markets and audiences, both domestically and internationally, that you may not have been able to reach on your own.
  • Achieve cost savings and operational efficiencies: E-commerce accelerators handle everything from fulfillment to advertising, SEO, and logistics. This streamlines your e-commerce operations and reduces overhead costs, allowing you to focus on your core business and product development.
Benefits of working with an e-commerce accelerator

E-commerce accelerators offer unique opportunities to tap into their expertise and resources while maintaining full control over your strategy and decisions. This commitment to driving profitable growth and optimizing operational efficiencies makes them an exciting and compelling option for brands looking to thrive on competitive online marketplaces.

Working with Pattern—the World’s Leading E-commerce Accelerator

Pattern is the world’s leading e-commerce accelerator, with more than 1,400 employees in offices in 22 countries; they help brands sell across more than 60 global marketplaces. They partner with brands to drive profitable growth across all major e-commerce platforms. As an extension of your e-commerce team, Pattern offers support in advertising, SEO, content, design, supply chain, and more.

With a focus on long-term growth, Pattern assists in maintaining price control, scaling to new marketplaces, and optimizing omnichannel traffic, sales, and revenue, all while collaborating with your brand and giving you full control of your strategy and decisions. At the start of your partnership, Pattern will place an order for the anticipated inventory to be sold in those first few weeks. As Pattern sells that stock, they buy more. This model works to accelerate your e-commerce growth as quickly as possible.

Working with Pattern and e-commerce accelerators.


Q: What types of brands can benefit from working with an e-commerce accelerator?

A: Any brand looking to grow its e-commerce presence can benefit from working with an e-commerce accelerator. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to scale, an e-commerce accelerator can provide the resources, technology, and expertise you need to succeed. Larger brands, doing $5M+ on online marketplaces can typically work with an accelerator in a pure buy/sell model. Smaller brands may need to pay a retainer or fee for the economics to work at a smaller scale. 

Q: How does an e-commerce accelerator make money?

A: E-commerce accelerators make money by reselling the brands’ products on specific marketplaces. They purchase a brand’s inventory at an agreed-upon wholesale price that will cover their costs and marketplace fees, and become an exclusive distributor on these platforms.

Q: How much control will I have over my brand’s strategy and decisions?

A: Working with an e-commerce accelerator like Pattern gives you full control of your brand’s strategy and decisions. The accelerator is there to provide resources, technology, expertise, and services, but ultimately, you are in charge of your brand’s direction.

Q: What is the difference between an accelerator and an aggregator?

A: While e-commerce accelerators and aggregators both work with brands to grow their online businesses, they have different approaches and business models.
E-commerce accelerators like Pattern partner with brands, purchasing inventory and providing end-to-end solutions for e-commerce growth. They become an exclusive distributor on specific marketplaces, covering their costs by reselling the brands’ products. They typically do not take an equity position in the company.
E-commerce aggregators, on the other hand, typically become majority investors or completely buy out a brand. They aggregate products from multiple brands and use their scale to effectively sell their products on marketplaces.
Overall, while both accelerators and aggregators can help brands grow their e-commerce businesses, their approaches and business models are distinct.


E-commerce accelerators are valuable partners for brands looking to accelerate their growth in the ever-expanding e-commerce market.

Partnering with an accelerator allows you to maintain full ownership of your company while accessing differentiated services and scale for growth. Their end-to-end solutions and financial investment in your brand’s success make them unique among service providers.

By working with an e-commerce accelerator, brands can gain access to proprietary data and technology, expertise across multiple marketplaces, financial investment in their success, and a collaborative approach to growth. Sounds like a pretty good investment to me.

If you’re looking to grow your e-commerce business, it’s worth considering partnering with an e-commerce accelerator like Pattern. With their experience and expertise, they can help you optimize your e-commerce strategy and drive profitable growth across global marketplaces.

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