The start of 2020 brought with it the promise of global economic growth. Markets in the US were on a steady rise we also witnessed demand from brands and retailers in Europe and the Middle East. All seemed to be on track to make it a year of plenty.
Out of nowhere, the end of the first quarter saw the world coming to a grinding halt. The world was held hostage by a global pandemic and the force with which we were hit, was unprecedented.
From February to mid-May we saw things come to a sharp halt. We at DataWeave seized this intermittent downtime to bolster our product offerings.
On the flip side, when the world did start opening May onwards, we saw completely new categories take center stage digitally. With new habits and trends taking shape, the pandemic single-handedly caused exceptional growth in the Food and Grocery Delivery intermediaries. Predictably, the rest of the world followed. Our existing customers saw the competition rise steeply with everyone coming online. We invested substantially in our Digital Shelf Analytics solutions after noticing that e-commerce was seeing a boom. 2020 saw brands making their online presence the new norm. This meant that small, medium and large enterprises had to now divert their spending to analytics and e-commerce.
It is interesting to note that the rise in the food and grocery delivery segment gave brands another channel to focus on vis a vis their presence. Brands that were available on these sites focused on how they could optimize their sales on these channels, which proved to be the front runners during the height of the pandemic. While the challenges and opportunities for both these segments overlapped and seemed similar, our solutions helped measure and optimize brand performance across all online channels. Some of the in-demand solutions and analytics we saw our customers use were; share of search, content audit, assortment and availability, pricing and promotions, and ratings and reviews.
There were mixed emotions in the market, with regard to the best use of marketing spends. Human resource and client cutbacks happened across the board. At DataWeave however, we had the pleasure of onboarding 25 new clients including retailers and brands ranging from food and grocery delivery, home improvement from across multiple geographies.
Throughout the year, the work never ceased at DataWeave. The team showed incredible resilience while working remotely, making sure our deliverables were being taken care of, at all times. Due to the e-commerce boom and immense pressure from existing and new entrants in the digital space, our clients saw a need to gather more insights. With the given uptick, we are happy to report that our stellar 95%+ accuracy record for in-depth insights at scale, was maintained through the course of all the work done.
In the US, the adoption of e-commerce accelerated as traditional brick and mortar stores shut down and pivoted. To put things into perspective, e-commerce adoption grew only by 4.3% from 2014 to 2019. In just three months in 2020, e-commerce adoption grew at 4.3%! Add to that, with approved vaccines making their way slowly to the public, we do anticipate the travel sector to open up and we look forward to working with new clients.
Nike’s Chief Executive, John Donahoe recently said, ” We know that digital is the new normal. The consumer today is digitally grounded and simply will not revert back…the shift to online sales could be a permanent trend.” We could not agree more! With online sales here to stay, brand and retailers’ requirements to keep their competitive edge will only continue to grow. We at DataWeave, look forward to delivering the results they want in this new year, and for the years to come.