Last year, Team Stackline focused on a familiar theme: provide our clients with more data and insight for more platforms to create more meaningful opportunities for growth. And as we look back on our year, we’re excited about what we launched and accomplished:

Target & Walmart for Beacon  

We expanded our data and services footprint to two more major retailers and continue to be on the forefront of helping brands navigate emerging self-service platforms. Read more.

Competitive Intelligence

We launched industry-first competitive intelligence tools in Atlas to give brands insight into competitor performance that doesn't exist anywhere else. Read more.

Advanced Advertising & Profitability Metrics

We released an updated version of Beacon with a new 'Waterfall' feature that shows the cascading impact of key input metrics on sales performance. Read more

Minneapolis Office

We sent some of our finest ambassadors to the City of Lakes to build and strengthen our regional strategic partnerships. Read more.

Now, as we look ahead to another year of strategic milestones for our business, our mission remains to innovate on the leading edge of the retail analytics industry, and we’re closely tracking some dominant trends:

Meaningful platform differentiation

Amazon won the decade by giving consumers the power of choice and by giving brands the power of operational efficiency at scale as a hybrid sales, marketing, and logistics resource. The rest of the retail industry scrambled to keep up, with the most successful platforms finding ways to replicate the model and the magic of Amazon’s approach. (Case in point: 2-day shipping became table stakes in 2019.)

But we think the mindset will be different in the 2020s. Amazon will become an increasingly price-motivated platform, with private label products applying more pressure to traditional consumer brands. Rather than follow suit, successful Amazon challengers will lean into the opportunity to heroicize “brand” and help brand leaders build differentiation and equity that insulates them from the price sensitivity rewarded elsewhere. 

Brand story meets product sales

We look at Target’s focus on brand partnerships and the evolution of point-of-sale opportunities on Facebook properties as clear evidence of an increasingly tight connection between the top and bottom of the marketing funnel. The rise of social commerce (led by Instagram and Facebook Marketplace) will continue to transform the way consumers interact with brands, while giving brands the opportunity to showcase their brand story, expand their reach, and sell at the same time. Social feeds will rival the Amazon search bar as a tool of brand and product discovery, and social pages (along with DTC sites) may see a resurgence of importance as hybrid marketing and sales channels in command of more traffic. Traditional marketers should be assured that reports of the death of “brand” have long been overstated, but the connection between brand, performance marketing and the sales team has never been stronger; as of 2020, their highest-potential growth channels are the same.

Multiplatform data in unified dashboards

We’re biased and bullish on this one, but we think irretrievably gone are the days when your analysts could successfully report on the state of your business by keying in the marketing and sales metrics from a handful of relevant channels. To understand your performance now, you need to track millions of clicks on multiple platforms that don’t often play nice with each other. Complicated customer journeys, partial-credit attributions, data privacy veils; all will influence your team’s ability to synthesize sources of truth on your way to data-driven decisions. Brands will increasingly need to find analytics providers that have access to anonymized data spanning more of the digital marketing and retail ecosystems to help them define sustainable, profitable growth strategies. We might know a company that can help…

The ground may be shifting, but as we take on 2020, our philosophy is firmly planted: Build products that serve clear and present needs. Pursue innovation that positively changes what our customers believe to be possible. Earn trust and loyalty from every interaction. Grow thoughtfully. Stay nimble. Be kind. 

Wishing you a happy New Year from Stackline! We look forward to partnering through the decade to come.

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