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Online business has grown by almost 30% in 2020, and many players, new and old, are trying to develop strategies to reach the end customer faster. However, the winning draw seems to be drawn by those who know how to manage their marketing campaigns.
Vivre, the largest online furniture retailer in Southeast Europe, managed to generate 50% higher revenues last year than in 2019. Specifically, its turnover increased from 41.4 million euros in 2019 to EUR 61.1 million in 2020, an advance also influenced by the changing consumption habits in the market, given that sales of furniture and home decoration products were in increasing demand during health restrictions.
But there was another factor – the permanent promotion during the period of market growth. “In 2020, for example, we managed to see a 50% increase precisely because of the speed with which we redefined our marketing strategy,” says Monica Cadogan, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Vivre, explaining that the retailer has pursued constantly market trends, analyzing consumer trends and consumer behavior in a pandemic. In addition, says the entrepreneur, the platform came to market including personalized offers.
But how do these offers reach the end customer? The answer comes from Data Revolt, a data marketing agency specialized in interpreting and using business data in performance / media campaigns, founded in 2018 by Cosmin Nastasă (41 years old) and Bogdan Zaharia (32 years old).
About two decades ago, companies that wanted to promote themselves relied primarily on television and radio, billboards, or printouts. Then, the Internet began to attract more and more of the classic businesses, and advertising experts focused their attention on online marketing campaigns.
“We try to provide solutions and answers to marketers by analyzing market data,” says Cosmin Nastasă, co-founder of Data Revolt. He adds that there are already many online players who have adapted their strategies to the buying behavior of customers during the period when offline business was virtually paralyzed. And some e-commerce entrepreneurs have realized that they need to be as close as possible to the user who last year spent more time in front of the computer or with the phone in hand, being tempted to shop online.
“I believe that online marketing is no longer an optional component, but plays a very important role in the development of a brand, like all other departments responsible for medium and long term business growth,” adds Monica Cadogan. Cosmin Nastasă and Bogdan Zaharia say that more and more online businesses will focus on data-driven decisions and adopt an analysis-focused approach. Things that, the two detail, began to be seen in the pandemic.
“After that period of uncertainty in March, online marketing budgets began to grow and more money appeared in the market,” says Bogdan Zaharia. The demand for data on market behavior has been growing. And this can be seen in the evolution of Data Revolt figures.
If at the time of entering the market, in 2018, the company had five employees, in 2019 it reached 17 employees, so that in the middle of this year it will have a team of 45 people, but it still aims to expand it. In terms of turnover, Data Revolt ended 2019 with total revenues of 700,000 euros, registering in 2020 sales of 2.8 million euros. The two entrepreneurs are counting on a new increase this year as well, estimating a turnover of about 4 million euros. Currently, 80% of the company’s revenues are generated locally, and 20% – externally. “We are active in 20 countries,” says Cosmin Nastasa.
The company has an office in Switzerland, where one of its largest customers is Fleurop, an online flower marketplace with deliveries in almost 150 countries. “In Switzerland are also the hubs of several multinational organizations”, Bogdan Zaharia motivates the decision to be present and physically in the Land of the Cantons.
Locally, the Data Revolt portfolio includes large companies such as Orange, Imobiliare.ro, Fashion Days, Vivre, Catena, Superbet, Autoeco, L’Oréal, Noriel, Stemsure, Murmur or eJobs.
Nastasă and Zaharia say that the demand for services in the digital marketing area is growing, but that there are not enough specialists in the market. “We want to get involved in the academic part, to tell students or masters what digital means,” says Cosmin Nastasă. At the level of university education, he adds, only recently began to appear courses to prepare students for the area of online marketing, but these are not enough, requiring additional courses for those who want to specialize in online marketing.
Graduates of ASE, the two were involved before the pandemic in training courses for online marketers – Google Adwords and Analytics, Content Marketing and SEO – conducted through the Online Knowledge Institute. But due to health restrictions, this project has been stopped.
Currently, training programs are limited to Data Revolt staff, but entrepreneurs do not rule out resuming these courses at some point. And this, given that, they believe, there is an urgent need for more specialists in online marketing. Especially since the online market is already growing much faster than the specialists in this field are training.
Last year, local e-commerce generated total revenues of approximately 5.6 billion euros, 30% more than in 2019, according to the Romanian Association of Online Stores (ARMO).
BEHAVIOR. About 85% of Romanians have used the Internet at least once in the last 12 months, and 45% of them have made at least one online purchase in the last year, according to Eurostat. FAVORITE HOURS. Most purchases are made between 11.00-15.00, in the case of PC systems, and 20.00-22.00, in the case of mobile gadgets, according to the data analyzed by the digital marketing company 2Performant. TELEPHONE VS DESKTOP. 2020 brought a slight increase in the percentage of purchases made from mobile phones, which reached 65.6% of total online purchases, given that the percentage of purchases made from desktops fell to 34.4% last year. GROWTH. Compared to 2019, the number of online shoppers in Romania increased by 13% in 2020, according to the market analysis company iSense Solutions. ORIENTATION. In addition to purchases in Romania, a third of Romanians prefer to shop online from stores in China (27%), European Union member states (23%) and the USA (4%).
This article appeared in issue 122 of . magazine.
PHOTO: Laszlo Raduly