2020 was a year of massive change and market disruption. Now, as companies turn the calendar to 2021, they’re shifting from a reactionary mode to a proactive outlook — especially when it comes to data and digital initiatives.

Let’s take a look at the top data trends to monitor in 2021, as well as how these trends play a role in some of the major market segments.

Top 5 Data Trends in 2021

  1. Agility and Speed Breaking Out as Priorities: As frustrating as it is, COVID-19 is still a huge faction in life and business in 2021. Speed to implementation and time-to-market for products is paramount right now. So, while data governance is always important, the emphasis is on replacing legacy systems with more intuitive PIM and MDM platforms – and doing it fast.
  2. It’s All About the Customer Journey: Customer experience has always been vital, but companies now must identify and define the customer journey for the digital The way consumers interact with products has changed, so companies need to evaluate how customers find them, their path to the sale, what experiences matter most, how to keep consumers digitally engaged, etc.
  3. The Death of Single Source of Truth: As buyers have evolved, the idea of “single source of truth” is no longer the data management benchmark. To engage digital consumers, information must speak to their needs and emotions and within in a relevant,channel-based context. That often involves changing product content like titles, imagery, descriptions, and even price depending on channel and audience.
  4. Emphasis on Digital Selling: To gain a competitive advantage, companies must shift focus to digital selling strategies. The concept of an upsell, for example, hasn’t caught up in the digital world. In the store, signage and sales reps help make recommendations. Companies must master that same experience in the digital space. Digital selling is something everyone is talking about — but there’s work to be done.
  5. Getting Your Back of House in Order: To tackle the trends above, it’s become evident that companies must get their data house in order. Whether it’s implementing a new PIM or MDM platform or starting a data governance program, companies prioritize projects that help them move forward with data that’s correct, consistent, complete, and compelling.

2021 Trends for Industries

In 2021, certain industries will see an expansion of changes that started last year, while others will see new directions emerge.

  1. Grocery

Perhaps no industry changed as much last year, with 49% of shoppers saying they started or increased buying groceries online. This year, grocers will work to improve product data in order to master multiple channels. Plus, curbside and delivery options will expand, and internal processes — along with customer experiences — for those services must also evolve.

Read more about Grocery MDM.

  1. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)

Certain CPG categories are experiencing a huge surge in online demand, which means they’ll need to put a greater emphasis on improving product content. CPG’s also know it’s crucial to make product lifecycle management (PLM) processes more efficient. The good news is that they are starting to truly embrace PIM and data management into company culture.

Read more about CPG and PIM.

  1. Restaurant

Food ordering has drastically evolved. Digital restaurant orders jumped by 63% in March 2020 alone. If they haven’t already, restaurant brands will incorporate systems to better cater to mobile app customers. The expanded use of customer data will be essential to offer more personalized services (e.g., rewards, promotions), and dynamic pricing will gain prevalence.

Read more about PIM for QSR.

  1. Education

The pandemic affected education institutions in many ways, from remote learning to tiered enrollment. To stay agile, universities and schools must utilize data to meet goals like more effective recruiting, student retention, fundraising, and more. We see education entities looking at MDM to manage Party data to better meet these goals.

Read more about Education and MDM.

  1. Automotive

US online sales of auto parts and accessories soared last year and will rise to over $21B by 2023, with the bulk of those sales coming from smartphones. The industry will adopt more robust data management strategies to handle complex fitment data, which should increase sales and reduce returns.

Read more about Fitment Data and MDM.

This list only scratches the surface. Across all industries — from retail, manufacturing, and healthcare to industrial, furniture, beauty, and beyond — data and digital initiatives will be crucial in 2021.

What are Your 2021 Goals?

No matter what industry you’re in, and what trends you’re ready to adopt, you can’t start at the finish line. You have to get your data in order first. That usually requires a crawl/walk/run approach. That’s where the right partner can make all the difference.

Stay tuned to Amplifi’s blog throughout the year, as we share insights and tips on how to master your data goals in 2021.