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2020 will, for sure, be a year that we all will never forget. Now that the year is coming to an end, it's time to sit back and reflect on the experiences we've gained this year. One thing is certain – 2020 was an eventful year, packed with events that have shaken the core structures of our society, revealing the range of hardships and battles that have yet to be won. However, through challenges opportunities also arose, and we would like to emphasize these moments to instill optimism and wrap up the year 2020 with a positive mindset.


The Coronavirus pandemic certainly made its mark in 2020 by opening Pandora’s box of problems and challenges for people worldwide, severely affecting their (mental) health and their livelihoods. This tsunami hit byrd as well, howbeit the challenges we had to face were far less drastic, compared to some that we briefly mentioned above.

Working from home
Shortly after the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we decided that it would be best that all team members in Vienna and Berlin switch to working from home. The goal was to minimize social contact and ensure the health of our colleagues and their loved ones. Fast forward to 9 months later, we’re still working from our home offices and heavily relying on virtual meetings. This switch to company-wide remote working required a lot of effort and creativity from all of our employees. Fortunately, as we are no strangers to (occasional) home office days, we adapted to the new setup quickly and found new ways of connecting, keeping us motivated and in the informational loop with each other.


Staying operational amidst lockdown(s)

During the initial Coronavirus outbreak many borders closed and supply chains got severely disrupted which led to delays because of shipping restrictions. At the same time, together with our logistics partners, we had to make sure that we remained operational. By splitting up the warehouse workforce into several shifts and imposing strict hygiene rules as well as backup plans, we were able to continue the fulfillment of orders for our customers without major bottlenecks or delays. Moreover, we also allocated the inventory of certain customers across multiple warehouses to further reduce the risk of having any time-outs.

However, having a remote-only setup introduced some unprecedented operational challenges, as you can imagine. By reacting quickly, our ingenious operations team implemented and streamlined new digital processes, massively improving the coordination between byrd and our logistics partners.

Thanks to newly-established coordination processes, we were also able to further expand our warehouse network by adding several fulfillment centers under our umbrella. Noteworthy, onboarding of the new partners was done 100% virtually (read more about it below).

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Riding the wave of the e-commerce boost

The Coronavirus outbreak resulted in a great boost for e-commerce, which was mainly due to 2 factors:

  1. The outbreak of Coronavirus forced many retailers to close down their brick and mortar shops, which resulted in a serious loss of revenue. As a consequence, many merchants moved their business online in a bid to generate at least some revenue through e-commerce sales, to cover their basic costs, and to secure their livelihoods. At byrd, we also noticed that trend since more businesses than ever started reaching out to us to get more information about our fulfillment solution, as they were starting to sell their products online. In fact, comparing data from the last year, we saw an increase in demand by more than 400%!
  2. Closed brick and mortar stores and the changed consumer behavior - such as avoiding social contacts to minimize the risk of spreading the COVID-19 – rendered in more consumers buying products online which, in turn, led to a shift in the spending from offline to online. Looking at the data provided by the Google trends chart, the shifting point is easily noticeable (April 2020) if you look for the search term “buy online”.


All in all, it can be said that the Coronavirus pandemic, despite its many negative effects, bolstered the spread of e-commerce and digitalization, which are two trends that can bring many positive outcomes in the long run.

Investing in growth and international expansion

In 2020, byrd went from less than 40 to almost 80 employees - therefore doubling the size of the company in times of a worldwide pandemic. Needless to say, our Human Resources - team, as well as the new joiners, did a great job during the remote onboarding process. Considering the economic situation with a high unemployment rate, we are really happy and proud to be in a position to welcome so many new byrdies and we will also continue to hire more passionate people over the next months (you can check out our vacant positions here ). 

At the midpoint of the year, we successfully closed a Series A investment round with a whopping 5.8$ million – to further accelerate our growth and improve our services (you can read more about it here). The fresh capital also helped us to expand our fulfillment network by opening new warehouses in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France. As of now, we have 12 warehouses in 5 countries in Europe, helping our customers get closer to their online shoppers, unlocking scalable fulfillment, and enabling the best possible customer experience.


Furthermore, as we grew, so did our customer base. Taking a quick look at the shipping volume statistics for the Christmas season, which more than tripled compared to last year, nicely indicates the scale of growth we have experienced over the last year. Chapeau to our operations team and our logistics partners who made sure that we managed smoothly process the huge number of orders, and made sure everyone received their orders in time for Christmas!

Launching new features
Our product team made some great progress this year to take the usability and performance of our cloud-based logistics software to the next level. Here is a quick summary of how we are working on the future of e-commerce logistics with a tech-driven approach:   

  • Launching the byrd app on the Shopware Store making it accessible to all Shopware merchants 
  • Launching the Amazon integration to enable automated fulfillment for Amazon sellers
  • Launching the Billbee integration to facilitate multi-channel fulfillment
  • Adding 5+ carriers to our system, giving retailers more flexibility and scalability on a global scale
  • Relaunching the Shopify integration, giving the merchants the possibility to connect the e-commerce system even faster 

The list of new features goes on and on, but we will stop here – if you want to get to know our dashboard in detail, feel free to get in touch with us to schedule a demo.

Our commitment to more sustainability in e-commerce
With its roots starting in 2019, when we planted 555 trees in the names of our customers, we doubled-down to further our efforts in building a greener e-commerce industry. This year, we launched another Christmas campaign, teaming up with One Tree Planted to offset carbon dioxide emissions, by planting 1 tree per every 100 fulfilled orders during the Christmas season ((you can read more about our Sustainability Campaign here).

We firmly believe that the need for sustainability in e-commerce and curbing the impacts of global warming is paramount and as a consequence, we will also continue to strengthen our efforts in 2021. Amongst others, we are currently working on a project with Planetly to offset emissions caused by our business activities and we are planning to expand our shipping services to offer carbon-neutral shipping to our retailers.

Thank you! 

Last but not least, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to our customers, partners, investors, and stakeholders. We are forever grateful for your support, trust, and ever-important feedback. It has been an exciting journey so far, and we are looking forward to continuing the journey with all of you in 2021.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, Joyful Holidays, and a good start into the new year!

Stay safe; stay healthy!