Written by Sonya Dowsett, Melissa Fares, Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen
Even as retailers lay off hundreds of thousands of workers globally in response to the pandemic, they are seeking to capitalise on a consumer rush online.
They are recruiting e-commerce experts to help maximise sales, as some brands like Ralph Lauren RL.N and Pandora PNDORA.CO launch more ambitious online plans to simulate the physical shopping experience, such as 3D-effect virtual stores.
U.S. digital recruiter Ecommercejobs.com has seen inquiries increase by around 30% since the start of the pandemic, president Harry Joiner said. London-based 24 Seven Inc is also fielding more searches for online retail experts since March, according to European general manager Peter Geary.
There is heavy demand for specialists who look at shopper data and feedback and scrape social media for trends, to figure out consumers’ loves and hates, and how to make store and brand websites “stickier”.
These skills have become more important as retailers lose face-to-face interaction with shoppers during the pandemic.
“A user-experience person will get up to 600 pounds ($800) a day in London,” Geary said. “They are highly sought-after.”
In the United States, average salaries for “Head of User Experience” come in at over $150,000 per year, according to Glass Door, with e-commerce directors paid over $130,000.
Digital marketers who know how to maximise sales through third-party sites like Amazon, and can drive products up searches, are also in demand, according to recruiters. Retailers are turning to these platforms to broaden their reach.
“Knowing how to sell on Amazon is a much bigger deal than it used to be,” said Joiner of Ecommercejobs.com.
Despite this specialist digital recruitment, the jobs news in the industry is bleak.
Nearly half a million U.S. retail employees have lost their jobs since February, with the apparel sector accounting for the bulk of losses. In the European Union, over 400,000 jobs in retail were lost in the three months from end-March to end-June.
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