The growth of online and mobile shopping requires a talent pool of employees who can ensure an easy and productive online experience. Bryan Pearson in his Forbes article notes that as retail evolves “the most promising jobs will involve insights, not inventories.” Digital retail jobs come under various titles but fall into three broad categories: customer experience leaders, data analysts, and software developers.
Mary Thompson in her CNBC segment “Talk about Upwardly Mobile Jobs; Digital Retail,” quotes Niraj Shah, CEO of Wayfair. Online and omnichannel retailers “need more data scientists, merchandisers, marketers, designers,” and that “in every role, we are looking for folks to have a little bit of an analytical bent, and a little bit of a way to use data to further progress what they do.”
The graphic is courtesy: The Digital Journey, by Kim Mckesson, Jerry Noonan, Anthony T. Laudico, Klaus Halsig.
In digital retailing, data and technology together are integral in all areas of the business, because, according to Shah “they help the merchant understand what is happening out there, what customers are looking at, what they want and what they prefer.” In contrast, merchandising or the promotion and presentation of goods is key in traditional retail and technology can be a separate function on its own.
In addition to typical character traits desirable to employers – hardworking bright, team-oriented or collaborative, potential employees must have “the ability to use analytical insights or quantitative data.” Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst at Forrester Research, notes that “growth rates for the jobs that are open in this industry are extremely high. It’s somewhere between 20 and 50 percent.” Most retailers have little choice but to pay higher wages if they want to stay competitive.