More than ever, the accelerated adoption of technologies can enable retailers to recover from the impact of the pandemic. With that, employers’ demands are shifting to focus on employing digital skills in the workplace. This article discusses getting familiar with technology and software and an often neglected foundation to strong analytical skills. 

eCommerce Boom Increases Expectations On Retailers

Despite 2020 being a rough year for many businesses, the global e-commerce market is expected to approach $5 trillion by the end of 2021. The pandemic has undoubtedly contributed to this projection thanks to a newfound digital habit —online shopping. It is predicted that the dependency on online services will continue regardless of whether COVID-19 is still present. 

Technological innovations, such as faster checkout and mobile shopping, have transformed how consumers shop and increased the expectation and burden of retailers

Looking for new ways to combat rapidly changing fashion trends and unpredictable consumer behaviour, leading retailers such as Ralph Lauren, Versace, and Land End have recently moved from Excel and adopted data analytics platforms. Many retailers are actively looking for ways to shorten their planning process, increase flexibility and make analytically informed decisions.

So, what does this mean for employment opportunities? Does the adoption of advanced technology mean fewer employment opportunities? 

What Employers Want

On the contrary, there is still a high demand for employees in the e-commerce industry, just a specific kind—technologically savvy and analytical workers. For example, fashion retailers such as Reformation and Net-a-Porter are continuously looking for talent with quantitative analytical skillsa strong understanding of retail math, and the ability to analyze data for decision making to seize business opportunities.

However, there is one problem. In a recent McKinsey Global Survey, 87 per cent of executives said their organizations are either currently facing skill gaps or are expecting one to develop in the next five years. Most respondents say their organizations are focused on hiring employees that can help prepare for such skill gaps, and some have even begun training to build those skills in their workplace. 

To further understand what skills employers are looking for to keep up with the eCommerce, technology-fueled era, we have broken it into two key areas.

1. Familiar with the Use of Technology and Software 

 According to Okta Inc., nearly 10% of businesses have more than 200 applications integrated into their employee’s workflow. Companies are seeing the importance of technology in scaling and automating different processes, and you could expect to see more software being implemented into your workplace now or sometime soon. 

With the adoption of more software, employees are expected to be proactive in learning the new tools, quickly extract value, and apply them to seize business opportunities. But, you may wonder, how can I do that? 

One way is to view your technology providers as one of your partners rather than just a vendor. These companies want you to use their platform with ease; therefore, they provide users with tons of resources and content online to achieve different use cases.

For instance, at Omnilytics, we provide users with self-paced learning content ranging from YouTube how-to videos to Knowledge Base articles. In addition, most of our users have assigned Client Success Managers who collaborate with them and guide them towards their retail goals. 

You can reach your Client Success Manager at clientsuccess@omnilytics.co.

2. Cutting Through Noise with an Analytical and Commercial Mind

It is no surprise that the top emerging skill employers are looking for is analytical thinking and innovation. Employers prize the ability to deconstruct complex information from various sources and establish new ideas to provide recommendations for businesses to capture opportunities.

38.9% of companies surveyed stated that the insufficient understanding of opportunities was one of the top barriers to adopting new technologies.

The Future of Jobs Report 2020

But what makes today’s business environment more challenging is the amount of data available to analyse. Where even a small business generates tons of data, many fall into the trap of analysis paralysis. Therefore, it is more imperative than ever to start with a question or goal in mind before starting your analysis.

At Omnilytics, some of the questions we encourage our users to guide their thought process and analyses include:

  1. If you want to be more competitive, consider asking, “Who are your primary and secondary competitors?” 
  2. If you want to have a clearer vision of what is in demand, “What is your target customer’s buying behaviour, and how accurate are you in determining that?” 
  3. If you want to perform competitor benchmarking, we tell our users to think, “How does the business perform in comparison to competitors?

When you lead your analyses with a question, you are better equipped to seeing the bigger picture and thinking about how it influences different business components. This adds to sharpening your sense of commercialism which is another highly sought after employer requirement.

Are you looking to boost your data analysis skills? Check out this course on Udemy about Data Analytics and the Application in the Fashion Industry or this course about Introduction to Data Analytics on Coursera. 

Final Note

The e-commerce market is continuously evolving. Therefore, change within your workplace is bound to happen. The integration of technology should not be seen as a threat; instead, it should create a more efficient environment for employees to do their everyday tasks. Take the initiative and upgrade your skills by growing accustomed to different softwares and knowing strategic goals when looking at data. As more technology is being developed and integrated, more combinations of skills are required to make this transition seamless.

Need some guidance analysing insights on the Omnilytics dashboard? Reach out to your assigned Client Success Manager at clientsuccess@omnilytics.co!

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