eCommerce Agency Talent & Skills Snapshot 2022/23

Here is a UK-wide sector talent and skills overview for eCommerce agencies, based on ADLIB internal data and knowledge.

Sector Overview
The gap between eCommerce & retail sales is narrowing year on year, with the eCommerce sector showing impressive, consistent growth. Covid and lockdown has seen the eCommerce sector’s growth skyrocket with consumers buying habits permanently altered prioritising online shopping over in-store, therefore the need to provide a strong online offering has never been so important. With this in mind, all of our eCommerce agency clients have benefited through increased sales and the opportunity to grow their own teams. Therefore the necessity for specialist eCommerce talent is greater than ever before, with no signs of slowing down.

The eCommerce industry is of course made up of all sorts of businesses from start-ups to international brands, each with differing markets, structures, turnover, headcount, philosophy and so on. However regardless of their unique identities, many will rely heavily on eCommerce agencies to build their website, application, software, digital campaign, or general online presence. For example, many traditional retailers have been investing more into their transactional websites than bricks & mortar stores over the last few years, and with such a shift the need to utilise external support from eCommerce agencies is a non-negotiable, even when considering re-training or re-hiring entire departments internally.

Skills in Demand
Whilst eCommerce covers a whole breadth and depth of skills and experience, ADLIB’s dedicated eCommerce Agency recruitment team focuses on supporting clients in growing their teams across Development, Account Management, Project Management, Product Ownership and Business Analysis.

Candidates in demand are those that truly understand the eCommerce development lifecycle utilising various CMS or platforms such as Magento, Shopify or BigCommerce to name a few. What’s more, the ability to operate seamlessly in a fast-paced, agile environment is just as important as prolific soft skills such as communication, organisation, and stakeholder management. This can even extend to Developers that in some cases are experiencing more client facing responsibilities in their roles.

Talent Overview
Whilst eCommerce has always offered a flexible and remote buying experience for consumers, the emergence of Covid required businesses to offer flexible and remote working to their employees. With wide spread stories of increased productivity, work life balance and employee happiness, this remains a key priority for candidates, and 90% of the UK’s eCommerce agencies continue to offer remote working as standard. What’s more, employers looking to attract those with specific skill sets can recruit from all over the UK, rather than historically being limited to employing those within a reasonable commutable distance.

Overall, eCommerce agencies that are most successful with recruitment are those that acknowledge both physical working practices and candidate expectations have changed. Whilst an increased salary or financial package (including commission, bonuses, ad hoc incentives, pension and share options) will always pique candidates’ interest initially, additional benefits and perks are more important than before. Key questions asked are around progression and training opportunities, budget for additional qualifications, company culture, general onboarding, annual leave, and flexible working. Furthermore, businesses with an identity, sense of purpose or forward-thinking outlook can really stand out. These businesses may have well developed policies towards diversity and inclusion, employee wellbeing, sustainability, ethical practices, extended maternity and paternity, volunteering days and more.

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eCommerce Agency - PMs, BAs & AMs

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Aaron Drury