eCommerce Talent & Skills Snapshot 2022/23

Sector overview
The UK’s thriving eCommerce industry is made up of businesses of all sizes – start-ups, established SMEs, pureplay eCommerce businesses, and large, multi-channel retailers – all of whom require digital specialists to manage and optimise their websites.

Internet retail sales as a percentage of total retail sales in Great Britain grew from 20.2% in January 2020 (pre-pandemic) to 26% in October 2022. That’s overall increase of 28.7%.

Source: Statista

With customers increasingly prioritising online shopping over in-store, the need for retail businesses to expand their eCommerce offering is essential to ensure they remain competitive and relevant.

Many traditional retailers have been investing more into their transactional websites than bricks & mortar stores over the last few years, sometimes facilitating re-training and upskilling of generalist marketers and retail merchandisers, however in almost all cases there is still a need to use external support or hire to fill the gaps internally.

Whilst lots of businesses are choosing to grow their eCommerce resource in-house, eCommerce-focussed Digital Marketing agencies are also experiencing sustained growth as retailers call upon them for specialist strategic consultancy, and to handle their heavy-lifting.

Skills in demand
2022 has been a candidate’s market, and despite the UK experiencing a recession at the time of writing, we have seen little sign of things changing so far. Candidates are increasingly picky due to the amount of choice on offer, with many of them receiving multiple job offers within the 7-14 days of commencing their job search.

As the online retail sector becomes more saturated, businesses are keenly aware of the impact a highly targeted digital acquisition strategy and personalised user journey are in attracting and retaining relevant customers.

As a result, Performance Marketers, CRM Managers and Online Merchandising Specialists, who have strong analytical and reporting skills, are particularly sought after.

Similarly, those who have experience delivering eCommerce strategies across marketplaces such as Amazon and ebay are often hired over those that lack these skills, due to the significance these platforms now play in most online trading plans.

We’ve also seen a big increase in demand for those who have expertise within both paid and organic social media, as having an effective presence on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok is becoming essential to brand growth, particularly when targeting a younger demographic.

Talent overview
The growth in customer buying online has led to noticeable growth in demand for eCommerce talent, and therefore more competition amongst businesses when it comes to attracting the best candidates.

According to a blog published earlier this year by eCommerce agency INDEZ, the Ecommerce jobs market is expanding at over 3x the rate of last year. Average Ecommerce salaries are at least 30% higher than the national average with advertised vacancies highest in and around London and Manchester, and over 90% of advertised ecommerce jobs are for full time permanent positions.

Source: Indez

We’re finding that those seeing the most success with recruitment, are the employers that have acknowledged and responded to this shift in the candidate market. It’s no longer enough to offer a fair salary, average holiday allowance and contributory pension to receive good applicants, a more well-rounded package is quickly becoming the norm with many businesses documenting their EVP (Employer Value Proposition) to make themselves more attractive to prospective candidates.

Whilst this does include monetary incentives (higher basic salaries, performance bonuses, share options, car allowances, etc.), there has been a huge increase in the value people are putting on other benefits. These include (but are not limited to) things such as remote working options, flexible hours, internal culture, emphasis put on diversity & inclusion, overarching company values/mission, enhanced maternity/paternity options, and engagement with employee wellbeing.

Whether you’re a hiring manager, business owner, or a candidate looking for their next career opportunity, there is still a buoyant market out there, even with the recession upon us. With that comes stiff competition so it is important that you stand out and for all the right reasons. Choosing a recruitment partner that shares your values and understands your market can give you a massive advantage both from a hiring perspective and from a job-seeking perspective. We’re excited to see how 2023 pans out for the Marketing sector. There’s plenty of reason for optimism.

Written by

Senior Recruiter

eCommerce & Digital

View profile

Josh Fuller