COVID-19 eCommerce surge
I work with several retailers in Ireland, and the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic was hard on most of them. Their hiring was paused, stores were closed, and they had to cut down on their working hours and costs to keep their business afloat. The solution ahead was to have a strong eCommerce plan and digital presence. For some, it was strengthening their existing presence, but for the others, it was building everything from scratch. In this article, I elaborate on three main aspects; the increase in the demand for eCommerce, how has the response been to cater to this demand and finally, my perspective as a digital recruiter on eCommerce recruitment.
Increase in Demand
There was a massive surge in the eCommerce activity with the lockdown and social distancing measures in place. But this has not just been restricted to the lockdown period. It is fascinating to see how online retail revenues and website traffic are still drastically up even with the easing of lockdown measures in comparison to the pre-COVID period. The Weekly Online Economy Report of May 18th by Wolfgang Digital shows that the online retail revenue is up by 163% compared to the pre-COVID levels and same for website traffic which is up by 60%. Do read the full report through the link below to understand the sector-wise detailed analysis of retail and travel.
There are numerous great examples of organisations adopting eCommerce strategies that have strengthened their game and have set an example for the others. The Government's response through its Online Retail Scheme has shown their support and highlighted the need for retailers to increase their online capacity. There are several online courses, seminars, grant schemes being offered by various organisations such as Facebook, the Small and Medium Enterprise Association, the Digital Marketing Institute, and others to help businesses in this regard.
As I see recruitment resuming in the digital space, I have seen and worked on several eCommerce projects for businesses. Some of them looking for talent to help them with their eCommerce strategy to expand, catering to the current and upcoming demand; and for others, it's an entirely new space with talent requirements to establish everything from scratch. In any case, the need for talent and skills in the eCommerce sector has rapidly increased.
Overall, the surge in the eCommerce demand due to the pandemic has resulted in many organisations taking reactive measures as well as long-term proactive measures to strengthen the digital presence and brand relevance. The new normal would look different, and there is a high possibility of this demand to continue over time. Now is the time for businesses to move in this direction as well, and for talent out there to acquire and build up skills in this space.