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Modernising Retail Industry Seeks Tech Talent to Keep it Afloat

Clare Hopping

jheffry swid/Flickr jheffry swid/flickr

As the retail industry evolves along with the global economy, technology will become a much greater point of emphasis across the board. Traditional retailers and tech experts are soon going to be very important people in each other’s lives.

The non-stop progress of technology affects everyone at work, not just those who spend their days in front of a computer. Other industries, ones in which the newest gadgets might not necessarily seem useful at first glance, are being transformed by the rapid advancement of digital technologies.

The retail sector, an area once associated only with physical store locations and salesmen, is just one of these industries. In today’s globalised market, the average retail store has far more tech involved than just a computerised checkout system. Retailers rely every day on employees whose expertise lies beyond merely knowing how best to sell a product.

Consumer Reaction to a Technologised World

Today’s consumers have all the information in the world at their fingertips. They can know the manufacturer’s price for each and every good they could purchase, along with the cheapest price each good is being sold for. It’s this type of savvy consumer that has threatened the traditional retail model, which consists of a physical location to display and sell goods.

amounting to a year-long haul of over $265 billion. While physical retail stores were seeing fewer and fewer customers, online sales skyrocketed.

Despite the decrease in foot traffic at brick and mortar locations, these traditional school store locations have not been totally replaced. But these stores have had to adjust their business models, and this has typically meant embracing new practices such as showrooming and reverse showrooming, according to Business Insider.

These procedures blur the line between online and in-store shopping. Consumers either find products they want to purchase later online by visiting a store location (showrooming) or vice versa, researching products online before visiting a store to make the purchase (reverse showrooming).

These business models have led to an influx of price matching and heightened competition among retailers, creating an even more cutthroat market.

Retail companies need to develop a seamless partnership between their online presence and physical locations, and there’s only one way to definitively establish that connection.

Bring in the Tech Experts

In the past, retail companies depended on savvy marketing professionals and friendly, competent salespeople to drive sales and convince consumers to buy. Now, a new role is absolutely essential for retail companies: the tech expert.

Retail companies must employ the very best in the IT industry to bridge any and all gaps between the company’s online and in-store experiences. As the market morphs in response to new trends and technologies, these talented individuals will provide the skills and innovation needed to make a company sufficiently versatile.

While this new role is becoming a more common one within the retail industry, companies need to think outside the box with their recruiting practices if they want to hire the best talent possible.

According to Essential Retail, Kate Barron, director of London’s ReThink Retail recruiting firm, has an eye on the best way to attract these tech experts: “Firms should utilise case studies of professionals who've moved into the sector and thrived and really push the message that the projects they could be involved in are as cutting edge and innovative as those they're currently working on.”

Working Together

For a retailer to really flourish in the modern marketplace, they must keep innovative tech experts by their side. For tech experts, the growing job market within the retail space provides a new frontier for innovation and profit. Once these two parties are brought together, the future of both industries may turn bright much sooner than we expected.

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.