The E-Commerce Surge

In recent years, the trend of consumers flocking to purchase their goods online has slowed down with traffic levelling off when compared to shoppers on the high-street. This can be accredited to the normalization of online shopping for the modern consumer. However, it is unfortunate that many companies are continuing to close their physical stores which results in job cuts.

Nearly 10.000 retail jobs were lost in just January alone, which many put down to Brexit wariness. Whilst Brexit was certainly a factor retailers could make an educated bet on, the sudden unforeseen arrival of the pandemic in March was simply not a card in the company’s hands. Given the circumstances of Covid-19, consumers were unable to purchase their goods in person and resulted in shoppers flocking to online. What’s being referred to as “a decade in days”, the digital trends of past behaviors have accelerated to the level of what the predictions were for the next decade!

With these behavior changes in mind, companies were afforded an opportunity to reshape the online shopping experience to make it more convenient for the increased demand from online consumers. And with this, the E-Commerce job market has risen to fulfil the post the retail sector has left empty! Although total online sales have slightly fell due to lockdown restrictions being lifted and physical stores being reopened, the attitudes towards online shopping have stayed consistent. Online sales were 50.4% higher than they were in February, and companies have reacted to this increase with a surge of recruitment in their e-commerce groups. A good example of this would be the British retailer Tesco.

With Tesco’s customers rising from 600,000 to 1.5 million per week, they in turn expect their revenue from e-commerce to rise from 3.3 billion pounds to 5.5 billion pounds. To respond to this increase in e-commerce demand, Tesco as committed to providing 16,000 jobs in the sector. This comes on top of the news that Tesco had already created 4000 permanent positions since the start of the pandemic. What’s even more promising about this news is the fact that Tesco is only 1 of the 12 leading UK supermarkets that are experiencing an increase in demand for E-commerce jobs. Waitrose’s findings reflect Britain’s newfound shopping attitudes in their “How Britain shops online” study. In 2020, 77% of British consumers now do at least part of their grocery shopping online. That’s 16% higher than in 2019.

The shift in consumer behaviors presents companies the role of increasing their e-commerce team if they want to keep up with the current climate. As the saying goes, where one window closes, another one opens!