AGI – Dizzying figures for ecommerce for 2020 and on which 2021 is already relaunching. Thanks to the pandemic, the digital channels of brands and stores have reached peaks never reached before: online purchases in Italy are worth 30.6 billion euros with over 29 million consumers. And if the boom in online sales has had immediate effects on people’s shopping habits, there is no lack of those in the world of work.
Consumers aside, how has the ecommerce boom affected the other part of the supply chain, that of workers?
Bringing new companies and new consumers to online channels has accelerated that process of innovation in the world of digital-related professions that was already underway. Not only because many of the figures who already worked in this area had to implement their skills in a very short time to keep up with the times, but also because this rapid evolution of online commerce promises very well in terms of employment also for the future: the covid emergency has accelerated existing trends in remote work, putting the e-commerce and automation sectors at the center. Hiring for ecommerce-related roles in 2020 increased 51% from the previous year and it is estimated that 25% more workers than previously anticipated may need to change jobs soon.
How do you read this phenomenon from your privileged observatory? How is the labor market moving to respond to these transformations?
In the field of ecommerce, there are several new roles that companies require. The first that we saw evolve during the pandemic period was that of the ecommerce manager. Before the pandemic, the ecommerce manager was a professional with management skills. The sudden collapses of ecommerce sites that were not so stressed before the pandemic, think of supermarkets, or the difficulty of procuring some products, are just some of the problems that the new ecommerce professionals have found themselves managing and that have changed forever their skills and their work. Thus was born the figure of the ecommerce success manager, an expert capable of coping with the new and sudden needs that the market imposes. There are many aspects that this new e-commerce manager must manage and administer in an era of coronavirus crisis: strategies for the success and growth of online sales, server performance, scalability of the site and of the various online sales channels, personalization of the experience of users throughout the customer journey, logistics, customer care and product availability.
Another trend we are seeing is the change in the relationship between physical store and digital store. Did this also lead to the development of new roles?
There are new professions that fit precisely into these dynamics. I am thinking of the figure of the virtual assistant: the pandemic has led 2 million new consumers to shop online for the first time and it was immediately evident the need for a hybrid specialist who on the one hand played a role related to customer care, with skills increasingly linked to the technologies used in the purchase rather than to the product itself, and on the other to the real store manager. Problems with the purchase linked, for example, to inexperience with respect to the type of purchase method, but also image consultancy and customer care: these are the areas that concern the tasks of the new professional figure.
Today, one in two users make purchases from marketplaces and 49% of online consumers search for a product directly on Amazon. How is this new centrality affecting from the point of view of the needs of companies?
Companies today are looking for a professional figure able to optimize the sale of the products of the various brands on the various marketplaces and price comparators, from Amazon to Tmall, passing through those dedicated to fashion such as Farfetch and Zalando. There are many skills required of the marketplace specialist: choice of marketplaces and products, skills in creating seo-friendly content, dynamic pricing evaluation, order management and logistics.