Commerce or ‘buying or selling’ over the internet is a long established activity. As we enter the third quarter of 2016, shopping is now one of the most popular activities seen online. We live in the age of convenience, and shopping for any type of item from your living room is the norm.
Since 1991 in fact, ecommerce has been possible.
When an industry comes to life, it’s not long before the recruitment industry follows. Cranberry Panda are a company who have epitomised this following.
Their founders have been in the industry since 1999. After drawing conclusions that the representation for jobs and talent in the industry wasn’t what it could be, the natural move was to provide it.
With the maturing of the sector comes new areas to explore. There are bigger focuses today, that didn’t even exist three or four years ago. As an example, ‘Paid search’ is now its own market.
More and more the industry is discovering that diversification is needed to keep up with the demands of clients.
For large companies who want to stay ahead of the curve, diversification is something they’re used to. Now however, even small startups are driving the demand. Each and every client Cranberry Panda currently work with view outsourcing to ecommerce agencies as bottom of the barrel.
Even a startup will want every skill in house, and they’re agile enough to innovate at the drop of a hat.
This means the competition for talent is fierce, and knowledge and competency as a recruitment partner is highly valued.
There’s a general feeling that ecommerce is now taken more seriously than it was in the past. In respect to how clients are trading but also how they see the future growth of their company.
For the interaction between consumer and retailer, the smart phone generation is driving things ever forward. It’s estimated there are currently c.42.4m smart phone users in the UK. With each one, comes accessibility to products, services, information and for Cranberry Panda’s clients, profit.
For companies like Deliveroo, the user experience is absolutely key to delivering an ecommerce solution that people are happy with. Due to the different elements that constitute one sale, the customer focus is becoming a forefront of attention.
A good case study of the ‘customer experience’ is the ASOS decision to add free returns in the UK and some other of their key locations. Giving the customer the ability to ‘try clothes on in the comfort of their own home’ without a financial set-back has meant profit for ASOS has increased dramatically.
The key to successful recruitment in these areas is being proactive enough to realise the future opportunities.
The influx of talent into the market is growing from organic places. For the first time, Cranberry Panda are noticing there’s a specialist graduate intake possible, where ‘Digital’ is the major degree subject.
In the past, graduates were coming from Business or Technology fields and transitioning over. The new crop of graduates coming from university have all the knowledge they need to start and progress quickly. Which in turn drives the businesses forward.
There’s also more money to be made now. A starting salary in Analytics for example could be c.£30k. That’s quite an attractive first salary for someone straight out of university.
The obvious downside of this situation is the increased scrutiny on skills, especially from larger brands. It’s a natural reaction as more candidates become available and suitable.
In order to work well with clients large or small, you need to know your stuff. Luckily, ecommerce is everywhere. On the tube. Social Media. The side of a bus. Billboards in the city. Targeted advertising. Even on EPOS or in store.
Things have become circular in the sales pipeline.
Ecommerce and mobile is driving physical sales, and vice versa.
‘Click and collect’ is a perfect example of this. Argos have physical stores in 750 locations. Which means you can buy online and conveniently pick up your item without having to wait for delivery. And while you’re in store there are plenty of reminders about further products, and further methods to interact with the brand.
The brand is therefore even more important with the battle lines becoming blurred. Whether you’re Argos with 800m website visits per year, or a small emerging food delivery company… ‘the brand’ is precious.
For a recruitment consultant, paying reverence to a brand is the basic of expectations.
Recruiting for the ecommerce market is fast paced. It’s a constantly growing sector, centred around new technology. After discussing the industry with Cranberry Panda, it’s obvious they love the space. “The people are nice” they tell me, “which sounds like a flowery reason for working in this market, but it’s true.” Everyone knows everyone and you won’t get too far if you don’t get along with candidates and clients.
“It’s also an incredibly progressive sector.”
New technology and new directions are constantly sought to keep clients at the cutting edge. This means the Recruiters supplying staff have a direct impact on not only the client’s success, but also the industry as a whole.
Because of the rapid pace, the network is always changing. Once a project has moved on, so does a candidate. Therefore there’s less of a stigma in ecommerce to a short permanent tenure. It’s accepted that candidates will work for maybe 12 to 18 months and move on.
This means building strong relationships is even more critical.
Looking into the future, there’s an expectation that the mobile focus will continue, allowing consumers to attain more products and services through their phone. The excitement for the possibilities of multi-channel commerce and the automation of easy tasks is palpable.
Virtual reality shopping for example? It may not be far off. For recruitment this brings more exciting possibilities as businesses hire for talent.
‘Internationalisation’ is another avenue being explored more and more. The consumer is once again in the driving seat. If you want to buy apparel from a great ecological clothing manufacturer in the middle of Canada, as long as they’re online, you can. Offers like this improve the customer experience.
The ‘internationalisation’ of recruitment is already taking hold. Because London is the most advanced ecommerce market, people moving from the UK to Europe or further afield is common. Therefore any language skills from a recruitment perspective could add a real cutting edge.
Because the world of commerce is now more accessible than ever, the reach for the average consumer is farther.
There are various things to consider if ecommerce is a market you’re looking to get into.
Firstly, join a true specialist. The only market Cranberry Panda recruit for is ecommerce. Which means every candidate, client and job that comes through… is in ecommerce. This is what a specialist is. Join one in recruitment and your credibility is likely to increase much more than at a generalist agency.
Secondly, it’s important you stick to a niche. A narrowing of focus improves your knowledge. You become a specialist in a vertical niche who knows the market and the network like the back of your hand.
Thirdly, some of the best consultants come from industry. Perhaps a move into recruitment from the world of ecommerce would make sense for you? A knowledge of the industry (and the people in it) will take you a long way to being a successful recruiter. The faster you can build credibility, the faster you can make money.
This age of commerce is upon us. Have a shop online for your next career move.
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