The top four skills in demand in the retail sector include data analysis, web design and development and mental agility, according to Venquis.
An analysis by the leading change and business transformation consultancy found that these skills are in significant demand from retailers, many of whom are launching major change and transformation projects. This comes at a time when skills development within the industry is of critical importance as it currently relies on 120,000 EU nationals, who could potentially be prevented from working in the UK after the Brexit decision has been finalised. In addition, a study by the British Chambers of Commerce has suggested that retailers are being held back by a shortage of workers with digital skills.
Ed Richardson, retail contract consultant at Venquis comments on the most sought after skills:
“Retailers are on an ongoing mission to understand consumers’ as acutely as they possibly can and that often involves analysing huge stacks of data collected on shopping behaviour from a range of sources. As a result, retailers regularly look to recruit professionals who can pick out trends that others will be unable to see that allow them to get ahead of the competition, for roles in areas like category management.”
Web development and design
“This one is hardly surprising and any retailer without an agile, responsive and effective website won’t be able to keep up with the market, it’s as simple as that. Retailers’ sites need to be able to provide a platform to deliver a true omnichannel approach and that requires some of the best and brightest in the market.”
“Things can change rapidly in the retail market, as we all know, and that means communication is of the utmost importance. Buying behaviour and trends can shift overnight and firms can be left behind without having employees who are able to interpret and communicate often challenging concepts to their management teams. Obviously that’s not the only reason communication skills are critical and it’s unlikely you’d find many retail job specs that didn’t include a need for some sort of ability in this area.”
“There’s a truly colossal amount of change and transformation taking place in the retail arena at the moment as firms look to meet the ever changing needs of their consumers. As a result, retailers are actively seeking those who can prove they can deal with change and can adapt to transforming environments where new ways of working and operating models are regularly introduced. This isn’t going to be a temporary measure and it’s likely that if anything, the pace of change will only increase further. Consequently, retail professionals with an agile mindset and an ability to roll with the punches and adapt to change are likely to be highly sought after in the coming years.”