Article: Forecasting retail tech hiring trends in 2024


Forecasting retail tech hiring trends in 2024

As online shopping grows, so does the demand for AI and ML experts, as well as omnichannel specialists to handle both digital and physical retail.
Forecasting retail tech hiring trends in 2024

India takes pride in being the fourth-largest retail market in the world. The sector is expected to double in market size in the coming year and reach US$1.4 trillion. Currently, the market accounts for 8% of the nation’s workforce, i.e., around 35 million people, and is expected to create 25 million new jobs by 2030. As 2023 dawns and we step into the new year, we expect to witness specific hiring trends that will be pivotal in shaping the industry’s landscape. 

The growing prominence of phygital commerce, the rising era of mobile and social shopping, and leveraging technology for customer servicing through chatbots, AI, hyper-personalization, metaverse, etc., are accelerating tech adoption in the retail sector. In the coming times, the retail industry will focus on providing technology-driven, innovative opportunities and experiences to customers for shopping. This will certainly call for recruiting employees with expertise in customer servicing and proficiency in tech in 2024. 

The hiring landscape in the Indian retail sector in 2024

Between October 2023 - March 2024, during the festive season in Q3 (October - December), employment in the retail sector, both in semi-urban and rural areas, witnessed a sluggish period. However, as per industry reports, the scenario will upturn in the coming year. Employment in the market is expected to pick up pace in Q4, that is, from the January - March months in 2024. Having a clear understanding of the online retail sector’s dynamics will certainly be a prerequisite for hiring in the coming year, and businesses will be hunting for candidates with varied experiences in both retail and tech. 

With technology taking the centre stage, retailers will soon rely heavily on technology and automation to streamline their tasks, reduce monotony, and improve operational efficiency. Right from offering online, offline or hybrid shopping services and marketing to stock management and order fulfillment, tech will pave the way for unprecedented growth in the market. In the recruitment aspect, this could translate into hiring candidates who are well versed in emerging technologies and their diverse applications for transforming business processes. 

Online shopping trend to pick up pace

Gaining popularity amid the global pandemic, the online shopping frenzy will continue its momentum in 2024 as well. It is projected that online marketplaces will account for nearly 50% of online spending by 2025. This emphasizes the need for a tech-savvy workforce that possesses domain knowledge, and can help retailers leverage advanced technologies for improving business operations, generating leads, gaining profits, and servicing their customers effectively. 

AI and ML proficient workforce to be in huge demand

2024 will be more focused toward shoppers preferring companies and products that align with their values and needs. If we consider the present scenario, consumer expectations around personalization are increasing, with 73% of shoppers expecting brands to understand their unique needs and expectations. As highlighted by Harvard Business Review’s report, AI plays a vital role in helping brands offer tailored experiences to customers, optimize their purchasing journeys, and cater to their demands. Hence, professionals proficient in Artificial Intelligence will be in huge demand in the coming times. 

Omnichannel experts will be needed for smooth functioning

We are currently in the Retail 4.0 era, where the convergence of traditional and online channels is being enabled into a digitally-driven ecosystem. However, despite technological improvements, the elderly and young customers, especially the millennials, value physical store experiences. This trend is pushing retailers to offer hybrid experiences that provide customers with the best of both worlds. Hence, omnichannel expertise will be in huge demand. Consequently, brands will be keen to hire professionals who can navigate all critical aspects of the digital retail space, seamlessly run a business, have the know-how of customer servicing, etc. While some industry players will rely on a professional agency for support, others will look at hiring in-house specialists to expand their teams. In either of the cases, recruitment in the retail and retail tech spaces will certainly take an upward trajectory. 

Also read: upGrad shares exclusive tips for startups eyeing financial backing

To conclude

Gone are the days when retailers would simply sell their products to customers in a traditional, linear fashion. In today’s times, experiential retail is emerging at the forefront, wherein crafting memorable shopping journeys for customers is a necessity for retailers. And for this, they need not only advanced tech solutions but also an efficient workforce. With Retail 4.0 accelerating the growth of the retail industry in India, it is estimated that around 12 million additional jobs will be created by 2030. And in the coming months, professionals with expertise in technology, customer servicing, and omnichannel experience curation will be in huge demand. 


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Topics: Others, #IndustryInsights

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