Because the digital landscape is forever changing, e-commerce businesses have no other choice than to do the same. Because needs for specific skills come and go, here is what e-commerce businesses are on the lookout for in 2019.

1. Social media marketing

The widespread use of social media may lead some to think social media marketing is no different to its average use. This is a common misconception among businesses who, as a result, are behind in modern communications. Training in social media marketing can help professionals understand the various codes of social media for successful communication. These can be – among many other things – the use of relevant hashtags, the best times to post depending on the target and the platform and the ideal frequency for social media posts.

Social media is and will continue to be a huge driver for e-commerce. Not only is it used to showcase products and attract potential customers to e-shops, it has also become crucial in developing customer relations.

It is no secret that customer loyalty goes a long way for businesses: a guarantee for regular sales and positive word-of-mouth. According to a study led by Invesp in 2017, it is also seven times more expensive for businesses to get new customers than retain existing ones.

On top of this, analysts have noticed that prospective customers increasingly turn to social media before making a purchase. Checking reviews posted on social media and websites such as TrustPilot heavily factor into the purchase decision. According to Alist Daily, 86% of women turn to social networks before making a purchase.

Another non-negligible benefit to social media marketing is its opportunity for free or low-cost advertising. Free (or organic) content posted to a business’s page can be liked and shared by followers without the business having to spend a dime. Businesses also have the option to “sponsor” content or create ads to reach a wider audience on social network sites such as Facebook and Instagram.


2. UX design

With society becoming increasingly tech-savvy and relying on mobile devices for day to day activities, so must businesses. Yet, only 55% of companies have a mobile-optimised website and/or mobile application. If users cannot do their online shopping from their phones, they will not do it from a desktop device either. Even worse: according to Akamai and Compuware, 44% of online shoppers will tell friends about a bad web experience. Fewer sales and bad publicity? Doesn’t sound too good for business.

Thankfully, companies are beginning to understand the importance of user experience (UX) in online shopping and are on the lookout for skilled UX designers.

By taking into account factors such as information architecture and navigation, a skilled UX designer will be able to optimise websites and mobile applications for a seamless shopping experience.

A skilled UX designer can also implement increasingly popular features such as “click and collect”, voice search shopping and instant messaging. Instant messaging has become online shoppers’ favourite way of interacting with customer service. According to Ladesk and Software Advice respectively, 68% of US online shoppers and 63% of millennials prefer having basic customer support through online chat rather than traditional channels such as phone or email.


3. SEO and SEM

Search engine rankings are crucial for e-commerce sites. A company ranking among the top 3 results is sure to get more traffic on its site and make more sales than its competition. And yet, search engines return millions of results for a simple query. So how do businesses manage to rank among the top results? This is where SEO and SEM experts come in.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is free (organic) way of ranking a website among a search engine’s top results. Factors such as website speed, smart and extensive use of keywords, seamless website navigation and structured content help search engine algorithms skim through a website and reference it in its results. According to Wolfgang Digital, 43% of all e-commerce traffic comes from organic Google searches which is why most companies are on the look-out for skills SEO experts.

Just like social media, adding a little money to the mix is a strong boost for sale conversions. On top of SEO work, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a great way of ranking among a search engine’s top results. AdWords campaigns are not new but businesses are using them more and more frequently to increase their online visibility. Because these campaigns are auction-based, a skilled SEM expert who can enhance visibility without raising its bids too much is an asset to any company.


4. Data analytics

All businesses, and e-commerce sites in particular, increasingly rely on data to adjust their strategies and maximise sale conversions. Data is the optimal way of analysing what a company is doing right and what they can improve on. Data can be extracted from user behaviour (cart abandonment being e-commerce sites number 1 pet peeve), website analytics as well as social media analytics.

Businesses are in dire need for professionals who can extract and analyse this data in order to identify areas for improvement, rethink business strategies and adapt to user preferences.


5. Database administration

Database administrators (or DBAs) are those in charge of storing and organising data using specialised software. While every company needs them, DBAs are rarely under the spotlight.

However, with the recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, database administrators are our modern-day superheroes. If controlled by the authorities, failure to comply with GDPR could mean serious consequences for businesses. In order to prevent such complications, companies are all desperately looking for skilled database administrators. Because they handle sensitive data such as contact and bank card details, compliance with GDPR is even more crucial for e-commerce sites.

Are you a professional seeking to train or develop skills in the fields detailed above? Ask your employer how they can support you and which training schemes and funding you are eligible to.

Save the date for the next Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018

For its 4th editionParis Retail Week, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versaillethe e-commerce sector, dedicated to solutions for e-retailers, ranging from digital marketing to logistics, and the Store / Equipmag sector, dedicated to physical commerce and distribution.

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Pour sa quatrième édition, Paris Retail Week, le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prendra toute son envergure et réunira dans le Pavillion 1 de la Porte de Versailles le secteur E-Commerce, dédié aux solutions e-commerce, du digital marketing à la logistique et du secteur Store / Equipmag, dédié au commerce physique et à la distribution.

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