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Hot Sector Spotlight: Ecommerce and Digital

Published 19th Jan 2023

For quite some time now, the balance between physical stores and the rise of ecommerce has been quite push and pull. 

Prior to the pandemic, despite the ongoing rise year-on-year of online shopping, physical stores were still popular and in-demand with consumers.

However, as of 2020, the balance between the two took an unexpected but crucial turn in order for businesses to be able to survive throughout the pandemic, and for consumers to still be able to buy goods and services.

Here, we take a look at the rise of a balance between physical stores and online outlets, and the predicted demands and trends from the ecommerce and digital sector in 2023.

Are we consuming more online now, or in person?

According to a recent census, ecommerce sales made an incredible 43% increase in 2022 – almost double that of 2021.

As consumer habits started to balance out throughout 2022, it became apparent that those purchasing goods and services are still very keen to shop in stores – but that having an online presence is increasingly important.

According to Oberlo, 63% of shopping occasions begin online. This means that regardless of where customers are making their final purchase – be it online, or in a physical store – their journey starts online, mainly through doing research on Google or Amazon.

For example, according to McKinsey, 35% of shoppers browse ecommerce stores for fashion inspiration at least once a week, suggesting that having an online presence will give many retailers an advantage over their competitors who have yet to invest in their ecommerce websites.

Continuing with fashion retailers as the example, the split is still almost completely balanced. Very.co.uk, for example, is the second best outdoor and sports equipment retailer according to Which?, despite being a primarily-online option. 

Primark, for a comparative example, is still yet to list and sell all of their available products online – yet remains one of the most popular stores in the UK, with an incredible 94% brand awareness last year. 

UK digital trends

It’s not just ecommerce that is thriving. The UK digital sector is also increasing year-on-year.

According to Tech Nation, UK deep tech investment has increased 33x since 2011, exceeding $8.5bn in 2021. Fintech is currently the UK’s biggest scaleup sector, contributing to 41% of the value of the sector as a whole and 34% of investment. 

But what does this mean for businesses hiring in the digital sector?

It means that competition is fierce, and that candidates in their droves are interested in working in tech roles.

There are now more than 5 million people working in UK tech startups and scaleups, an increase from just under 3 million in 2019. This means that the number of people has more than doubled in the last decade, with only 2 million working in the UK tech economy in 2011.

And, inevitably, there has been a 36% increase in tech salaries since 2015. This is, understandably, down to many factors, such as:

  • The increased number of tech roles available
  • Tech business revenues increasing, meaning more employee budget
  • The overall rise in new and evolving tech jobs
  • The Covid-19 shift for many roles to be moved online
  • The post-Covid-19 Great Resignation, resulting in a candidate-short market

What’s next for ecommerce and digital in the UK?

Despite the ongoing discussions about economic uncertainty, the ecommerce and digital sectors will continue to thrive.

Ecommerce revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.03% between 2022 and 2025 in the UK; people are opting for ecommerce options due to the added convenience. 

While it won’t completely replace physical shopping any time soon, the forecast looks very promising for online retailers.

As for digital roles across all industries, we are likely to see a continued need for tech and digital experts across a variety of roles, and at all levels. As the world we live in becomes increasingly more online, we can anticipate an inevitable increase in the need for more tech candidates in a range of organisations.

Get in touch

McCarthy Recruitment works with some of the biggest and most well-known names in the UK ecommerce and digital sectors who are currently on the lookout for talented and experienced individuals to join their teams. 

Browse our latest UK ecommerce jobs, or contact our dedicated recruitment team on enquiries@mccarthyrecruitment.com or 0161 828 8726 who will tell you more about the latest opportunities available. 

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