Nationwide, retailers are filling their ranks with an increasing number of software developers amid growing demand for digital-first commerce experiences and operations.
A survey of user profiles on professional networking website LinkedIn found “software developer” to be the fastest-growing job at retail organizations, while 41 percent fewer listed their occupation as “retail salespeople” between 2013 and 2017, according to an article from the Society for Human Resource Management. The so-called retail apocalypse saw thousands of stores shuttered last year and more than 3,800 are expected to close by the end of 2018, taking scores of store associate jobs with them.
Retailers on the road to a digital transformation are looking to software experts and data professionals to power their new click-first reality. From 2013 to 2017, the number of retail software developers grew from 7 percent to 9 percent to become the third-most-common retail job, according to the LinkedIn data, though overall associates maintained a grip on the No. 1 spot despite a dip from 33 percent to 29 percent of the workforce.
“There’s been a huge amount of investment in retailers’ digital assets, and anecdotally, we know they are out there hiring for tech roles,” Mark Mathews, vice president of research at the National Retail Federation, told SHRM. E-commerce and the fulfillment centers that power online shopping have been key to growth in retail tech jobs. Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America list published earlier this year featured numerous tech job relevant to retail, from data scientist (No. 1) and DevOps engineer (No. 2) to mobile developer (No. 8) and front-end engineer (No. 15).
Macy’s Inc. hosts a dedicated landing to recruit technology professionals and listed 118 tech job openings as of press time. Nike, which has repeatedly emphasized the importance of data and digital, has 124 tech jobs open.
Given the trends, tech jobs could take an even greater share of the retail going forward.