Retail job skills changed forever due to Covid-19

While retail used to be all about sales, sales and more sales, now it’s all about tech skills as more and more retailers are looking for staff with IT experience.

According to Karen Edbrooke, founder of Big Girls Don’t Cry Anymore (Big Girls), the future of retail has changed forever.

“We have discovered that retail jobs now require significant tech skills above most other abilities,” she says.   

With social distancing restrictions in place, Covid-19 has pushed many Australian businesses into the world of e-commerce. And, people are shopping online more than ever.

“Our online sales have grown by over 50 per cent during isolation―these numbers really surprised us. We have worked incredibly hard to increase our online services, support and marketing so that we can provide lingerie to women all over the country.”

The brand has ramped up its virtual offering for customers and its staff need to be able to assist customers with their technology needs to ensure they are able to undertake the virtual sessions with ease. 

“What we’ve found is that our retail job skills have changed significantly. Our staff now need to be tech capable and confident working with different technology and digital platforms and programs.

“Retail jobs are no longer ‘retail jobs'. They are tech jobs with a retail focus. Covid-19 has changed retail forever and the skills needed to work in a retail environment.”

Indeed, Edbrooke says her ideal employee must be IT literate, tech savvy, know how to engage with customers via Skype and other online platforms, have an outstanding understanding of social media, have an excellent typing speed, great written skills, and understand how to produce video content that stands out in the competitive retail market.

“Due to the recent growth of online sales, we have had the pleasure of employing over 15 new staff members over the last couple of months,” she adds.

“Our expansion plans had been in place for a while, however, Covid-19 really accelerated this process. As a team, we realised that our online services and offerings were more important than ever in this heightened time of worry and isolation. We are so thrilled that we went ahead with the expansion and will not be looking back.”

This has already been a huge year of growth for Big Girls, and Edbrooke is not planning on slowing down anytime soon.

“I am really looking forward to what the rest of the year has in store for us. Our team has worked so hard to support and facilitate women’s online shopping experiences during isolation.”