5 Pointers for Recruiting Digital Retailers

E-commerce has been around for some time now and many retailers still struggle with the concept of incorporating digital into their retail offering. One of the biggest challenges is identifying the skillsets required to support and implement a successful omni-channel strategy. However, when you get your digital strategy right it will take your business to the next level.

With extensive experience across the sector here are 5 fundamental elements to consider when building your digital team:

1. A business should take a top down approach ensuring management structure is aligned to provide the skills and operational know how. Without company wide buy-in, digital and traditional channels will not work together or complement each other.

2. Understand the difference between retail/commercial experience and e-commerce/technological knowledge within the retail sector. You may employ the best technical expertise but if they don’t understand the finer points of retail, the consumer journey and supply chains they will not add value.

3. The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is a new development in the c-suite and as such there are very few people with the retail and technical experience to command the title. This is worth considering because you may be better off investing internally and developing missing skills within your executive team.

4. The rising stars who are Head of E-Commerce/Digital tend to be technically excellent but have limited experience within real world retail. To get the best from them they should be partnered with a strong commercial retail director who can support them and provide retail guidance.

5. A successful digital strategy will be required to remain competitive in retail, any business not investing in learning and development for their staff will be left behind and be forced to pay for external support. Paying £200k for a CDO will not change your business overnight, as many retailers have found after appointing a digital director; they don’t have the company wide capabilities to support the strategy and have struggled with the transformation.

As retail evolves digital strategy will continue to define success stories, the good news is that it is not too late to start.

Before embarking on a digital transformation you need to ensure it is right for your business and that you understand your core capabilities, the first stage of this is to undertake a review by assessing your internal capabilities; including employees, systems, supply chain, customer buying habits and infrastructure.

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