Continuing the employment series, Frontline Retail shares its insight into the employment trends taking over the retail industry.

Big data and omni-channel marketing are transforming the retail employment space in Australia and New Zealand, with traditional buying roles in decline.

To help employers respond to the changing landscape and hire the right talent, we’ve compiled four of the top retail shifts drawn from Seek Employment Trends reports in both countries.

Omni-channel marketing

Online retailers in both Australia and New Zealand are starting to open bricks-and-mortar premises as the move towards omni-channel retailing gains pace.

While the trend towards e-commerce and online trading continues, it’s interesting to see global online retailers like Tigermist also opening a new store in Melbourne to give their fashion brand a physical presence.

New Zealand reflects the same trend, with The Warehouse Group supplementing its online adventure sports brand with actual stores.

‘Omni-channel’ refers to multiple marketing methods used simultaneously – online sales, mobile apps and high street stores, for instance.

It’s reassuring for retailers large and small to know that buyers still want to visit stores in person to try out the products.

Big data analysts

In New Zealand, big data is revolutionising the retail industry.

Dedicated planning roles centred on data analysis are in hot demand, with job advertisements for these roles doubling year-on-year, according to Seek.

Strategic planners analyse the figures to facilitate buying the right amount at the right time, selling at a strong price and clearing stock effectively at the end of the season.

With planning traditionally built into other roles, only a small pool of skilled New Zealand workers is currently available.

Planners, sitting between buying and finance, have also experienced a year-on-year increase in the Australian job market, growing by 5% as reported in March 2016.

Distinctive branding

In a crowded marketplace, it’s no longer enough to sit back and hope for the best. Positive, creative and digital branding is essential to carve out a viable niche.

Countering the invasion of overseas fashion retailers following the global financial crisis, it’s taken a while for Australian companies to fight back.

The new Cotton On megastore in Melbourne’s Bourke Street opened its doors with a flourish in 2016, while Australian beauty specialist Mecca is providing a memorable retail experience.

New Zealand is also welcoming top brands with David Jones arriving in Wellington and H&M scheduled for an Auckland presence, according to Seek Employment Trends.

So while there’s plenty of action for larger companies, strong branding is vital for local SMEs to make themselves seen and heard in the competitive retail space.

Buying roles decline

More conventional buying roles are in decline by 19% in Australia and 16% in New Zealand (over the previous year), according to Seek.

This can partly be explained by employers looking overseas for talent, and partly because the buying role is increasingly being split between other departments.

Need help interpreting it all?

A specialist agency can assist with your retail recruitment, tracking retail employment trends in Australia and New Zealand to ensure you are hiring the right talent in the right roles to take your business forward.

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