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Post-Covid Retail to Depend on Digital and Data Skills

Amazon 2020 success confirms shift to online purchasing

Retailers must sharpen the digital and data skills of workers to ensure they thrive in a changing world. Questionmark, the online assessment provider, can help employers test the prevalence of these skills among the workforce.

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“Experts agree that physical retail has a future. By equipping staff with skills for that future, employers can ensure they continue to thrive, despite the changes in consumer habits. ”

The news that Amazon’s British revenue soared by 51% to $26.4bn is the latest sign that shoppers have shifted further into online purchasing during the pandemic.1 United States (US) consumer spending on e-commerce rose by 32.4% during the same period.2

Analysts predict that physical retailers still have a fruitful future despite the change in consumer habits. But they will need to incorporate e-commerce into their delivery models3 and transform physical shopping into a first-class customer experience.

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To achieve this, employers must ensure the following skills are developed and strengthened among the workforce:

  • Digital sales and marketing – even with physical shops delivering the experience, many sales will take place digitally. Workers need the skills to market and sell products accordingly.
  • Data literacy – digitalizing services will help generate a wealth of data on customers and their habits. But employees must understand how to use that data properly.
  • Product knowledge – consumers know they can access information online. They will demand a depth of specialist knowledge from physical retailers.
  • Customer service – dealing effectively with customers has always been a crucial retail skill. But it will now become the quality that differentiates physical shopping from digital purchasing.

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark, said: “Experts agree that physical retail has a future. By equipping staff with skills for that future, employers can ensure they continue to thrive, despite the changes in consumer habits.

“To strengthen skills, employers need a clear read on the current state of play. Assessing the skills of employees reveals where strengths and weaknesses lie. Employers can make better decisions around training, recruitment and management.”

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