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20 years on – where will all the digital talent come from?

11/08/2014
According to online data, today marks 20 years since the first ever secure online purchase took place. On 11th August 1994 purchases for Sting’s album Ten Summoner’s Tale made history by paving the way for the future of customer transaction.

Move forward 20 years and according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, in the UK alone we spend over £91 billion a year in online transactions. Furthermore, figures suggest this looks set to increase by 17% in 2014 reaching nearly £107 billion by the end of the year.

These dramatic changes in consumer behaviour across just two decades show the importance of the internet and how businesses must now communicate with the modern age customer. Furthermore with the continuing developments in technology, from tablets through to the ever-evolving mobile industry, the way we purchase goods and services certainly looks set to continuously change.

At EMR we have grown alongside these changes since the first online transaction took place. Now celebrating our 20 years of sourcing marketing and digital talent we’ve witnessed the evolvement in the online consumer industry first-hand, as the requirements for online expertise has grown at a rapid pace.

Over the past twenty years, and in particular in the last decade, the demand for specialists across digital channels in particular has grown considerably. From digital experts who specialise in eCommerce to professionals with inside knowledge in SEO and PPC, all sectors and industries are crying out for specialists who can push their products and services to the front of the stock piles into the eyes of the consumer market. And those who have been able to attract and retain the top talent are often those to experience the biggest rises in online sales.

However, whilst demand for online experts has risen dramatically from businesses across all sectors, the professional talent available with the required skill-sets no longer meets the market demand. As a result we have seen, and continue to see, a battle for digital talent across all sectors and industries.

Furthermore we continue to experience the growing requirement for mobile specialists. According to figures from the Capgemini Index in 2013 mobile sales increased 138% year-on-year as more consumer move to mobile purchases. With the expectations that this growth will continue, the demand for mobile experts is also likely to increase in the not too distant future placing further strain on the market for digital experts.

Whilst this certainly appears an exciting time for the online and digital industries with the fast rate of change comes a growing concern of where the digital talent will come from?!