News and Insights

The Future of the Retail Worker


The retail sector will change more in the next 50 years than it has in the past century according to experts. New technological innovation is driving this movement with online stores, checkouts that can be done on your mobile phone, and apps that instantly shop—curated styles from all your favourite bloggers and influencers.

The typical customer retailers face today is constantly connected, well aware of their needs, well-informed, and demands a great shopping experience. But the consumer is not the only one in the equation. What about the retail worker?  

This marriage between technology and the digital retail experience will redefine jobs in retail. 

So, what kind of jobs can you expect to apply for and what skill set will you need? 

Jobs like software engineers, developers, marketing analysts, and social media teams, among many others, will be in high demand as retailers look to create engaging content with touch screen interactive technology and cloud-based controls for real-time innovate digital storefronts. 

Of course, first class customer service is essential in any customer facing job, but making the move into and through retail operations, e-commerce, or area management roles, requires you to have many other skills including:

  1. Social Media Smarts

Social media has become the go-to place for retail brand ambassadors. It is a way to promote your product, service, or brand, and to directly reach customers. No matter what your role in retail, being well-versed in social media can help you reach more people to build your brand, or at the very least to collect information on your target customer base. 

  1. Tech Savvy

If you have a Prime account or have developed a first name-basis with your delivery driver you probably already know that the retail revolution will only become more digital. If you are working on future-proofing your retail career, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get caught up and keep up with the new technological trends. 

  1. Knowledge of Logistics and Operations

The big push has been to deliver goods and services as quickly as possible. That trend is likely to continue, so the logistics end of retail is going to be a major growth area. Strong organizational skills, and the ability to get things from Point A to Point B quickly, safely, and cost-effectivelwill create an incredibly valuable skill set to bring to your career. 

  1. Data Analytics

The thought of advancing your retail career through data may sound daunting. However, just like you have come to know the difference between “great sales” from “average sales”, understanding your social media and e-commerce data can powerfully inform all your future business decisions. There are loads of free built-in analytics tools you can use in social, e-commerce, marketing programs to find quick and useful consumer insights for your business.  

  1. Mobile technology expertise

Smartphone technology – mobile apps, click-to-buy, shopping apps, virtual reality and more are here to stay. In fact, more than ever, these innovations are raising consumers expectation and influencing the ways customers are shopping and purchasing products. How close are you to your company or brand’s mobile strategy? Can your offline, in-store knowledge help engage new and existing customers via mobile putting you and your team ahead of the competition? Understanding this space has huge potential for you and your business. 

Retail Ireland Skillnet have worked with a vast amount of retail employees over the last 10 years, supporting their career development through education and training programmes. To take your Retail Career to the next level or if you would like some more information on any of our training programmes please email


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