What worked 20 years ago for retail and e-commerce businesses isn’t working today. The industry is more IT-focused and data-driven than ever, and the workforce keeping it in motion is, too. For industry leaders, it’s crucial to know the trends driving digital transformation in this space, as well as the tools and technologies your competition is utilizing in their own digital strategies.
If you’re at a crossroads, I hope this blog provides a solid starting point for you to bring your organization up to speed on the tech you need and who to hire for support. But first, the big questions you’ll want to consider are - what’s in your tech stack, and what impact does that have on your ability to hire the best talent?
GREAT TECH = GREAT TALENT
Your tech stack consists of the front-end and back-end technologies used to build and run your website, web app, and mobile app. The technologies incorporated in it are a driving force for your business and a talent recruiting and retention point. Ultimately, it’s up to you as a leader and disruptor within your company to keep your tech up-to-date.
So, is the tech powering your business working for you or against you - especially in today’s war for talent? If you’re still using the same technologies your business was built on a decade or two ago, chances are it’s not working for you today. It may be time to take a good, hard look at your tech stack and give it a refresh.
Even if updating your tech is a no-brainer, it’s much easier said than done. The biggest challenge retailers face in getting started is the number of options (both for technologies and potential job titles) out there that could help their business flourish. Unfortunately, it’s not always a one-size-fits-all situation! The best combination of technologies your organization could implement and experts you could hire may be different from others in your space.
UPDATING YOUR TECH STACK: WHAT & WHO TO CHOOSE?
While your company’s needs, funding, and resource capacity will determine how far you can take any tech stack update or hiring push, it’s good to know which technologies and roles are being implemented by current industry leaders. Start considering what technologies to retire or add to your strategy, as well as who might run those solutions.
OUT WITH THE OLD & IN WITH THE NEW
It’s time to sunset PeopleSoft 9.2, Oracle 12, and PHP! A modern tech stack should include the latest and greatest front-end framework and development technologies combined with back-end components. Below are some options to consider.
Modern Front-end Technologies:
- React for UI/UX
- Angular for a dynamic data structure
- Flutter for an open-sourced framework that creates flexibility
- Ionic for Hybrid app development
Modern Back-end Components:
- A programming language such as Python, Ruby, Java, and Scala (and their respective frameworks: Django, Ruby on Rails, Spring, and Play)
- A data-storing database such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL MySQL, Server, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB
- An application server such as Nginx or Apache
WHO TO HIRE?
Having the right tech stack will position you head-to-head with your competition, However, securing the right people to run those technologies could be even more telling of your ongoing success and innovation in the retail and ecommerce space. The right mix of technologies and people is the secret sauce to breaking through the noise. In the end, you’ll want great people who can make your site better, increase business and sales, and keep you on top of your game.
Here are some roles you’ll need on hand to implement your new solutions and keep them running in the long run - and P.S., designers shouldn’t take first place!
Popular Front-end & Development Roles:
- Front-end Developer
- Front-end Engineer
- CSS/HTML Developer
- Front-end Web Designer
- Front-end Accessibility Expert
- Front-end Dev. Ops
- Front-end Testing/QA
Popular Back-end Roles:
- Back-end Developer
- Back-end Engineer
Popular Data & Analytics Roles:
- Data Analytics Engineer
- Technical Architect Data Analytics
- Full-Stack Developer, Data Analytics
- Full-Stack Engineer, Analytics
Sifting through the candidate pool to match today’s hottest skill sets with your company‘s opportunities is a major, time-consuming feat. This is especially true today since the number of available roles is at an all-time high, and (thanks to the talent war) there’s a lack of tech professionals available to fill them. Retailers across the globe are now working with tech staffing partners who know the retail industry inside-out to save themselves and their companies time, money, and turmoil.
When it comes to talent, we’re in a candidate’s market. The present-day workforce will only consider organizations that offer the best of the best. For tech professionals, that means a modern tech stack. For your company, an updated tech stack will help attract new, skilled talent to your organization and retain the great talent you already have employed.
When it comes to updating your tech stack, you should think of it as an investment! Refreshing your technologies will not only allow you to hire better talent but also stay ahead of the trends so you can beat your competition. Innovative companies want to work with similar innovative companies, so prepare to see a return on investment in the form of an increase in sales and revenue once you implement the new technologies.