How e-commerce impacts the retail job market
According to some studies, 95% of all purchases are expected to be via e-commerce by 2040. How will this impact the retail job market? In this article, we look at some key e-commerce statistics in 2020 and the future of working in retail.
E-commerce statistics in 2020
The internet has fundamentally changed the way we buy. Thanks to Amazon and other online retailers, shopping is more accessible than ever, and consumers don’t have to rely on the local brick and mortar shops in their area. You can now purchase a product with a single click, and depending on where you live, the item will be on your doorstep the very next day. Just like how most people prefer to stay at home and play games on Duelz casino instead of going to a real casino or watch a movie on Netflix instead of going to the cinema, the internet has made shopping faster and more convenient.
Online shopping has skyrocketed in recent years. It is expected that the total value of e-commerce sales will reach $4.88 trillion in 2021. In 2018, the e-commerce market grew by 23.3% over the previous year. The trend doesn’t seem to go down anytime soon: e-commerce could account for around 95% of all purchases by 2040. China is currently making up the largest market in the world, accounting for more than 40% of the global e-commerce revenue. Emerging markets, especially India, will see substantial e-commerce growth over the next few years.
The future of the retail job market
There are no doubts that e-commerce has and will continue to have a major impact on the retail job market. Millions of people across the world work in retail and few stores can compete against giants like Amazon. Many are worried that e-commerce will kill the brick and mortar retail market entirely, wiping out thousands of jobs in the process. If e-commerce accounts for 95% of all purchases by 2040, there likely won’t be as many retail stores left.
But despite the unprecedented growth of e-commerce, the future of the retail job market is not as bleak as one might think. To survive in a highly competitive market, online shops have to prioritise great customer support, well-developed websites and, most importantly, fast delivery. These standards can only be met by having hundreds or thousands of employees. In addition to a large staff of warehouse workers, shops require web developers, photographers, content creators, marketers and more.
E-commerce has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the last decade. Amazon currently has more than 900 thousand employees worldwide, including thousands of warehouse workers. There are other positive effects as well. Some studies show that e-commerce workers in America earned slightly above $17 per hour in 2016, compared to $13.83 in general retail - a 26% difference. Furthermore, Amazon has placed fulfilment centres across the whole country, which means that the jobs are accessible in every state. The online retail job market will continue to boom as more and more people shop online - at least until automation and drones replace warehouse and delivery workers.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes