Looking Ahead to 2017: Why On-Demand Works for Retail

As the New Year quickly approaches in the coming weeks, we’re here to share a new blog series, “Looking Ahead to 2017: On-Demand Trends.” Check back each week as we highlight various trends across industries. Don’t miss last week’s post on the foodservice industry.

There’s no doubt that the retail industry is a significant driver behind our economy – it’s America’s largest private sector employer. Retail is everywhere, making jobs highly accessible to job seekers and highly desirable to employers. On-demand work is no stranger to the industry either. Forbes highlighted the affiliation in August, citing the connection between on-demand work and retail as having a “profound and lasting impact on business”.

With 2017 inching closer, here are two seemingly polar opposite considerations driven by the same trend – online shopping – that will shape on-demand retail employment.

Warehouse vs. Technology Needs

Online sales are projected to reach $523 billion by 2020 in the United States. What this means for on-demand retail workers is continued and increased opportunities for working warehouse shifts. Retailers should be prepared for increased warehouse needs, while on-demand workers should consider this type of work as an alternative to traditional customer-facing retail jobs.

On the other end of the spectrum, more more online shoppers means retailers need more customer service resources to serve them. While the pre-online shopping era meant an ample amount of face-to-face interaction for retail workers, this is no longer always the case. On-demand retail workers will need to consider not only in-person customer service skills, but they will also need to acquire the necessary technology skills to better provide virtual customer service.

About The Author

Jane Smith is the Community Relations Manager at Shiftgig. She is passionate about helping Shiftgig Specialists and helping transform the way people work. In her free time, Jane loves cooking, exploring Chicago, and spending time with family.