With strong 2011 online sales behind them, many retailers are looking to expand their e-commerce technology staffs this year. In fact, hiring e-commerce workers is a top 2012 budgeting priority, according to Internet Retailer's recently published 2012 Complete Guide to E-Commerce Technology.
Research data in the Guide show that 54.6% of web merchants plan to expand their e-commerce staffs next year. Of those, 26.9% will add one new employee, 51.9% from two to five employees, 9.6% from five to 10 and 11.6% more than 10.
Most online retailers taking part in the research operate their e-commerce program with a small staff—29.2% have just one full-time employee, compared with 38.5% from two to five, 14.6% from five to 10, 4.2% from 10 to 20, 2.1% from 20 to 50 and 6.3% more than 50. (5.1% outsource e-commerce entirely and have no employees dedicated to the web.)
But regardless of their size most web merchants are looking to hire specialists, especially programmers. 36.1% of retailers say their biggest personnel need is for more programmers, followed by 20.6% whose top priority is hiring more search engine marketing or site optimization employees, and 19.6% needing more designers.
The top e-commerce decision-maker at 57.3% of companies participating in the survey published in the Guide is the CEO or president. But hiring more seasoned e-commerce professionals or bringing in talented newcomers that can be trained on the job is just one item on a big list of technology spending decisions the top e-retailing manager will make in 2012.
E-commerce executives will also be deciding how best to expand mobile commerce, fully integrate their e-commerce infrastructure and deploy a new platform. The survey finds 71.9% of merchants will invest more in mobile commerce next year, including 14.7% who will spend $100,000 or more on mobile shopping initiatives. 56.2% of merchants also expect to replace their e-commerce platform in the next 24 months, including 13.5% in the next year and 22.9% within six months.