E-Commerce – UK Tech Labour Market Trends, November 2023

AI is a rare hotspot as E-commerce slows down post-COVID

Key findings include:

  • In 2023 there has been a drop of 42.5% in IT vacancies, compared to 2022
  • Development roles see the biggest year-on-year fall, down -50.4%
  • NW England is least affected, with only a 19.4% year-on-year dip
  • Burberry Group is one to watch, with a 44.8% surge in IT vacancies

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As Europe’s most advanced e-commerce market, the UK has approximately 60 million e-commerce users. With that, shopping online has become the norm, which has had implications for retailers on the high street, especially outside of main shopping hubs, where the pandemic period had resulted in a significant surge in activity. Now, post-pandemic, there has been a slowdown as the market has normalized, which has meant that when looking at e-commerce, there has been a drop of 42.5% in IT vacancies compared to 2022, according to the latest UK Tech Report by Talent Alpha and Vacancysoft.

The rise of AI and changing skills in demand

When looking by skills, we see that IT Dev. & Engineering division is poised for the most pronounced negative year-on-year change, plummeting by -50.4% from its 2022 total. In contrast, the area that is holding up best is when we start to look at data-centric roles. The rise of IoT devices and the associated growth of data, has meant that retailers, in particular, are starting to have data sets on consumer behavior they never had before. For example, consumer products linked to online applications which then amplify brand loyalty. This is then influencing marketing strategies, hence we are seeing Data Analysts as having the smallest year-on-year drop, down 30%. The rise of data analysts is directly feeding into the new AI revolution.

Agnieszka Porebska – CEO at Talent Alpha comments:

The big challenge for IT in e-commerce is making generative artificial intelligence. This could change not just the industry, but the whole world, in ways we can’t even imagine.”

Jobs shift out of London to the regions; NW is the big winner

The drop off in recruitment this year has meant that there has been a substantial fall with the capital hit hard, with vacancies down 51.2% on last year. As a result, London’s dominance in share percentage is anticipated to wane, slipping from 32.1% in 2022 to 27.3% in 2023.

Amidst this transition, North West England emerges as the region least affected by the downturn, with a more 19.4% year-on-year change. 

Amazon slowed down, Burberry sped up

Amazon, after being the leading recruiter in the sector, saw an 87% drop in IT recruitment in 2023. Meanwhile, other companies have been accelerating. Most noticeable in Burberry, with a 44.8% surge.

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