Retailers eager to hire digital whizzers

In the United States, average salaries for “Head of User Experience” come in at over $150,000 per year, according to Glass Door, with e-commerce directors paid over $130,000.

Digital marketers who know how to maximise sales through third-party sites like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and can drive products up searches, are also in demand, according to recruiters. Retailers are turning to these platforms to broaden their reach.

“Knowing how to sell on Amazon is a much bigger deal than it used to be,” said Joiner of Ecommercejobs.com.

Despite this specialist digital recruitment, the jobs news in the industry is bleak.

Nearly half a million U.S. retail employees have lost their jobs since February, with the apparel sector accounting for the bulk of losses. In the European Union, over 400,000 jobs in retail were lost in the three months from end-March to end-June.

Danish jeweller Pandora told Reuters it had 120 specialists working in a “digital hub” near its Copenhagen HQ, 80 of whom were hired this year, and said it was looking to hire more.

The company’s website offers a feature where some products like rings and bracelets have a “try it on” button. Customers can see the item on a photo of a model’s hand, or can upload a photo of their own hand to see what it looks like on them.

Ralph Lauren’s online version of its Beverly Hills flagship store lets you move around a 3D simulation of the real thing. You can click on items hanging on racks or on shelves to find descriptions, pricing and availability.

The fashion company, which said in September it would cut its workforce by 15%, plans to roll out virtual versions of its stores in New York, Paris and Hong Kong in coming weeks.

In New York, Saks Fifth Avenue will live-stream the unveiling of its holiday windows and its traditional light show and is urging customers to watch the show from home.