Web/e-commerce support personnel have always played a crucial role in increasing a company’s strategic value. But in 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic broadened the channels that customers and suppliers use to do business. In the omnichannel world, customers expect simplified and virtual interactions, thus increasing demand for IT support.
As the pandemic raged, unconventional consumer demands compelled traditional sectors to undergo digital transformation. In particular, the healthcare, government, retail, and education sectors benefited from web and mobile e-commerce. Even now, as life is beginning to resemble “normal,” companies would be negligent to return to traditional means of interaction.
Figure 1 from our full report, Web/E-Commerce Staffing Ratios, shows that the percentage of the IT staff dedicated to web/e-commerce returned to 3.1% at the median in 2021. Web/e-commerce staffing has always been relatively volatile, as it represents a smaller portion of a large IT staff. Another contributing factor to web/e-commerce staffing is outsourcing. Costs generated from hiring and in-house training are comparably less when outsourced. Still, we expect customer demand following the pandemic to drive more growth in the web/e-commerce job function.
“Omnichannel commerce is already increasing the demand for web/e-commerce staffing,” said Reneece Sterling, research analyst for Computer Economics, a service of Avasant Research, based in Los Angeles. “Even though staffing levels are relatively flat, we think this is more because of skill shortages in the market rather than weakness in demand. If so, salaries should be increasing in the coming year, and that should attract more IT professionals to these jobs.”
Our definition of web/e-commerce staff includes web developers, designers, administrators, and other individuals who work on the company’s public websites, as well as those who maintain intranet sites. It also includes personnel who are dedicated to e-commerce activities, such as EDI specialists. We have a separate staffing category for personnel supporting communications and messaging systems.
When considering the ratio of web/e-commerce personnel, it is helpful to keep in mind that the size of web/e-commerce support operations varies widely by industry sector, depending on an organization’s need for e-commerce and online customer service. For CIOs to calibrate their staffing requirements, the full report provides benchmarks for staffing functions related to web and e-commerce development and operations. We benchmark web/e-commerce staffing with two ratios: web/e-commerce staff as a percentage of the IT staff and users per web/e-commerce staff member. Finally, we examine the influence of sector on web/e-commerce staffing.
This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Web/E-Commerce Staffing Ratios. The full report is available at no charge for subscribers, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).