By Katherine Clarkson
Despite the recession e-commerce firms are more likely to be planning to hire extra staff than axing jobs, according to new research.
It is a trend etyres, the UK’s leading online tyres retailer, is experiencing as it continues to recruit more staff to its rapidly expanding team.
Tyres are a good example of how consumers are turning to the internet to track down the cheapest prices and driving up sales for web-based companies.
More than 100 e-commerce managers were surveyed by UK executive recruiter Bearing Partnership and 85% said they expect to maintain or add to their e-commerce teams, with 36% projecting more hiring this year.
The mood of optimism within the industry is further highlighted with 81% predicting they could get another job if they wanted one and 46% expect to receive a pay rise this year.
Their confidence may stem from good performance with 77% revealing that they hit or exceeded their sales targets in 2008.
Only 14% of those questioned expect lay-offs and 27% suspect they may not receive a wage increase.
Business is booming at etyres, where customers order tyres online and have them fitted at a location of their choice, at home or work. Because it is a low-cost operation savings are passed on to customers in the form of low prices – up to 40% cheaper than the traditional high street depots.
With growing customer awareness and lower overheads than the bricks-and-mortar tyre retailers, etyres is seeing year-on-year growth in excess of 30% and is strengthening its team with new recruits.
Aryn Hurst-Clark, director of search and selection at Bearing Partnership, said: “Our research points to an industry which believes it will enjoy steady growth this year at a time when the wider UK economy is expecting to shrink by 4.1%.
“Brands will need to service the growing demand for e-commerce from customers and, in an area currently suffering from a skills shortage, making the right staffing decisions will be critical to the company’s overall business success.
“Those companies that look closely at e-commerce this year will reap the benefits when the economy picks up.”