By Hayden McConnell, Market America | SHOP.COM
As the world continues to turn to online retail, especially during this new normal, it’s becoming crystal clear which companies contain the ability to keep up with the rapidly evolving and complex demands of consumers. While online retail and the classic one cart shopping experience has opened the doors to a plethora of possibilities, we are just now making it to the first floor.
So, how do e-commerce businesses guarantee their place in the race to the top, where millions of potential shoppers are making the most of their purchases from their smartphones or laptops rather than in a checkout line? Well, these demands seem to have a recurring theme of making what we once thought was the impossible possible — creating a realistic shopping experience that comes with typical brick-and-mortar retail but without any bricks or mortar. Consumers now are looking for an in-person shopping experience without having to commit to the hassles of commuting and accessibility. This means that companies are being forced to ramp up their technological capabilities to be able to provide as realistic a shopping experience as possible before their customers lose interest and click their way to another option.
Just within the last six months, online usage has changed from predominately desktop to mobile. So, where do they start? Who better than Kevin Curley, the Vice President of Front End, Interactive and Mobile Development at Market America | SHOP.COM, to provide some insight?
With Curley’s close to 25 years at the company and 11 years at his current position, he’s gathered quite a bit of knowledge and expertise on the developmental aspects of technology that has stood the test of time. Beginning with standardization, Curley stresses the importance of standardizing as much as possible. From being able to reutilize components in both web and mobile platforms and implementing consistency in every possible aspect saves an exponential amount of time as well as money.
With technology (and specifically mobile technology) constantly evolving, Curley reminds us of another important key to success when he states, “You don’t ever know everything; as soon you think you know everything, you’ve already lost.” With a reported 50.88 percent of all online sessions coming from smartphone devices, 46.39 percent from desktops, and only 2.74 percent from tablets, it’s clear that mobile development is a high priority of many e-commerce companies. We all understand how rapidly the world of technology moves, and that with that development comes an abundance of new information. Without humility and a drive to learn, it would be impossible to keep up with the demands of consumers. While it may sound simple, there is always new information flooding the field, making it imperative for these companies to stay informed. Otherwise, they will quickly fall behind.
Last but not least, Curley discusses some key points to overcome a common challenge for the front-end and mobile development aspects of many e-commerce businesses: finding the right person for the job. A common practice for hiring developers is for companies to hire headhunters or recruiting firms that can be quite costly if they don’t already have an internal department to search for candidates equipped in programming.
On top of the expense, some of the best candidates can end up bombarded with the number of emails and calls they receive from recruiting firms or headhunters, many of which focus on quantity rather than quality in their searches. This has left many of the best potential candidates overwhelmed, making it less likely for those recruiters to have a shot with the candidate. Curley stresses that when a candidate approaches a company instead of companies chasing the candidate, it shows that the candidate has a true motivation to work with that company. So, how are e-commerce businesses supposed to stand out in this virtual sea of opportunities as providing viable, long-term positions that are worth a candidate’s time to consider, while also making sure the candidate is a good fit? Well, let’s take a glance at what Curley has to say about Market America | SHOP.COM’s two important strategies.
- Approachability. When it comes to approachability, there are a lot of companies out there that lack some of the assets these programmers/candidates are looking for. For example, Market America | SHOP.COM is constantly upgrading its development software, which means the IT department can provide an environment that allows for learning and growth for potential candidates compared to companies that are stuck in their comfort zone, not able to keep up with the growing demands and expectations of consumers as well as the ongoing advancements in technology. These other companies may stick to their ways because they’ve provided them with success thus far, but as we all know, the e-commerce world is growing far too rapidly to stick to one “legacy” method.
Next, Curley states that Market America | SHOP.COM invests in a valuable tech space. This way, candidates can ensure they will be working in developing high-end, cutting-edge technology instead of working on something that is not valuable for their professional development.
- Finding the right fit. So, after using these points to draw in a candidate, how are companies supposed to ensure they’re a good fit? Besides reviewing and verifying an applicant’s work history, Market America | SHOP.COM takes a few different measures that include not only having prospective employees detail their past projects but also sharing their thought process on these same projects, as well and requiring candidates to take part in a company-relevant coding assignment, again asking candidates to walk through the assignment and explain why they made the decisions they did. This way they can get a better look at how that candidate works and if they’re compatible with the company’s process.
It’s more important than ever for e-commerce companies to make sure they are at the front of the race to keep up with the growing demands of consumers. From staying up to speed with the latest technology tools and advancements to remaining driven and ready to learn and, most importantly, creating concrete ways to ensure that companies are attracting the best software development candidates possible — these are just a few things businesses can work on implementing. When working in a rapidly evolving industry, change is always expected and, as Curley says, “That’s what makes this job awesome: not one day is the same as the next.” So, lace up your running shoes because the race is only beginning.
About The Author
Hayden McConnell is the Public Relations Assistant at Market America | SHOP.COM. She is an alumna of Elon University and her passions include writing, digital art, and creating.
About Market America
Market America | SHOP.COM is a global product brokerage and internet marketing company that specializes in one-to-one marketing and is the creator of The Shopping Annuity.