Retail was in a spiral even before the COVID pandemic sped up the decline. A record 12,000 retailers closed in 2020 according to commercial real estate firm CoStar Group including once stable brands like Macy’s, Pier 1, and GameStop. But these closings don’t tell the whole story. According to a Fortune magazine story, the e-commerce sector has created 355,000 jobs since 2007, vastly outpacing the 50,000 jobs lost in the general retail sector.
Those gains look even more promising as e-commerce giants like Amazon and Apple move further into physical retail while traditional retailers like Target and Walmart continue to build out robust e-commerce options. In addition to the job growth the e-commerce sector is fueling, wages are increasing as well. The list of retail jobs that have been created out of the online economy is long, but we’ve provided some of the highlights here.
Online Stores with Physical Buildings
Apple Genius - You can buy your iPhone or MacBook completely online and fill it up with music and software without leaving your couch, but if something goes wrong where do you go? The Genius Bar. Apple Geniuses are the company’s in-house tech support and service technicians onsite at your local Apple Store.
Apple describes the position as follows: “As a Genius, you provide insightful advice and friendly, hands-on technical support to Apple customers in need. You quickly diagnose product issues on the spot, explaining situations with patience and compassion. After determining whether repairs can be done or a replacement is needed, you offer solutions to quickly get users up and running again.”
Amazon Bookseller - Billed as “The World’s Largest Bookstore,” Amazon made its name online with a virtually endless inventory of books. In 2015, Amazon expanded to the physical retail space by opening the first Amazon Books in Seattle. Since then, they’ve opened 23 more.
Amazon describes the position as follows: “We are looking for entrepreneurial, analytical, creative, flexible leaders to help us make Amazon Books the world’s most customer-centric bookstore. If you want to join a fast-paced, innovative team that is breaking new ground for Amazon, this is the place for you.”
Warby Parker Sales Advisor - Upending the traditional optometry retail establishment by opening strictly online in 2010, Warby Parker used an at-home try-on program to build loyalty and engagement with their customers. They broadened their reach in 2013 by opening their first physical location then expanding to 156 by 2021.
Warby Parker describes the position as follows: “Advisors have a direct, immediate impact on the success of Warby Parker through customer interactions, process ideation and improvement, and various special projects.”
Physical Retailers With Online Power
Walmart Online Order Filler and Delivery Associate - Starting in 2016 with its acquisition of online retailer jet.com, Walmart has focused its growth strategy in the ecommerce sector. By using it’s 5,000 physical stores as delivery and customer service hubs, Walmart became the third largest online retailer in the country, behind online Amazon and eBay.
Walmart describes the position as follows: “Online order fillers have the opportunity to shop for our customers and choose just the right apple, or select their favorite cereal. This position is extremely fast paced and is one that gets to spend time in all departments shopping for our customers and filling their online orders.”
Best Buy Geek Squad Agent - After trying to compete with Amazon by cutting costs and cutting prices, Best Buy decided to invest in the human aspect of their online presence. In addition to building out an extensive online refresh, they reached out to employees and customers to find out what aspects needed work. One of the most popular features of the company was the Geek Squad.
Best Buy describes the position as follows: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to show customers the limitless potential of their technology and protect them from tech wear and tear. Whether rescuing a digital photo album from a broken hard drive, saving a student’s thesis from a coffee-drenched computer or transforming a living room into a personal theater, Geek Squad agents use their expertise to enrich lives through technology.”
Home Depot Driver - Home Depot was number 5 on Forbes Magazine’s most recent list of highest e-commerce sales. In addition to building an online site that helps train and engage the DIY audience, they also offer their own fleet of drivers to deliver items customers purchase online.
Home Depot describes the job as follows: “Driver and driver helpers deliver products from warehouses and stores directly to customers. Whether it’s appliances, cleaning supplies, or small items like lightbulbs, they make sure customers get what they need safely and on time.”
The battle between online giants and physical stores will continue into the future and workers will benefit if they keep up to date with the ever-changing landscape. RetailGig offers up-to-date job listings as well as career articles and informational posts to help you maintain the edge needed to grab one of these jobs created by the online economy.