Key trends in the e-commerce hiring market

London phone box at night

Online marketplaces connecting people, businesses and services suddenly seem everywhere.

Our latest report, in collaboration with vacancy data provider, VacancySoft, highlights the key social and economic drivers responsible for the rise in e-commerce hiring activity. Download the full report to learn more.


The Covid-19 effect

The closure of many businesses and shops due to the initial 2020 lockdown forced the rapid digitalisation of many industries in order to fulfil the consumer demand. Businesses that failed to do so suffered the financial consequences with a loss of £430 million in sales during the second wave restrictions (1). As a result, consumer habits have now changed with 70% of Britons stating that buying online is their preferred shopping method up from less than half prior to the pandemic (2).

Marketplace evolution

It is easier than ever to build a marketplace with the ever-increasing processing power of smart phones. These expanding smaller start-ups are often better equipped at moving with the fluctuating needs and priorities of the consumer whereas bigger businesses must spend valuable time on the logistics of making these changes amongst a complex and multi-layered ecosystem. Amazon, although it undoubtedly dominates the UK marketplace significantly with a record breaking 5.2 billion monthly visits (3), was responsible for the emission of 44 million metric tonnes of CO₂ in 2018 (4). This does not align with the current consumer mindset with 42% of people saying they would like brands to take a stand on the climate emergency (5). It would take years for a business giant like Amazon to make significant changes throughout all levels of the company to their carbon emissions, however a smaller start-up has the luxury of introducing measures earlier on and at a much more manageable scale.

Rise of technology hiring

Vacancies in online marketplaces finished 61% up in 2021 from the previous year with a gradual incline being seen since 2018 and one in eight job opportunities found to be in the business sector following a 2021 study (6). IT management/development roles have seen an inflation experiencing a 50% increase year-on-year in 2020 now representing 33.5% of all vacancies with companies wanting to bring in specialists once platforms can be monetised. Of course, with the rapid development of online platforms this involves the secure storage of high volumes of data which is reflected by IT security roles making up 4.17% of technology roles – an increase of 1.5%. Security has seen the largest increase of all the specialisms and volumes will finish up by 194% year-on-year by the end of 2021.

UK investment boom

2021 was a record-breaking year for investment into British tech with $18.4 billion being raised in the first three quarters alone by UK companies and investors. London is the unrivalled UK hotspot with vacancies for IT professionals up 66% compared to 16% across the rest of the UK. The 2022 market is looking promising for the rest of the UK to be put on the map however with Oxford currently ranking in the top 10 European tech hubs and Cambridge produced more unicorns per capita within cities <500k people than any other in 2021. (7)


  1. The World's Top Online Marketplaces 2021, webretailer 
  2. More Brits Prefer Online Shopping Since Pandemic Reuters, Nov 2011
  3. The World’s Top Online Marketplaces 2021 webretailer
  4. How Sustainable Is Amazon? Sasja Beslik
  5. The Future of Marketplaces Adevinta, May 2021
  6. UK Tech Boom Sees One In Eight Job Opportunities In Digital Sector Business Leader News, Sept 2021
  7. The UK Remains on Top in a Record Year of Investment and Growth for the European Tech and Venture Ecosystem Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP - JDSupra

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