According to a recent survey by ReThink Recruitment, IT contractors with specialist skills in online shopping tools for smart phones and tablet computers are not only in high demand, but are also commanding higher pay rates than other e-commerce roles which are more geared towards use on standard desktops or laptops. Figures released in December showed a 20% increase in rates for these types of IT contractors, working in what has become known as the ‘m-commerce’ arena. These designers are responsible for developing software which ensures that each retailer’s mobile device apps are as user friendly, intuitive and functional as they can possible be, to maximise the online shopping experience. This is supported by predictions from The Centre for Retail Research, which has stated that within three years at least a quarter of all online purchases are going to be made via mobile devices!
ReThink’s figures indicate that a junior designer can expect to command around £350 per day, compared with a rate of £280 per day for an equivalent more traditional e-commerce type position. Meanwhile, a programme manager working on mobile apps can earn around £600 per day compared to around £500 in other e-commerce areas. There is also a high demand for m-commerce contractors in the banking sector, as institutions compete with each other to deliver the best ‘user experience’ when it comes to mobile banking. It seems that contractors with these highly sought after skills can easily be deciding between four or five different offers, and often end up choosing the most interesting projects rather than just basing their decisions on the rate!
Commenting on the findings, Director at ReThink Iain Blair said, “We are seeing a large wave of work as retailers beef up their mobile retailing offerings. They see m-commerce as an exciting new sales avenue and are more aware than ever of the potential boom in revenue from giving customers a highly customised and slick mobile browsing experience. Customers are no longer just using these tools to find their nearest store or check the opening and closing times. They are increasingly expecting to see 360 degree product views, to place orders internationally, to double check a high street store has the right size and colour of a design of shoes – and all these require extensive expenditure in IT. This is now a top priority for all the major retailers. Most see it as far more critical than more traditional areas of spend, such as investment in store payment systems or upgrading store fittings. Some retailers feel that they missed out on the initial e-commerce land grab and that they are not going to make the same mistake with m-commerce.”