The Holiday Season: Brought To You By Tech Workers

Holiday Season Shopping

The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching, and retailers are ramping up operations in preparation for the biggest retail events of the year. With sales shifting to online, retailers need to evolve their digital storefronts to keep up with modern shopping trends.

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The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching, and retailers are ramping up operations in preparation for the biggest retail events of the year – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With sales consistently shifting to predominantly online year over year, retailers need to evolve their digital storefronts to keep up with modern shopping trends.

For retailers looking forward to these influxes of customers, preparation is key to success and keeping bottom lines black. The tech that powers online shopping, provides a seamless customer experience, and keeps data secure is only as effective as the engineers behind the scenes.

Retailers need a technically trained team with up-to-date skills to keep up and meet four critical needs: the need for websites that perform, the need to predict trends, the need for pages to convert, and the need to keep data secure. 

Here’s how the four disciplines Flatiron School teaches – Software Engineering, Data Science, Product Design, and Cybersecurity – support the holiday season. 

Need Websites That Perform (Software Engineering)

For websites to perform well, load quickly, and deliver an enjoyable online shopping experience, the engineers behind them must be well-versed in the languages used for Back-End and Front-End Software Engineering

In fact, in a recent study retailers reported software development as the #1 desired technical skill for new hires. Java, software engineering, SQL, Python, JavaScript, and data science also made the list.  

So, how do retailers build out a technical team to get their digital storefront live and profitable? Sourcing recent graduates from technical training institutions ensure that new hires are up to date on the newest software, platforms, and best practices in the online marketplace. 

Big box and clothing retailers in particular source our Software Engineering and Data Science graduates for their skills in Python, Java, JavaScript, and SQL. These languages are used in online interfaces such as cashier-less checkout, virtual storefronts, virtual dressing rooms, and marrying online and offline data to personalize shopping experiences and increase profitability.

Related reading: In-demand skills taught to our Software Engineering students

Need To Personalize and Predict Behavior (Data Science)

No matter how optimized a digital store-front functionality is or how easy to navigate a user interface is, a consumer won’t buy from you unless they see something they like enough to part with their hard-earned dollars. Item recommendations and promotions, whenever possible, should be personalized to individual customers to increase conversions and sale amounts.  

Data Scientists are tackling this task by taking advantage of big data – the mountain-sized amount of information points generated by customers interacting with your brand. 

Our Data Science graduates use models and machine learning to connect data points from multiple sources and generate actionable insights that can be implemented at scale. 

Unleashing the power of data-based decisions can have wide-reaching impacts on your business and increase conversion rates with recommendations catered to each customer and keep them coming back to the company that, somehow, knows them so well.  

Related reading: The (Data) Science Behind Netflix Recommendations

Need Websites That Convert (Product Design)

UX / UI design is a critical success factor for successful digital storefronts. User experience and user interface can make or break mobile viability, and nothing bottoms out the performance of a website or mobile app faster than a difficult-to-use interface.

Retailers utilize UX / UI Product Designers to revamp user interfaces and outfit brand-owned digital touch-points with easy-to-use features to ensure a seamless experience that will keep users coming back and clicking ‘buy’.

Related reading: What Is Design Thinking?

Need To Protect Data (Cybersecurity)

While not a new topic and certainly not unique to retailers, recent cybersecurity trends and high-profile breaches have resulted in several pain points for brands that hold personally identifiable information (PII). 

Many retailers are realizing new vulnerabilities including cloud hosting platforms, an increased number of access points, more frequent cyber attacks, and a lack of internal resources struggling to keep up. 

In the digital age where automated attacks can quickly overwhelm retailers, having adept and skilled professionals in place is critical to a company’s continued prosperity and longevity.

Essential cybersecurity skills for the digital age include SQL, which attackers could use to steal confidential data, compromise data stores, and execute web-based attacks, as well as Python, which helps to scan and analyze malware, and Java, which can be used in penetration (pen) testing.

For retailers to ensure their databases are secure for the rush of the holiday season, recruiting cybersecurity professionals with up-to-date and relevant skills or upskilling in-house teams is critical.

Related reading: Top 3 Cybersecurity Pain Points in 2022

Join Santa’s Workshop Of Tech Workers

No matter your area of interest or expertise, you can have a hand in bringing the holiday season to life. So, if you’d like to apply to Santa’s workshop, we have good news and bad news. 

The good news is that you can acquire the skills you need to join Santa’s team of tech workers by attending one of Flatiron School’s programs in Software Engineering, Data Science, Product Design, or Cybersecurity.  

In fact, many Flatiron School graduates have been hired at some pretty magical companies that can have a hand in making the winter season feel like magic

The bad news is that Santa cross-checks the naughty list. Good luck! (Kidding.)

Apply Today to start making some magic. 

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of November 7, 2022. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

About Anna Van Deusen

Anna Van Deusen is the Marketing Content Manager at Flatiron School. When not writing about tech and Flatiron School students, she can be found hanging out with her dogs on a beach…

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