Retention more important than acquisition

There is a shift among retailers in the attributes they look for in new employees, Internet Retailer reports.

There is a shift among retailers in the attributes they look for in new employees, Internet Retailer reports. While not long ago workers that could help acquire new customers - such as email marketing specialists and database managers - were in demand, those with customer retention specialities are now all the rage.

These positions include senior web site designers, information architects, business specialists and analytics specialists - any worker with specialized skills that can help online retailers increase customer satisfaction and loyalty in 2012.

"Everyone is looking to attract, develop and retain the talent that will help the company grow customer retention and increase up-selling and cross-selling opportunities," Harry Joiner, founder and operator of EcommerceRecruiter.com, told the news source.

The primary reason for the change? The cost of acquiring new customers has risen. Now it's become more important to keep customers coming back.

For example, Inc magazine recently found that while existing customers are in constant need of price discounts from a company, it would take two to three new customers to replace the margin lost from that one consumer.

Joiner adds that for those people with specialty retention skills, salaries typically run 20 percent higher than they did one year ago, Internet Retailer reports.