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1 in 4 Australian retail jobs set to be automated by 2027

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By Published On: October 6, 20231 Comment

New research has revealed the potential extent of automation's future impact on the retail industry in Australia.

ServiceNow and workforce technology experts, Pearson, have predicted retail is set for an automation overhaul, with nearly a quarter of current retail jobs, at 24.9 percent, likely to be automated by 2027.

These automated roles are set to deliver significant productivity gains, with an estimated $15.3 billion boost to the retail sector.

Its not all doom and gloom for employees, as nearly half a million (464.7k) new tech roles will be needed in the next four years to support the adoption of AI and other technologies. An estimated 80,000 of these tech roles will be required in the retail industry alone. This could mean new demonstration roles or customer assistants, as well as tech support roles.

“As these significant industry changes take place, so will the way people work,” said Eric Swift, VP and Managing Director of ServiceNow Australia and New Zealand. “The tasks and jobs we do will change. Retail and finance have already seen multiple roles automated, with the rise of self-checkout technology, online shopping, and mobile banking. AI will accelerate this process and offer new avenues for growth. Business leaders, governments, and individuals must start planning today, updating job descriptions, team structures, and upskilling employees as new jobs emerge,” said Mr Swift.

“The research shows a whole new generation of technology jobs will be needed, alongside other new roles. The priority is identifying the biggest shifts and investing in tailored training pathways to help people reskill and find meaningful work, and adopting the right technology platforms to make using AI simple. We believe with the right preparation today, AI and automation will be hugely positive for Australia, helping people pursue more fulfilling career paths, increase their income potential and do more engaging, less repetitive work,” continued Mr Swift.

This week, data was also released by FIS revealing that Australian business is set to make major investments in AI in the year ahead. The second edition of FIS’ Global Innovation Report asked c-suite and senior executives globally about their key areas of financial investment over the next 12 months. 

 Almost all (94 percent) Australian executives believe innovation is critical for mitigating risk. Technology and system innovation is a top focus, with 59 percent of leaders saying they are pursuing or planning to pursue this to mitigate risk, followed by customer experience innovation at 56 percent.With regard to the adoption of new technologies, 50 percent of Australian firms said they are already using Generative AI and 46 percent are using other AI technologies.

On top of that, 71 percent of firms that have adopted Generative AI plan to increase spend in the next year—tied with as-a-service for the highest rate of investment across the technologies covered in the research.

VP and Managing Director of ServiceNow Australia and New Zealand, Eric Swift is enthusiastic about the potential AI and similar technologies have to change the way we work.

“In the next few years, AI will transform industries, delivering multi-billion-dollar boosts to productivity. We’re all talking about AI, but the reality is its impact is only just beginning to be felt. Soon, the results will be transformative, and early movers who put AI to work today can see significant increases in productivity, more engaged employees, and fewer skills shortages.”

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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One Comment

  1. Ilmu Komunikasi October 10, 2023 at 1:33 PM - Reply

    How many new tech roles are projected to be needed in the next four years to support the adoption of AI and other technologies, and what is the estimated number of these roles required in the retail industry specifically?
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