River Island continues tech investment to drive growth

The technology world is advancing at rapid speed and as the millennials demand for instant gratification continues to rise, it is holding the future of retail in its hands.

This fast-paced, challenging environment has seen the demise of many high street retailers who have failed to keep up with customer demands.

So, how has 70-year old retailer River Island kept up with this fast-maturing online world? Its CIO Doug Gardner said: “River Island as a business has always been on a continuous path of transformation. The nature of fast-fashion means this business is changing all the time.” 

2016 saw River Island heavily invested and focused on enhancing their technology which included a partnership with Google location that enabled shoppers to check whether nearby River Island stores had items in their size. 

So, what’s new? There had been talk of River Island doubling their Shoreditch tech department team size in recent years, and now in 2018, they have committed to this strategy. Partnering with Revoco - a specialist in retail technology talent acquisition – with the focus to source passionate and talented technology professionals to join their engineering, service operations, delivery and transformation and architecture departments. The crucial roles and areas of focus include:

  • Micro services engineers to rebuild their core applications
  • Business analysts to expand their international presence through new market places
  • Project managers to enable the quest for single view of the product from creation to basket 
  • Scrum masters to continue developing their agile way of working across multiple teams in an enterprise environment

To engage and attract the right talent, Revoco managing director Iain Blair has been pivotal in the development of RI’s campaign which has seen the development of its tech career site, simultaneously giving us a sneak peak in to the cogs that make River Island the innovative fast- fashion retailer it is, and insight in to their transformational journey.

Iain Blair tells us more about the campaign. “RI already had a really great careers site, but the challenge was that it wasn’t relevant to IT. We needed to give RI Tech their own identity but whilst staying true to the RI fast fashion brand.”

Revoco have broken down the barrier between the bricks and mortar experience, and that of the online world.

 “Creating engaging content for the target audience is key to the success of a campaign like this – by posting really interesting e-books about the changing retail landscape, and attractive well produced video teasers and video adverts all boosts traffic to the new site,” says Blair.

“They say a picture paints a thousand words, well a video paints a million! You can easily get across the brilliant vibe and personality of RI Tech in some short punchy videos. That’s what candidates want to see so they can really get a feel for the place.”