12/19/2011 12:41 pm ET

Survey Says: Third Of Online Retailers Plan To Add Jobs In 2012

Do you plan to hire next year? If you own an online retail business, you may have to if you want to stay competitive. A new survey from and Forrester Research, "The 2011 State of Retailing Online Report," says retailers are already adding staff and, in 2012, nearly a third (29 percent) plan to increase their full-time headcounts of Web and e-commerce employees. These companies expect to increase their staff sizes by an average of 10 to 20 percent.

The e-tailers are looking to fill key slots. Not surprisingly, mobile is hot and 44 percent plan to hire employees dedicated to the mobile Web. Merchandising is even more important, with 58 percent of online retailers planing to add employees here. Finally, online retailers are emphasizing analytics and 46 percent plan to add employees to this area in the coming year.

Why it matters to your business: This survey focused on larger companies, as the respondents already have an average of 50 workers on their Web teams. While your small business probably can't hope to approach that many new employees (this year, anyway), use this as a guideline to what areas you should be focusing on if you hope to stay competitive in the increasingly cutthroat world of online retail.