Five ways ecommerce has created opportunities for women
With limited work opportunities, many women opt to become entrepreneurs. This is especially true in the developing world where patriarchy dominates the home and workplace.
Regardless of where they live, women worldwide are still largely regarded as the chief nurturers of children and homemakers.
This means that they must often balance these responsibilities with work obligations and careers that hit the glass ceiling when employers are reluctant to take on women for senior positions because of their perceived divided loyalties.
Often, women are overlooked for promotions because they have children who might distract them from the job more than men. The concept of ecommerce has allowed women to see work in a different light.
The technology available will enable them to work from home, use flexible hours, and still have time to fulfil their traditional roles if they chose. And many of these female entrepreneurs have created highly successful businesses that have altered their lives forever.
1) The world is now borderless
Because of how the internet works, an ecommerce store can cross borders into virtually any country. Whereas women would have been limited to an immediate geographical area for conducting business, they can now sell their products to customers on the other side of the globe.
This opportunity has been of particular help to female entrepreneurs in the third world. For example, many female crafters have found a market for their traditional arts in America and Europe.
Many women have found success after deciding to buy a profitable ecommerce shop from a trustworthy seller that specializes in linking suppliers of such products with those who would utilize them.
The act as the middle women, using their networking skills to bring the relevant parties together, claiming a percentage of all transactions between those they have connected.
2) Women understand women
Statistics indicate that the predominance of people shopping online are women, so it makes sense for women to invest in an online business. They have a competitive advantage over their target market than a man.
Women understand other women’s struggles and can easily identify solutions to provide through their ecommerce stores. This is a global phenomenon, the idea that women from all walks of life, no matter their circumstance or where they are, understand each other’s lives through a bond of sisterhood that many men fail to comprehend.
The cliché of a woman’s touch has been proven valid in ecommerce stores worldwide. Women understand what their counterparts want to see when they shop online. They have a grasp on what the shopping experience should be like for a woman if the entrepreneur wants them to become repeat customers.
Aesthetics, presentation, and approach are vital components of cornering a market of female shoppers, and who could understand these concepts better than another woman?
3) Women influence women
When convincing women to change their shopping habits of going to the store and turn to online shopping instead, who better can manage the task than another woman? It comes back to women being able to relate to each other easily. When buying an ecommerce store, women understand that they will need to persuade others to join the growing online shopping market.
By sharing their stories on their websites, female ecommerce entrepreneurs can influence women and girls to take the plunge and start a business themselves. Young girls must see strong, independent, successful female role models around them.
This serves to inspire them to reach their full potential instead of leaving it unused as they enter the traditional roles society expects of them.
Young women in countries across the world can see these stories and use them to improve their life prospects. After being prompted to start an ecommerce business, they too become role models, inspiring a new generation of girls to strive for business success.
4) Women can ‘have it all’
If you speak to working moms anywhere, they will tell you that what they regret most is that they are not at home when their kids return from school. They miss swim meets, concerts, and soccer games because they have to be at work. These are special moments in their children’s lives, and there is no rewind button on them.
When women spend time finding the right online business, they can start one from scratch or buy an existing business that suits their needs. This gives them more time with their children and to devote to family matters.
5) Flexible working spaces
Because an ecommerce store does not require a separate physical space, many female ecommerce business owners work from home. Even when they have to start keeping an inventory of products, they can outsource this to a third-party company. This company stores the products and ships them to customers to fulfill orders.
With this task taken care of, the female ecommerce entrepreneur has more time to devote to networking and raising awareness about her business. And she can do that from home, sitting on her couch and sipping a cup of coffee if that is her preference.
In short, ecommerce opens a door on different ways of doing business and eliminates the need for office space and a storefront.
Photo by Force Majeure