Empowering Women in E-commerce: Key Skills and Strategies for Growth
E-commerce seems to be the future of entrepreneurship in the digitized business environment. Women entrepreneurs across the world have set benchmarks with their visualization and entrepreneurial skills. The emergence of eCommerce has gone a long way in empowering women to successfully launch and run businesses, or take up powerful managerial positions. With women’s day coming up, let’s learn more about empowering women in E-commerce in the contemporary world.
3 ways how eCommerce is relevant to women empowerment
While eCommerce and women empowerment go hand in hand, it gives us something to wonder – What exactly is empowering women in E-commerce? To be precise, eCommerce helps women go around several barriers they faced while making entrepreneurial efforts the conventional way. Here’s how:
1. A better understanding of the customers’ demand
Women constitute a large segment of online shoppers, which gives them a strong influence over the world of eCommerce. However, a whopping 91% of women report they feel they aren’t understood properly by advertisers while 70% of women say they feel alienated by advertising. The only way to resolve this challenge is to put women at the helm of marketing strategies.
The flexibility of running an online business is one of the driving factors empowering women in E-commerce. Traditional gender norms were the biggest barrier for women entrepreneurs, with outdated concepts of gender-specific roles preventing them from making much headway. E-commerce, however, allows them to run a business online, even from their homes. This enables them to balance household responsibilities and entrepreneurship, eventually shifting more towards the latter.
3. Increasing support for empowering women in E-commerce
A growing number of financing and collaborative opportunities are being created exclusively for women entrepreneurs. This enables them to take on the challenges of running a business with greater ease. Numerous online communities geared towards empowering women in E-commerce have sprung up on social media platforms too, providing them with better networking opportunities.
11 must-have skills for women in eCommerce
Now, you might be wondering how to empower women to make them more adept at running an eCommerce business. As in the case of any other business model, they must develop relevant skills. Here are 11 crucial skills and strategies that help in empowering women in E-commerce.
1. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is relevant to pretty much any business with an online presence, but it’s particularly indispensable in eCommerce. SEO is all about drawing more organic traffic and gaining increased exposure, besides being one of the most cost-effective marketing techniques. When it comes to empowering women in E-commerce, developing better SEO skills can make a huge difference. This is especially crucial to women handling marketing strategies.
Finance skills are relevant in pretty much any business. Women launching new entrepreneurial ventures must be highly capable of budgeting and keeping track of all expenses. The lack of financial planning can spell doom for a business, wasting away limited resources.
Even with a dedicated accounting and budgeting, team in place, business owners need good financial skills to successfully run an eCommerce venture. Developing better finance skills can empower women to take on the roles and responsibilities of leadership positions.
3. Fundamentals of the web
Since an eCommerce business relies entirely on building and running an online store, a basic understanding of web fundamentals is absolutely necessary. This doesn’t necessarily mean every woman at the helm of an eCommerce business needs to be a deft programmer or web designer.
However, knowing the basics can help tackle various challenges and optimize the platform more efficiently. For small businesses with a limited workforce, it’s especially helpful if entrepreneurs can handle small tasks themselves rather than waiting for a developer to fix every problem. Knowledge of web technologies like HTML, CSS, and hosting can be a great help.
4. Project management
Women in managerial and other leadership positions need superior project management skills. This allows them to improve operations and meet their goals more efficiently, boosting the business’ profits. Especially when it comes to empowering women in E-commerce, improved project management skills are a must. One cannot expect to rise up through the professional ladder and reach higher managerial hierarchies without sufficient project management skills.
5. Communication skills
This is one of the non-negotiable skills that anybody looking forward to a lustrous career must have. Strong communication skills make business leaders better at networking and negotiation. Most importantly, it allows them to confidently advocate for their business. Even women not in leadership roles can benefit heavily from communication skills, just for internal communication alone.
Women with well-developed communication skills can make significant progress in pretty much every facet of eCommerce. While marketers need to communicate effectively with the target audience, project managers have to convey plans and instructions to their teams.
6. Content strategies
Content forms the centerpiece of marketing strategies, especially in today’s competitive business environment. From blog posts to promotional videos, every piece of marketing material should be rich in content that’s relevant and interesting to the target audience. Any woman running an eCommerce business or helming marketing operations should have a sound understanding of how to use content effectively.
This is one of the reasons why empowering women in E-commerce is crucial, especially for marketing purposes. A female content strategist can help tackle the issue of women feeling misunderstood by advertising campaigns. Proper targeting and tailoring of marketing content are very important for any business.
7. Artificial intelligence
AI has become quite a topic of interest in recent times, and for good reasons. With its ability to automate repetitive tasks and make business processes more efficient, artificial intelligence has become very relevant to eCommerce. Additionally, AI also has a role to play in empowering women in E-commerce by simplifying tasks and maximizing profits.
So, does this mean every woman planning to build a strong career in eCommerce needs to learn about AI technologies? Not quite. However, they do need an understanding of how to use the latest AI-powered business tools. From warehouse management to marketing, artificial intelligence can assist in numerous ways. AI is indispensable in offering personalized eCommerce services, which is one of the top eCommerce trends to look out for in 2023.
8. Data collection
Better data collection skills can help with empowering women in E-commerce too, depending on the roles they’re aiming for. Be it running a successful ad campaign or deciding on a new product line, businesses have to rely on data gathered from consumer behavior. This requires business leaders to use Google Analytics and other modern tools to collect relevant information.
9. Data analytics
Of course, the gathered data also need to be analyzed before it’s of much use. Data analytics can help solve a variety of problems, diagnose issues, and come up with solutions. Proper analysis of data pulled from different channels enables business leaders to make informed decisions.
With that said, women planning to build a career in eCommerce data analytics should work on their skills with business intelligence (BI) tools. The same goes for those aiming for leadership roles, because one needs detailed insights to make informed decisions.
Strong skills in data analytics can help in empowering women in E-commerce, enabling them to handle financial reporting and demand planning more efficiently.
10. Social media marketing
The list of relevant marketing skills to develop is too long, but social media marketing certainly holds special priority. A 2022 survey revealed a large section of shoppers purchased a product(s) after seeing an ad for it on social media. Leveraging Facebook and other leading social media platforms, business leaders and marketing planners can reach the target audience more effectively.
The above graph represents the results if a survey conducted to reveal the share of consumers who purchased a product after seeing a social media ad, in specific countries.
A basic understanding of social media presence and marketing can be of great help in empowering women in E-commerce. Especially as social shopping gaining popularity, it’s easy to guess the value of social media marketing skills.
11. Designing skills
Graphic and web designing skills are easy to overlook, but they are just as important. An e-commerce business relies largely on presentation to attract online shoppers. Presentation is as important to online businesses as it is to physical stores. E-Commerce platforms leverage the design of the website/app to stand out and reinforce their brand identity. The concept, however, is similar to that of display windows and exhibits in physical stores.
Indeed, empowering women in E-commerce can even involve creative skills. Those with a knack for designing can build a strong career in the field of eCommerce too. Together with other skills like project management and marketing, such creative skills can help women secure esteemed positions.
Thanks to eCommerce, empowering women in E-commerce has grown significantly easier. As long as someone possesses the right set of skills, she’d excel in a relevant role in an eCommerce business. No wonder the number of women in leadership positions is growing steadily. Along with a change of mindset, the growing dominance of online businesses is responsible as well. Indeed, women have vast opportunities in the new business paradigm.