If the recent #metoo movement has done much for elevating women’s voices in the social and political sphere, another movement might be responsible for the rise of women-led and owned businesses: eCommerce. While women have long driven the bulk of consumer purchasing (to the tune of up to 80% of spending overall), they haven’t been well represented at the top levels of businesses since, well, ever.
But eCommerce has been steadily changing that.
Business outlets like Entrepreneur.com highlight the advantages inherent to eCommerce that often give women an edge. For instance, legions of stay-at-home moms can now run successful businesses from home that can reach audiences all over the world. Etsy, for example, is the tip of the spear for this sort of business.
And nearly a third of these women selling on Etsy cite it as their sole occupation, so eCommerce has grown to be much more than just a side hustle for a large swath of women.
“A large part of their success is the way women treat and support each other in this space. It’s just better than what men seem to do. This group is so positive and they truly enjoy helping each other. They seem to have a natural knack for it.”
So says Tom Allen, co-founder along with Cortney Fletcher of eCom Babes, the #1 community and training site for women entrepreneurs. As Tom tells it, Cortney recognized the need for mentorship in the eCommerce space and they decided to create this opportunity. So far, they’ve helped thousands of women work toward their goals of creating and sustaining their own businesses.
“Cortney is really the reason this exists. She’s been in eCommerce for years and got off to a rocky start, doing the mainstream methodology of buying inventory first, paying for expensive ads, and seeing no results. She experienced a paradigm shift once she got a taste of social/Influencer marketing, and realized there was a much better, and lower cost way, of approaching eCommerce.”
With their experience, they offered a few tips for entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own online store:
“First, use focus as a weapon of progress. It’s really easy to put 500 things on a website. Instead, we teach women to focus on a niche. Learn the language of that niche, the culture, where the audience hangs out. Go deep instead of wide. The success rate is so much higher with this approach than the people who try to conquer many things at once. Instead of selling socks, sell dog socks.”
“Second, stay lean. You have two types of currency: time and money. Money shouldn’t be the deciding factor to a business being successful. Without money, you just need to use time more effectively. Get creative with what you do and how you do it. I don’t mean this to sound like a plug but Refersion really has allowed our 1000+ students to market products without doing expensive ads on Facebook or similar sites. Avoid traditional media buying until you’re profitable.”
In fact, many of our favorite clients here at Refersion follow this mentality (and are run by women).
Primally Pure Skincare
Primally Pure is a skincare line founded by Bethany McDaniel whose time on an organic farm inspired her to ditch conventional products that used too many chemicals, and to focus on creating replacements with pure ingredients.
BootayBag is a subscription underwear service for women founded by Ellyette Gheno that ships stylish, comfortable, and affordable pairs straight to customers’ doors.
Kinder Beauty Box
Kinder Beauty is a subscription service for vegan and cruelty-free makeup, skincare, hair-care, and accessories. It was founded by Daniella Monet and Evanna Lynch for women with a passion for the ethical treatment of animals in their care products.
Skinny Mixes was founded by Jordan Engelhardt to deliver all the flavor of your favorite beverages, but without all the sugar and calories. They have a line of syrups as well as mixes, all low carb with no added sugars.
Sakara was founded by Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle who grew up on natural eating habits and wanted to spread the word of good nutrition. Sakara offers plant-rich super meals delivered right to your door.
These are just a few of the hundreds of women-owned businesses that Refersion works with to bring low-cost affiliate marketing to their outreach strategy. The savvy and support in these companies, we are lucky to see first-hand, and we plan to do even more to encourage and highlight women-run businesses. We’ll end with this last quote from Tom:
“Support is important. Don’t go at it alone. Invest in a program like eCom Babes, a Facebook group, or some other way to connect with other women entrepreneurs. Be around a campfire. It does a lot for the soul and keeps you going.”