Ecommerce stores can be a great option for female entrepreneurs

Cath Kidston, the English fashion designer and entrepreneur, recently spoke at the MakeGood Festival to encourage people to set up in creative, commercial pursuits. At 34, Cath opened her first ‘Cath Kidston’ shop in London’s Notting Hill where she began by selling vintage fabrics, wallpapers and brightly-painted junk furniture.

Today, hosted ecommerce platforms such as Shopify make it an incredibly easy and affordable way to set up your own store in days and there’s an excellent post on the Shopify blog ‘5 Things Female Entrepreneurs Do That Hurts Their Business‘ which encourages women to share the responsibility of setting up and managing a store.

No barrier to entry

The price of setting up an online store is going to zero. You can get up and running with Shopify for £20/m or you can set up a free wordpress blog and install a free plugin such as WooCommerce and start selling and taking payments instantly.

The cost of customer acquisition due to social channels is far lower than traditionally, largely thanks to paid advertising on Facebook. For example I’m currently using facebook ads to drive traffic and conversions to T-shirt designs I’m creating for my niches on Teespring.

Drew Sanocki who built up and sold stated on an eEcommerceFuel podcast that ecommerce is going to merge with social for peer-to-peer selling, getting friends to sell to friends. For example, Stella & Dot came out with a line of jewellery and sold it on a woman to woman, multi-level-marketing (MLM) model, like myArbonne, resulting in explosive growth. Every female rep now has their own customised website or social channel that friends will buy from.

Merging of online and off-line

Ecommerce companies such as Shopify are now looking at off-line retailing and blending the customer experience. Indeed the way commerce is going generally is to blend the online and offline experience, as has been masterfully achieved with Apple Stores and can be seen with pop-up retail stores from online brands. A great example is Norfolk-based retailer Warings Furniture who have both an offline and an online retail store selling classical furniture.

Ecommerce is a great option for female entrepreneurs looking to diversify from coaching / client relationships as well as wantrepreneurs wanting to leave their 9-5 by testing out products and niches with little to no cost or risk. With the dominance of Amazon it’s not as lucrative as it was five years ago, but with the birth of new social marketing channels there are always profits to be made and ways to compete with the giants.

Leave a comment