Female-founded companies peaked over 11.6 million back in 2018. This number represents the total including brick and mortar, as well as online stores . Here we are in 2020, sliding into 2021 fast and the number of female-founded online stores continue to rise.
It’s truly incredible considering that there was a time when women couldn’t legally own land and any wages they earned they weren’t allowed to keep or control!
Why Women Get Into Online Store Ownership
The reasons why women that get into online store ownership choose to do so vary. In many cases it starts out of the potential financial stability that comes with it. Here are a few more reasons why.
- Stay-at-home mom’s trying to secure an income.
- Single mom’s
- To help others
- Financial freedom
- Covid - Stay At Home Orders
Covid has led to many people being unemployed and stay-at-home orders and quarantine make it hard to generate an income. It is especially during these times that women and men alike are on the hunt for ways to make money from home.
Etsy and Marketplace may have paved the way leading to an avenue for e-commerce businesses but platforms like Shopify allow you to have your own website and content. Many people can come up with great ideas and products but creating a trusted online store and presence isn’t always so easy.
Which leads me to this. At the end of this article you will find an interview I gave to Rich Petrelli, founder and CEO of My Web Concepts. Rich is an expert in the e-commerce and website design field, having designed hundreds of websites for companies around the globe, and will provide some useful information for those of you who want to start your own online store.
What Kind Of Online Stores?
When you peek into female-founded online stores you’ll find a variety of stores that sell all kinds of things, as well as services offered.
The main 7 are:
- Health & Wellness
- Fashion - Jewelry - Accessories
- Home & Gifts
- Kids Clothing
- Food & Beverage
What Are Their Goals?
As I mentioned earlier, the financial freedom that can be obtained by owning and operating an online store is generally the main goal. That being said, something I’ve noticed is that female-founded companies usually inspire us to create solutions, solve problems, improve ourselves, and support other women.
Some of the goals I see is that they truly do want to inspire others to be healthier, stronger, better, and so much more. Empowerment is another huge word you see flying around female-founded online stores. Motivation is another.
Just look at Camille Newman, the founder and CEO of Pop Up Plus Inc. She shares her story of how she was looking for clothes, realized she got a little thicker, and wasn’t really finding anything trendy. Out of frustration she began a trendy clothing line specifically for plus-size women. There are many similar stories as to the why and how.
Money, motivation, inspiration, independence, sister-hood, and partnership all play a role in women’s online business goals. But there’s more to it.
- Increase Sales
- Hassle-free websites that are easy to navigate and operate
- Get new contacts and customers
- A trusted platform
- Low affordable costs
- A safe and secure business
Interview w/ Rich Petrelli Founder of My Web Concepts
Q: Why is it so important to have a well-designed website and online store?
Many people try building an online presence for their business on various e-commerce platforms and do not remember the old adage, “you only have one chance for a good first impression.” They take the time necessary to learn how to build a store by watching YouTube videos, do the necessary product research to find out what to sell, build their store, and then often wonder why they don’t get any sales. In most cases they are missing the point. The “Build It and They Will Come” presumption just doesn’t work any longer. There is too much competition out there and when all the smoke clears, people are only interested in a few things: Product Cost, Free Shipping, Loyalty Points, Rewards and Speed of Delivery. To be competitive, your store must offer some, if not all, of these incentives to both gain and retain customers. The sales process is an interesting equation and people primarily purchase goods for one or more of the following reasons:
- A Sense of Belonging
- Trust or Referral
- To Be Happy
- Out of Fear
- Because They "Need" Something
- To Keep Up With the Jones'
- For a Loved One
Here at My Web Concepts, we realize that there are millions of e-commerce stores on the internet (and almost as many web development agencies out there world-wide), so our approach to the e-commerce world is a little different than most other development companies. Every customer of ours gets a dedicated Project Manager who ensures that the project stays on budget, and on task. The Project Manager is responsible for all client contact and scheduling, and for pulling in the appropriate MWC resources at just the right time in order to ensure the project gets completed in a timely manner and meets all client expectations. These resources typically are: Graphic Artists, Video Composers, Advertising Experts, Brand Promoters, and Store Designers/Developers.
MWC also does store audits, so if you have had your e-commerce store designed by another company and would like a second opinion, reach out to us via our Store Evaluation form and we will do an in-depth audit of your store and its performance, looking for areas that we can help make improvements to speed and performance. There is no obligation and the audit is provided free of charge.
Just have some questions you would like to ask us? Please feel free to use the Contact form on our website. Someone will get back to you via phone or email, typically within 24 hrs.
Q: Free website builder vs. Hiring a web designer?
There are many free and low-cost website builders out there and basically you get what you pay for. If you have a few products to sell and don’t require a complex website, do it yourself and save some money. But most people eventually get to a point where they get stuck and need professional help, even with small stores. As the store gets more complex, you will likely need to rely on a professional designer/developer for some help. Always do your research before hiring someone to help with your store design. Make sure you get references and have an opportunity to review the developer’s portfolio and rates before making a hiring decision.
Q: Can you assist with changing platforms?
It is not uncommon for stores to switch platforms for various reasons (e.g. Etsy to Shopify) and you can save yourself some time and headaches, by choosing a platform that you will not outgrow at the start of the project instead of having to convert the store to another platform in a few years because it cannot do what you want it to do or you have outgrown the platform. My Web Concepts has helped many clients switch to/from various platforms.
Q: What are some advantages of using Shopify?
Shopify is a great platform for many stores, but it is not the answer for all stores. There are pros and cons to all platforms and Shopify is no exception. For example, if you are looking for a Vlog type website, then Shopify is not the answer and you may want to consider a Wordpress website instead.
However, if you want a turn-key e-commerce store that scales easily and has built in basic SEO optimizations, Shopify would be the platform to choose. It has an excellent administrative back-end that is easy to learn and they have made it simple to manage orders, add products, handle shipping and fulfillment, and get your store up and running in a short period of time. Shopify also gives you access to the underlying files to customize your theme and create a unique shopping experience for your customers. There are also many apps on the Shopify app store that help to enhance the appearance and functionality of your store. Some apps are better than others, so be sure to do your research to ensure the app is well designed and has good reviews before you use it.
If you need assistance with your store design or coding, try to find a certified Shopify Partner. Many people claim to know Shopify well but partners have access to all of the latest development tools to customize your store and provide the ongoing support you need at reasonable rates. My Web Concepts is a Shopify Partner and we have designed hundreds of stores for clients around the world. We provide ongoing support and can also help with your Email Marketing, SEO, and Advertising needs.
For Email Marketing, we highly recommend Klaviyo with it’s Welcome Series and automated flows. Typical email campaigns include: Abandoned Cart, Browse Abandonment, Thank You for Your Purchase, VIP, Thanks for Subscribing, WIn-Back Opportunities, and other campaigns. My Web Concepts is a Klaviyo Master Partner and we can help you with all of your Email Marketing needs.
Q: Have you seen an impact or effect from Covid in regards to e-commerce? If so has it been good or bad?
Covid has impacted all of us to some degree. Many brick and mortar stores have been closed and businesses are suffering all over the world because of stay at home orders, social distancing requirements, and other mandates that are necessary to keep people safe. Many of those businesses are stuck with inventory that they cannot move due to lack of foot traffic and are turning to online stores for a solution. My Web Concepts has been very busy since the advent of Covid, helping our clients avoid bankruptcy and to keep their businesses afloat in these difficult times by creating an affordable, online presence for them to sell their products and services. One such client is IllumeNYC. Illlume’ sells gorgeous custom-made lampshades and had a beautiful showroom in NYC with thousands of lampshades in stock prior to the pandemic. Due to Covid, the owner of Illume’ wanted to create an online presence for the business quickly, through Shopify, and immediately contacted Rich Petrelli at My Web Concepts for assistance. Within a few weeks the entire Illume’ lampshade inventory was online within Shopify. My Web Concepts created a beautiful, engaging, built-from-scratch store design and sales started coming in almost immediately once the store went live.
Q: How long can it take for a store site to be completed? (Small vs Large)
We guarantee delivery in 7-10 days typically for small-medium sized stores (10-100 products). Larger stores and customized themes require more time to deliver. All of our stores are delivered turn-key so that you can start getting sales right away and also include 2 hours of free training to learn store management and how to handle your orders.
Q: Is the price range affordable and is there a monthly cost or just a one time fee?
Our rates are very affordable, starting at only $280 for a small store (1-10 products) and include everything you need to get started selling your products online. If you need a larger, more complex store design, we have affordable packages for those services as well. Thinking about a customized theme for a unique shopping experience? We can handle that for you as well.
My Web Concepts, “From Concept to Conversions.”
Visit our website today to see how we can help you with your e-commerce store design project!
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