In this male-dominating society, sometimes it becomes difficult to hold your feet firm on the ground, especially when you are a woman. But now, women are proving themselves right by moving ahead in every given field.
Online shopping has become the lifeline of almost all the consumers these days. More and more websites are opening up and gaining momentum. The best part is that more and more women are involved in the evolution and progress of e-commerce business. In 2012, when Suchi Mukherjee, an entrepreneur tried to talk to investors regarding a woman-centric fashion business, then she got a big laugh by all in return.
“When Limeroad was founded in 2013, everyone laughed at us… the entire ecommerce industry was male-dominated,” recounts Mukherjee. But now with lot of inventions in their research and style, Limeroad has build up a social platform for minority that has left observers amused and appalled.
In the past 24 to 36 months, there has been an explosive growth in women coming online and in mobile penetration. Consequently, there is a rise in mobile apps and e-commerce ventures are shifting to mobile rather than setting up a warehouse or office.
As per the study, there are 28 million active internet users in India in the 18-44 age groups in SEC A and B cities alone and number is on a progressive side if users from SEC B and C towns are added to the data. “In January 2013, Limeroad was an outlier, but today we’re at the heart of what is India’s most attractive and fastest-growing online opportunity,” adds Mukherjee.
It will not come as a surprise at all, if we see that most of the e-commerce business today get around a third of their business from women, executives believe that this number can easily be more than 50%.
“Most women’s categories are predominately unorganised and difficult to access,” says Rishi Vasudev, vice-president, fashion, with Flipkart. “We give them a platform to access products made anywhere from Kanyakumari to Kolkata.” While typical categories such as apparel, accessories and personal care see the most purchases on Flipkart, other segments such as furniture and home appliances too (typically a male purchase) are seeing strong traction with women buyers.
For Richa Kar, the founder and chief executive of Zivame, an online lingerie retailer, internet has given an opportunity to give women consumers a far better shopping option than an existing inefficient and uncomfortable offline experience.
Kar claims that 18% of Zivame buyers madetheir first online purchase on the lingerie portal and the company is looking to move more such potential customers online. “We have barely scratched the surface despite our apparent growth… with almost no marketing we are seeing strong brand recognition in tier II and III towns… we want women to buy their entire lingerie drawer from us” she adds.
Deepthi Gohain, an HR manager with a Bengaluru-headquartered IT major, says she shops online because of the convenience of not having to step out, and of being able to compare prices and check reviews online. “And there are discounts almost throughout the year. For shopaholics like me, the ease of accessibility is a big reason I shop online.” It’s also easier to impulse-shop,” she says.
Most websites are much better now in their appearance than their earlier version. And an easy returns policy is what can build consumer confidence. Fashion ecommerce app Myntra, for instance, is willing to pick up returns the next day, no questions asked.
Pranay Chulet, founder and chief executive of Quikr, says women shoppers have quickly become the centre of the online used products platform’s strategy. “Younger women use Quikr for a makeover, while older ones use it to clear out their stuff,” he says.