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Insights From Leading Women In ECommerce

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Editor’s note: Comments have been edited for length and clarity.

From keeping on top of emerging eCommerce trends to making sure their voices are heard, women in leadership are navigating a complex business environment. 

In honor of Women’s History Month, Ordergroove hosted an internal panel for top women leaders in eCommerce to offer advice and expertise.

The panel discussion brought together Chelsea Jones and Rachel Saul, co-founders of Chelsea & Rachel Co. and Lan Tran-Sellitti, senior director of digital growth at Tea Drops

Over the course of the conversation, the women touched on a wide array of eCommerce-related topics, ranging from emerging trends to female empowerment and how men can support women in the workforce. 

We rounded up discussion highlights below:

What Are the Next Big Trends in eCommerce?

Both Chelsea and Rachel noted that health products — especially items that promote cognitive focus — are performing well. The pair’s hypothesis is that consumers are trying to combat screen fatigue caused by being forced to work from home during the pandemic. 

Additionally, consumer buying behavior has evolved. Today, more and more shoppers are skipping brick-and-mortar stores and buying products directly from brands. And as a result, they want the ability to test items before making a larger purchase. 

“We’ve seen a lot of success with brands that are doing a sampling pack,” Chelsea said.

Companies are also moving away from Facebook advertising and doubling down on their organic efforts, as well as investing in social good. 

“Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are opening up new ways for brands to connect through audio,” Lan said. 

As for social impact, shoppers are paying more attention to what brands do, not just what they sell. 

“People are caring a lot more about social impact,” Lan said. “Consumers are spending on companies that generate awareness, give back, or focus on sustainability.”

How Have You Found Success in a Male-Dominated Space? 

Chelsea and Rachel emphasized the need for women to be “the squeaky wheel.”

“We had to overcome quite a few barriers in order to be seen and understood,” Rachel said.  “Guys speak a little louder so sometimes you need to get heard.”

More specifically, Chelsea noted that oftentimes brands don’t take into account female perspectives, even if women make up a majority of their consumers. In these instances, it’s critical to “speak truth.”

“We step up and say things like, ‘Have you thought about this perspective?’ or ‘Do you realize 80% of your buyers are actually female?” Chelsea said.

Lan, who has an extensive background in fashion, said she joined Tea Drops, specifically for the opportunity to work for a company that was founded and run by women. 

“I think every single company I worked at in fashion apparel is owned by majority men who aren’t really the demographic of the consumer,” Lan said.

How Can Men Support Women in the Workplace? 

The first step to supporting women in the workplace is understanding that there are multiple communication styles. 

“Women tend to process information differently,” Rachel said. “Just be patient and open minded to how people in general — but women specifically — process things differently. We may be communicating in a longer form or put more thought around what we want to say.”

Chelsea added that it’s important to ask questions and practice active listening. “Mutual respect for people in the workplace is key,” she said.

Lan emphasized practicing empathy. She said that women typically take on a greater share of child rearing responsibilities. As a result, the pandemic has been especially difficult for mother’s working from home.

“It’s hard right now for parents at home with kids,” Lan said. “Meetings might get a little disruptive. Just be understanding and know that there’s going to be kids running around.”

To learn more about women in eCommerce, check out our partner Yotpo’s ongoing series Amazing Women in eCommerce.

Special thanks to our friends at OrderGroove for their insights on this topic.
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