Any Other Business: 4 March 2022

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, this week’s AOB looks at how female entrepreneurs are shaping the e-commerce and logistics sectors.

International Women’s Day 2022

Tuesday 8th March marks International Women’s Day 2022, a global event celebrating the achievements of women across the world, whilst advocating for gender equality in the workplace and beyond. This year’s theme is #BreaktheBias, and people in every country will be sharing the hashtag and taking part in local and national events to show their support.

If your business wants to participate, why not consider donating a proportion of your sales on the day to the IWD campaign’s charitable partners? Or use your social media channels to champion the voices of women within your industry? Check out these ideas to give your International Women’s Day campaign a bit of oompf.

Girl power ruling e-commerce

Across the world, e-commerce is providing unique opportunities for women to prosper in business. As an example, 52% of store owners on e-commerce platform Shopify identify as women1 – a huge proportion compared to the gender imbalance typically seen within other industries.

One female entrepreneur who has found her feet on Shopify is fashion designer Jovana Mullins. She spends her free time volunteering, teaching art to young adults with autism, and became inspired by their bright, bold creations. She had the idea to put their designs on garments, which eventually led to the launch of womenswear brand Alivia2 on Shopify.

Every piece begins with artwork created by an individual participating in art therapy. “Standing at the intersection of fashion and people, Alivia connects the beauty of the silhouette with the beauty of a mind that thinks unlike any other,” the company says3.

The artists are paid for their work, and a proportion of sales are given to the organization that supports them. Once the pandemic hit, Alivia pivoted to a pyjama line and sales really took off. The rest, as they say, is history.

You can read more inspiring stories of the female business owners thriving online with our exclusive article.

…and logistics

It’s not just the e-commerce sector having a female-focused moment… According to Gartner’s “2021 Women in Supply Chain Report”4, women now comprise 41% of the global supply chain workforce – the highest number since the annual report began in 2016. Increasing the number of women leaders in the supply chain was a stated goal for nearly three out of four responding organizations – up from 47% in 2016. The report attributed these findings to the growth of workplace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs.

Despite this positive progress, the report notes an important caveat: “As the corporate ladder advances, the proportion of women leaders declines. Women only make up 23% of VP-level positions in the average supply chain organization, and apart from consumer sector supply chains, that number continues to decline as we look at specific industry segments.” This is reflected in the reasons female respondents cited for leaving the industry, with lack of career opportunities (68%) and development opportunities (34%) in the lead.     

With work still to be done, DHL Consulting’s Sabine Mueller explores how women can make their mark in the logistics industry. Read her thought piece here

What’s trending in cosmetics? L’Oréal’s AI already knows

In a time when influencers, bloggers and social media chatter has an unrivalled impact on consumers’ choices, L’Oréal is tapping into the power of artificial intelligence to stay ahead of the game.

The global cosmetics giant has created a tool called Trendspotter5 which uses AI to trawl online comments, images and videos in order to identify upcoming trends. It was developed at L’Oréal’s technology hub in Paris and can scan millions of posts across 3,500 online sources, looking for what’s trending.

“With Trendspotter, you have access to the hashtags and the main terms sources are mentioning,” says Charles Besson, global social insights and AI director at L’Oréal6. Each year, the tool’s algorithm picks up over 25 million bits of data, such as hashtags from posts and articles. “All that new information is gold for the digital, marketing and consumer intelligence teams because they can use the right content that comes from the consumer voice.”

To date, Trendspotter has identified over 700 trends that merited further research by L’Oréal

UK’s subscription economy booms

The subscription box market was one of the winners of the pandemic and its growth shows no sign of waning. According to new research7, in 2021, 81% of UK households received at least one of these parcels – up from 65% in 2020. The most popular direct-to-consumer categories are food, followed by shaving products, clothing, and cosmetics, whilst the leading reasons cited for subscribing amongst consumers were “access to exclusive content” (57% of respondents), time saving (55%) and good value (54%).

Despite their popularity, retailers wishing to cash in on subscription boxes should be aware of the challenges in maintaining long-term loyalty from customers: the average length of time shoppers stay signed up with a subscription service is just 9 months. Discover the tips and tricks to keep them on board for longer with our exclusive guide.  

1 - Shopify, March 2021

2 - Alivia

3 - Our Story, Alivia.com

4 - 2021 Women in Supply Chain Report, Awesome Leaders Org, May 2021

5 - L’Oréal's Trendspotter

6 - Charles Bresson, Digital Commerce 360, February 2022 

7 - Whistl research, Ecommerce News Europe, February 2022