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Women entrepreneurs are taking D2C e-Commerce sector by storm

Updated: Mar 24


The rise of the Women Entrepreneurs


In the world of business, being a woman comes with its own set of challenges, driven by biases and opinions. However, improved access to education, training, and finance have acted as a catalyst for creating a base of women business leaders. As women take charge, women-led brands are witnessing immense growth and the eCommerce industry is no stranger to it.


A rising number of D2C brands led by women founders have been taking the online shopping sector by storm. More recently, television shows such as Shark Tank India not only featured multiple female investors but also witnessed a large number of women contestants pitching innovative ideas and products.


Further, organizations such as 37 Angels and Female Founders’ Fund are making investment easier for women to access, motivating them to take their entrepreneurial ventures to new heights.


This International Women’s Day, Shoptimize celebrates the many women entrepreneurs in our ecosystem who have inspired us with their stories, even as we’ve been honored to support their brand’s growth.


The dynamics of India and its D2C market


The Indian eCommerce market consists of 639 million online shoppers, a number that is constantly growing. Improved internet access and digital inclusion for women have also unlocked market potential as women are now a big part of the online shopping ecosystem. Further, as women-led brands develop products that cater to the needs of the women of this country, the share of women shoppers is only likely to get larger.


Understanding that women constitute almost half the workforce of the country, it is important we help them come forward and achieve their goals. This would not only help bring equity in society but also stimulate the economy and improve the flow of money within the country. It is estimated by Avendus Capital that the D2C market in India is likely to reach USD 100 billion by 2025, and it is critical to keep the better half of the nation included in this boom.


What made them tick?


Consider Tipsyfly, founded by Aditi Motla and Aashna Parikh in 2016, the company is leading the way in personalized jewelry manufactured by local artisans, helping move the affordable jewelry supply from China to India. The brand was started after the founders discovered that there was a gap in the market for high-quality yet affordable jewelry. Their unique insight and product development helped them capture a significant share in the fragmented Indian jewelry market.


Women entrepreneurs have long faced sexism in the corporate world. However, as this has begun to change, women entrepreneurs are fulfilling their dreams in every corner of the world.


Take the example of Shweta Nimkar, founder of Paio who turned her passion for designing shoes into a sustainable business model. The idea was simple: make handcrafted and sustainable vegan shoes. The brand is now flourishing and delivering the highest quality products throughout India.


Likewise, GullyActive, founded by Arjavi Shah Marwaha during the pandemic, provides athletic and athleisure apparel options to Indian consumers. In a market long dominated by bug players, she is carving out a niche by providing high quality products at competitive prices, making GullyActive a truly homegrown brand for discerning Indian consumers.


The D2C market is growing at an unprecedented pace, with customers understanding the value of dedicated marketplaces. Further, a D2C presence helps brands cultivate a loyal customer base for them without having to dilute their brand value by placing products on a popular eCommerce platform next to sub-par alternatives.


A similar example is Iba Cosmetics, a sustainable cosmetics company founded by Mauli Teli and Grishma Teli, that produces all its products without the use of animal-based ingredients, alcohol, or any harsh chemicals. However, with so much competition in the beauty sector, it was difficult to carve a niche for them but a D2C presence helped them build their own market and succeed as a brand.


Empowering entrepreneurs


Digital media has contributed immensely to the newfound appreciation for handicrafts, artisanal products, and handcrafted goods in the younger generation. A majority of these products are manufactured by women in small villages where the necessary knowledge and skills have been passed on to them by their elders.


Brands such as Farah Khan, Aadyaa Jewelry, Tipsyfly, and other D2C fashion houses are also major drivers for rural employment. These brands leverage the skills of artisans in small towns and rural areas, pay them a decent wage and help uplift them. Moreover, a large part of their workforce includes women, with several of them running programs that help rural women start their own collectives and businesses.


How Shoptimize helps


At Shoptimize, we respect and support the spirit of women entrepreneurs. These brands, with the help of our growth platform, have been able to optimize their ad campaigns and reach the right audiences.


The growth platform has allowed these D2C leaders to understand the dynamics of their market and use analytics to drive their growth. With the help of AI-driven tools, the platform has also helped nudge them in the right direction to make the most out of their ad spending and flourish as a brand in the most competitive of markets.