Women drive the retail space. According to The Daily Telegraph, women account for 60 percent of retail employees and influence 85 percent of retail purchases. However, gender equality among retail leaders is lacking in the extreme. Women account for just 10 percent of retail executive boards.
Innovative women entrepreneurs aren’t letting the gender gap hold them back from success, however. In fact, they’re steering the industry in new and exciting directions that benefit retailers and shoppers alike.
Social impact of retail
Retail businesses don’t have to be all about the bottom line. In fact, some industry leaders build their brands around a social focus, combining revenue with positive social impact. Speaking with the National Retail Federation, Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer at Target, said that women in retail must be purpose-driven to succeed.
Leaders like Ward understand that retail brands can make a difference in the world. Brands with a social purpose, such as building a supportive community or donating one pair of shoes for each pair purchased, can attract shoppers who want their money to go toward a good cause.
Improving customer experience with analytics
Michelle Lam, the co-founder and CEO of True&Co., a lingerie retailer, used data analytics to help shoppers find more comfortable bras. Lam and her team took the concept of bra fitting – an awkward experience at best – and created a much more tailored customer experience.
According to NRF, Lam’s team used over 130 million pieces of data to design apparel that fits unique body types. Combined with excellent customer service and a liberal return policy, Lam’s approach has been a great success. And she believes this is just the beginning.
“We as retailers and brands have the capacity to serve the customer’s need more than ever, thanks to comprehensive feedback that allows us to design the next generation of apparel,” Lam told NRF.
Inspiration for your store
If you’re just getting into the retail business, take inspiration from women like Ward and Lam to optimize your brand.
- Give back to your local community with special promotions that donate a portion of each sale to charity.
- Use social media to check in with your customers and learn more about what appeals to them. It’s a cost-effective way to create a more personalized experience.
If you’re taking your brand in a new direction, we’d love to help! Call our team of experienced retail design professionals for help creating an attractive retail space.