Past 2 years, marked by a pandemic, moved many aspects of our daily lives into the online world. E-commerce entered its golden age and those who were prepared started to grow. How has this situation affected prejudices against businesswomen in this environment and what are their future prospects?
Read three unique stories, first presented at a recent online event Website Story. They hail from successful e-commerce projects with strong female leadership.
Women versus men? Bridges over our differences lead to unique projects
Female and male worldviews are different and not only in the online environment. However, instead of focusing on these differences and creating division, we can embrace them and use them to create a new reality. Why wouldn’t we combine male pragmatism with strong female empathy and time management skills to achieve optimal results? The proof is in the pudding and has been confirmed also by a research from the Petersons Institute. Of course, Slovakia has a couple of in-house examples.
Andrea Podstrelencová, HOLOKOLO: I saw a gap in the market so I filled it.
Andrea was working as a corporate HR manager when her husband decided to swap his suit for a t-shirt and threw himself into an online business selling cycling clothing. Also Andrea found herself in this project, called www.cyklodresy.sk, and soon they worked side by side. When she realised there was a gap in this market segment despite existing demand, she got an idea.
Her project HOLOKOLO created a brand of cycling clothing and accessories which are not covered by brand logos and names of cycling teams. And she struck home. Holokolo brand has become vastly popular among cyclists all around Slovakia. After the latest successful period helped also by the coronavirus crisis, Andrea is facing a new challenge in the form of expansion to foreign markets. Thanks to her perseverance, eye for detail and seamlessly functioning online shop and reliable and flexible CMS, ui42 foretells this businesswoman a very successful future.
“I might have not had a clear objective at the beginning but HOLOKOLO put the wind in my sales. I think women should not be afraid to step out of somebody’s shade and should not see their online business as a side hustle secondary to their full-time job or responsibilities for their children, family and household… To dedicate yourself to your business fully is my recipe for success, together with impeccable time management and optimal balance between business meetings and other activities.”
Lucia Komorechová, KOMPAVA: Cooperation with an all-male team of programmes let me grow. And our project grew with me.
The pandemic changed how many business activities worked and project KOMPAVA of Zelmira and her daughter Lucia was no exception. Since its creation in 2002 it has mostly focused on B2B customers. Coronavirus introduced new challenges and it was necessary to attract and assist also B2C - end customers and introduce them to natural products in the most efficient way.
Online shop www.kompava.sk was asking for a redesign. Lucia was approaching her new website with respect, because it started as a cooperation with a team of programmers and she could not understand a word they were saying. Instead of delegating some of the tasks, she decided to learn all the unknown words that she wrote down after every meeting.
The result of her efforts is a successful online shop, which was well deserved and worked hard on both by Lucia and her mum Zelmira (current winner of “Slovak woman of 2021” in category Business and Management and also a holder of prestigious award “Absolut Slovak Woman of 2021”) and also their brand KOMPAVA.
“I was lucky enough to find colleagues who were always eager to explain unknown words and make the confusing context clear. I never felt unvalued because I had a lot to learn, just the opposite. Constructive communication and equal partnerships between men and women push business forward. And my case proves that.
Katarína Bobáková, OBLEC SA DO ROBOTY: Patience, ladies and gentlemen...
As namely patience is the key quality needed to turn an ordinary e-commerce project into a successful one. So hand in hand with her husband they responded to the demand in the market asking for work clothes and created their project www.oblecsadoroboty.sk in 2013.
Their abilities and limits of male - female cooperation were tested by the pandemic as they were the only online shop with available respirators which were at that time in critically short supply. With phones glued to their ears and a big dose of patience, they made sure that frontline workers fighting against an unknown virus had enough supply. The recipe for success shared by Katarina Bobakova has a very universal application.
“It is important that the people in the team know what tasks they are responsible for. Prejudices towards women are no longer relevant so the division of labour needs to be as efficient as possible. One of the real threats of every project's success is for example stress.”
Three different stories, three different concepts and mainly three clear proofs that women do belong to e-commerce. The male dominance in the field of technology, science or innovation is a thing of the past. E-commerce offers the project creators a veil of anonymity and nobody can see whether they are male or female. The most important thing is not someone’s sex but their qualities, and these ladies have the best of them.
We at ui42 are proud that these ladies are among our partners and that also our solutions contributed to the development of their online businesses. Would you like to take your vision or an existing project to the next level? We would be thrilled to help, the only thing you need to do is let us know!