SHEconomy: Address Women's Need to win the Market

SHEconomy would have become the largest economy in the world if it were a country.

As a prominent growth engine of the global economy, this female-powered economy will likely reach $29.30 trillion by 2026, outpacing two economic powerhouses of the globe—the US and China. The US and China's estimated nominal gross domestic product (GDP) will hit $29.1 trillion and $25 trillion, respectively, over the mentioned period.

Various Mega Trends, such as a surge in women purchasing power, a growing female labor force, and women as the new wave of consumers, contribute to the rise of SHEconomy. This encourages market participants across sectors to ‘address women’s needs to win the market’ and prosper with their growth.

Additionally, women's shift in consumption and spending pattern with increased income presents immense prospects across industries—especially retail, health and wellness, and financial institutions. To tap into the growth opportunities and steer businesses toward prosperity, market players involved in the mentioned sectors should:

Focus on gender-based retail model: Women will control 70% of household spending by 2026. This will create opportunities for retail and push demand for new retail analytics such as gender intelligence and gender-based predictive commerce to better understand the new-age women consumers.

• Gender intelligence analytics: This technology provides information about women customers' behavior and demands to retailers. Its deployment helps businesses create an appealing shopping environment for females.

• Gender-based predictive commerce analytics: It is an intelligent solution that analyzes customers' behavior patterns and develops insights for better decision-making. Its use can segregate women based on their current social status, such as having kids or expecting them soon. With the availability of this data, retailers can offer more personalized predictive shopping experiences.

Expedite femtech innovations: One of the dominant trends in women's health is the demand for diagnostic products beyond traditional hospitals and laboratories. It has led to a surge in point-of-care (POC) test kits, portable devices, and digital solutions that can serve as ambulatory solutions for diagnosis, screening, and home healthcare. Further, the need for personalized wearable and digital healthcare apps designed for women is rising with a surge in health awareness in women. For instance, the increasing adoption of vertically integrated micro providers (VIMPROs) in healthcare could become a game-changer in telemedicine. This business model enhances patients, and service providers' experience by adding various services such as pharmacy, digital therapeutics, and apps for monitoring diseases.

Create innovative digital finance: Women’s rising economic and monetary power will increase the demand for accessible and affordable financial services. The increase in women's workforce and female-led enterprises unfold the need for financial inclusion, especially in Asia and Africa. These regions lack sufficient financial inclusion among women. The financial organizations in these regions should focus on developing innovative financial solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled or behavioral data analysis-based risk valuation systems and women-only digital/mobile banks to cater to the growing financial needs of women.

With the awakening of the female economy, a wave of optimism has already engulfed business sectors. Hence, this is the right time—arguably high time—for organizations across industries to adopt a women-centric growth strategy focusing on females as professionals and customers.
Additionally, women as consumers are emerging as decision-makers in procuring most consumer durables, healthcare products, electronic gadgets, and vehicles. In light of this, businesses should invest in areas that focus on women's demands and spending habits.

Further, from an organizational standpoint, women-led business firms perform better in revenue than their male counterparts. According to a study, startups run by women in the technology industry saw a return on investment (RoI) 35% higher than those led by men. Hence, in this decade of SHEconomy, business firms are probably left with two options—either grow with her or be a laggard.