More and more UK charities are utilising eCommerce and selling products online as part of or alongside their existing website presence.
Creating an online store is a great idea for a number of reasons. It can help to drive audience engagement, raise awareness and generate additional income.
This article will explore several key reasons why eCommerce could a good option for many charitable organisations.
New income streams (unrestricted funding) –
The profits from selling products online will help drive additional income into an organisation. These profits can be used to support existing campaigns.
Income from an online shop doesn’t stop at product sales either. eCommerce stores can be used to drive donations, collect gift aid contributions or sell virtual products all of which can be effective fundraising tools.
This means an effective online shop can generate income in a number of ways.
A fresh way to talk to existing audiences –
Selling unique products which relate closely to the core identity of a charity is a great way to re-engage with existing donors.
Email campaigns can be sent to existing supporters to let them know about the online shop, drive product feedback and boost sales.
Often existing supporters of a charity will be excited to support a new initiative and can be a great source of initial customers which help spread the word about the online store and it’s products.
Method to gain new audiences –
Entering the eCommerce marketplace is also a great way to reach new audiences outside of existing supporters.
If the products being sold are innovative and desirable, then word of mouth will help to reach new audiences and raise awareness of an organisation.
Advertising products on key social media websites like Facebook and Instagram can also be a cost-effective and targeted way to highlight the store and it’s products to new audiences.
Raises brand awareness –
Having an online shop presents a new marketing opportunity, which often helps to raise awareness of a charity amongst new audiences.
Having an online shop gives another reason to talk to people beyond regular donations and campaign work.
Gift givers can be a great potential audience for online charity stores as they may buy products frequently and are often looking for unique items, which support a good cause either for themselves or as gifts.
Supports ethical practices –
Often charities will choose to stock sustainability produced items, which are made using fair-trade standards. Such as clothing made using organic cotton or products like reusable coffee cups which help to reduce plastic waste. This is another good reason for charities to create online stores, as selling ethical products helps support good causes which, aligns with ethos and values of many charitable organisations.
Hopefully, this article has outlined a number of reasons why eCommerce can be a great tool for charities.
Here at Add10 we have worked with a number of UK charities to build online stores or improve existing stores.
We firmly believe eCommerce is a good tool for charities in the UK, due to increased product suppliers and ever-improving eCommerce technology which makes getting an online shop up and running easier.
If you would like to discuss how selling online could work or be expanded upon within your organisation feel free to get in touch!