With the holidays steadily approaching, now is the time to prepare your site for the influx of shoppers. Beyond revamping your look, stocking up on inventory or determining your special offer, something that sellers should consider is the charitable spirit associated with the holiday season. News is now both global and instantaneous, giving consumers access into the suffering of those around the world. Today’s shoppers are a socially conscious bunch, and would like their commerce to reflect this. According to the Cone Communications Impact Study on shoppers in 2013, Americans said they’re 90% more likely to trust companies who support causes they engage with. Likewise, another whopping 90% says they’d be loyal to companies who share their charitable passions. In an online realm where that face-to-face communication that often breeds repeat customers is null – that 90% loyalty is a goldmine.
Shoppers aren’t just passively buying from a company who supports charity anymore – they are actively seeking businesses who meet their standards for generosity and awareness. More than 9 in 10 buyers seek out companies who support social or environmental issues, with 88% saying they’d buy a product with a social or environmental benefit if given the opportunity. Over the course of 2013, 54% of Americans bought a product due to its association with a cause.
It’s clear that shoppers are now being selective with their buying habits – they want to spend money where they know their dollars will count for something more. With that in mind, sellers should prepare their stores to associate with and support a charitable cause this holiday season. Here are some ways to get your store in the giving spirit, with little expense:
Sign up for shop-for-cause sites. These sites operate like a search engine for just about anything, but each of the retailers listed in the results offers specials where specific products, purchases or coupons result in a donation to charity. GoodShop is an example of this, with well-known retailers like Adidas, Sephora and Lands End listed. The donations are offered at no added cost to the customer – meaning the retailer gives a cut from company profits. You set the rules and parameters regarding donations and eligibility. Sites like GoodShop are a great platform to gain exposure (and do some good for the world at the same time). To apply for a listing on GoodShop, email their team at information@Goodsearch.com.
Add “click for donation” links to your site. This option is perhaps easier, and comes at no cost to you. Browse sites like One Click at a Time to find charities that offer a donation-per-click campaign. These organizations team with sponsors who match each click with a donation – meaning neither you, nor your customer, spends a dime, but both of you can feel pretty darn good about saving the baby seals. Search through categories regarding animal and environmental welfare, health, hunger, women, children and more. Either embed the link, or create an easy link-out to the organization you’d like to partner with. Simple and effective.
Whether you decide to produce the funds for donation yourself or go through a site like One Click at a Time, your store will benefit greatly from the free press and good will. If you need assistance with marketing this kind of charitable support, read through our previous posts on marketing and the holidays.