If you were able to join in on this #Charityhour discussion, thank you so much! Below you will find some additional information on ‘How Charity Shops are adapting to the impact of Covid-19’.
Question 1 – E-commerce Training
In July 2020 eBay launched ‘Charity Connect’, a free six month training course for charities on how to get the most out of eBay. What other free or low cost training is available for Charity Shops to build an online sales channel?
- eBay Charity Connect (Free) – Beginner.
- BeMore.Digital – All Levels
- The Charity Retail Academy – All Levels
- Ecommerce Marketing Training Course (Free) – Advanced
- Getting Started with Shopify (Free) – Beginner
Question 2 – Donation Methods
In June the British Heart Foundation Launched ‘Item Donation by Free Post’. What other methods could charity shops adopt to make donating items more accessible and safer for both staff and customers?
- British Heart Foundation – Donate Items via Free Post.
- Booking appointment slots over the phone in advance. @charityretailco
- Getting donated warehouse space where donors can drive in safely. @charityretailco
- Having set days for donations. @charityretailco
- Encouraging donors to sell items on eBay & donate proceeds. @charityretailco
Question 3 – New Audiences
Charities who already sell second-hand items online such as sense are expanding their reach to new audiences using trending apps such as ‘Depop’ and ‘Vintage’. What other platforms do you think offer an opportunity to increase charity shop sales either physically or digitally?
- eBay – eBay for Charity
- Etsy – Find out about Etsy
- Facebook Marketplace – Visit Marketplace.
- Depop – How does Depop support charities that want to set up a Depop Shop?
- Vintage – Find out about Vintage.
- Shpock App – Find out about Shpock.
- Gumtree – Find out about Gumtree.
- AbeBooks – Find out more on AbeBooks
Tip: There are also a number of solutions out there such as Shopiago that enable you to manage your listings on multiple platforms from one location.
- Highlighting new arrivals on local Facebook groups can help bring people into store.
- When selling on local online platforms, offer (Collect From Store) to save on postage but bring the virtual customer into the store at an allocated time.
Question 4 – Donation Management
In June, when charity shops re-opened they saw a big increase in donations. In the warmer months many resorted to using outside space as overflow to store, process and quarantine donations. What can Charity Shops do to manage donation limits in the current climate without disappointing customers wanting to make a donation?
- Accept donations by appointment only. Appointments possibly booked by a volunteer working from home or in a back room.
- Accept donations by appointment only. Booked Online. Although more resources to are needed to setup, it could be an efficient way of booking donation appointments and educating the customer on what items will be accepted. Try Calendly
- Accept donations by appointment booked in store.
Question 5 – Charity Shop Volunteers
Many charity shops have struggled with staffing due to volunteers shielding. In June the charity retail association launched a new ‘Volunteering Matching Service‘ in collaboration with Wil-U. What other support is available to help charity shops recruit new volunteers?
In conclusion, the Charity Retail sector has been hit hard by Covid-19. Charities are having to adapt to an ever changing situation at a time where they are seeing increased demand for their services. Some Government and Organisation support has come out but more is needed. Charity retail and charities in general really need the support of the public more than ever. Be that in volunteering, donating good quality items, donating money or just by being respectful to staff and volunteers when shopping or utilising charity services.
I hope you enjoyed this discussion on How Charity Shops are adapting to the impact of Covid-19. I will be updating this post with all the feedback from tonight’s discussion. If there is anything you would like to add, please feel free to comment below or get in touch.
If this was your first #Charityhour, #Charityhour runs every Wednesday between 8pm and 9pm (GMT). The topic and co-host changes weekly, and the whole event is hosted by the amazing Tahera Mayat (@TaheraMayat/@CharityHourUK).