British Red Cross plans online sales boost for charity shop network

21/10/2021 10:24

charity aims to have all 300 charity shops selling online by end of 2021

The British Red Cross has started using Shopiago’s e-commerce platform to increase revenue from its network of charity shops, and improve the efficiency of its e-commerce operations. 

Shopiago’s online software helps charities to research, value and list second-hand items quickly and easily. It’s integrated with eBay, Shopify and Etsy. Gift Aid is fully automated and online sales count towards a shop’s individual revenue figures, which motivates shops to share more donations and sell more online. 

During the first month of implementation, British Red Cross reduced the average time it takes to list an item from 15 minutes to 8, and plans to reduce this further to below 6 minutes. This has resulted in a 50 per cent increase in volume of online listings. 

“Supporters who donate to our shops are so generous – we need to ensure we get the best possible value for their donations, this way we honour their kindness and raise as much as possible for our vital work in the UK and around the world. Selling online is a fantastic opportunity to reach more buyers from all over the world and achieve higher values for donations,” said Vicky McGirr, e-commerce manager at the British Red Cross. 

“We’ve seen huge growth in our e-commerce operations in the last few years – accelerated of course by the impact of the pandemic on everyone’s shopping  habits. Shopiago has been a fantastic way to create a strong connection between our shops and e-commerce operations – opening up our online operations to our local customers, and our local shops to our online customers,” she continued. “Just last week we received a box from one of our charity shops containing a Burberry coat and some Louboutin shoes, with generous donations like these we want to get them up online as quickly as possible.”

Part of World of Books Group, Shopiago is built on the Group’s 20 year legacy of second-hand online sales, specifically with charity and independent shops in mind. As well as powering the British Red Cross’s online sales, Shopiago’s tracking feature has helped the charity to improve logistics and cut carbon emissions, ensuring delivery vans are always full of donations or goods from the Red Cross’ corporate warehouse, and that there are no empty return journeys.

“We started by rolling Shopiago out to 20 charity shops and our central online warehouse, and now have well over 150 shops using it. We’re aiming to have all our shops online by the end of the year,” said McGirr. 

Thom Bryan, head of product at Shopiago said: “It’s great to see how our platform is helping the British Red Cross to grow its e-commerce operations, which in turn provides huge support for the vital work the charity is doing at the moment. We’ve had really positive feedback so far from the team at the Red Cross, and we’re looking forward to helping them generate even more income from donations by rolling out our platform to the charity’s entire network of charity shops.”