Eproductive hosts webinar on ‘Technology and the new normal’ at the CRA “Build Back Better” Conference

Eproductive was proud to be a headline sponsor of the Charity Retail Association’s first ever digital conference, “Build Back Better”, which took place between 22nd and 24th September 2020.

We were also delighted to host a webinar entitled ‘Technology and the new normal’, in which Sonia Fletcher, our Client Services Manager, spoke about maximising Retail Gift Aid in a socially distanced marketplace, selling products online, and promoting across income-streams.

In the session, Sonia laid out the challenges facing charities in the post-lockdown world of retail, including – among other things – being overrun with stock, trying to manage donors’ expectations of when and where donations can be accepted, and combatting a decrease in Retail Gift Aid conversion.

Sonia explained that Eproductive has helped their charity clients keep donors in the loop during Covid-19 – more than 2 million emails have been sent to Retail Gift Aid donors in late March when shops closed and from mid-June when shops started to reopen.

For each of the three topics covered during the webinar, Sonia explained how Eproductive is helping their charity clients during the pandemic, and offered general advice for doing charity retail in the “new normal”.

Maximising Retail Gift Aid in a socially distanced marketplace

  • Enable donors to print off their own barcodes/Donor IDs to put on their bags of stock – minimising contact
  • Digital donor cards – reducing production of physical cards and cross-contamination
  • Bag labels with donation and processing dates to help with the 48-hour quarantine
  • Digital donor sign-up on tablets – cutting down on paperwork and reducing the number of people at the till point

Selling products online

  • Consider using alternative platforms to eBay (the most popular), such as Gumtree for older customers and for high-value stock, and Depop for young people and for high-fashion items (Depop is currently waiving some fees – click here for more info)
  • Take more photos of items, including close-ups – if you are selling clothes, it is preferable to take photos of models wearing them
  • Describe the items well, including all key search words
  • Provide detailed measurements
  • Be honest about any flaws in the items
  • Consider building the shipping costs into the price of the items – buyers like free shipping!

Promoting across income-streams

  • Consider encouraging individual charity shops to run their own social media, as they can engage with their donors and supporters in a more direct and locally-focused way
  • Correspond with donors using different forms of communication – social media, email newsletters, regular comms (such as Gift Aid notifications), and paper newsletters, but be aware of any GDPR restrictions

Sonia finished her webinar by showing the attendees Eproductive’s new and exciting Supporter App, which provides charities with lots of opportunities to engage with their donors and supporters. A short video explaining what the Supporter App offers can be found by clicking here.

A copy of Sonia’s presentation will be available for CRA members on their website.

If you would like more information about how Eproductive can help your charity with EPOS systems, maximise Retail Gift Aid, and engage with your donors and supporters, please email info@eproductive.com.