Prosocial activities are becoming an inseparable element of building a brand image and business development. Consumers expect entrepreneurs to be involved in social initiatives and are more likely to buy in online stores supporting charity organizations.
How to start CSR activity, which remains one of the competitive advantages and is becoming a standard in e-commerce?
1. Plan a strategy for CSR activities
It is important that the prosocial activities are continuous. Incidental charity activities conducted by the online store will not be remembered by consumers and the store will not be able to build the image of a socially-engaged company. Consistent and regular support for pro-social activities, preferably one specific goal or organization, allows you to consolidate the image of a socially responsible brand.
One perfect example is the TOMS brand, which initiated the One for One® campaign in 2006. The pro-social campaign lasted uninterruptedly until 2019 and as part of it, for each pair of shoes purchased, the TOMS brand donated one pair of shoes to those in need. This way, the company has funded over 95,000,000 pairs of shoes and has achieved market success. In 2019, the company announced a new, long-term pro-social strategy – the brand will donate $1 for every $3 in profit to organizations that do good.
2. Select the right charitable foundation
Choosing the organization you want to support is one of the most important decisions. It will affect the image of your store and brand. When choosing a partner foundation, some important questions should be answered:
a) Is the foundation transparent and attractive in terms of image?
b) Is the foundation active in the media? What activities does it conduct?
c) What does the foundation expect from its partners? Does our store have a chance to establish cooperation?
d) Does the foundation allow the use of the logo on the website of the online store?
e) Do the foundation’s goals match the brand image we want to build?
The choice of the charity should be approached very selectively. It is important that CSR activities help strengthen the image of the online store brand and achieve important goals.
3. Signing the contract with the foundation
This is by far the biggest challenge faced before starting the partnership with a charitable foundation. Pro-social activities carried out on the basis of a partnership with a charity organization require the signing of contracts regulating the scope and terms of cooperation. If you want to cooperate with foundations, you will need legal and tax support.
Partnership talks and formalization of cooperation usually last several months and it should be taken into account that not every foundation will find the time and will to talk to an online store. Consider getting into talks with several foundations simultaneously in order to increase the chances of establishing cooperation with one of the partners.
4. Communication of cooperation
Starting pro-social activities is an important step in building the image of an online store. It is very important to communicate CSR activity to clients and business partners. Pro-social activities in e-commerce allow you to build a positive brand image, and also translate into business benefits. An additional effect is the popularization of the idea of charity – the more entities engage in social activities, the more good is returned to those in need. However, one should remember to use common sense, not be intrusive and conduct it in accordance with the terms of the contract with a charity organization, so as not to infringe the image rights.
The above steps describe the actions that should be taken in order to implement CSR activities in an online store. They require competences in the area of marketing, finance, law and skills in establishing cooperation. However, not every online store has these resources. Fortunately, there are ready-made solutions that make it easier to start CSR activity in an online store, such as DonateWise.
DonateWise is an innovative SaaS tool for e-commerce that allows you to establish cooperation with recognizable charitable foundations without unnecessary formalities and automate the flow of the donations which are a fixed percentage of the sales. Quick implementation of the solution helps online stores increase conversion and repeatability of purchases and promote their social responsibility. The specific advantages of the solution include:
1. ACCESS TO PRESTIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS – through DonateWise online stores can support the largest foundations without signing complicated contracts.
2. INCREASE SALES – the DonateWise product widget can increase the conversion rate in your online store by as much as 14%.
3. STRENGTHENING THE BRAND IMAGE – DonateWise enables building the image of a socially engaged brand.
4. EASY AND QUICK INTEGRATION – DonateWise provides plugins for all platforms and automates charitable donations.
DonateWise is a convenient and effective solution for online stores in which sellers want to implement CSR activities without dedicating too much time and resources. The tool allows you to achieve image, social and business goals effectively.
Regardless of the chosen path, starting pro-social activities in e-commerce brings many benefits. Current market trends emphasize the important role of CSR in building a competitive advantage, so do not hesitate and plan your activity in this area today.