Here’s how to boost your sales AND give more to charity

Donating a portion of your sales to charity benefits both your soul and your bottom line.

At a standalone act, giving to charity is great. It makes you feel great and can be quite addicting.

There are also some big business perks.

Why Giving Back Makes Sense Business-Wise

If you decide to tell your customers about the charities you’re donating to, it can help earn you more money. Here are some reasons why:

1. Customers Like Your Products More

In addition to having your customers think you’re a rock star business because you care about important causes, demonstrating social consciousness causes people to believe your products are higher quality.

This occurs thanks to the “benevolent halo effect,” where positive feelings towards a business turn into positive feelings towards a business’s offerings as well.

2. Boost Customer Loyalty

According to a study, “90% of consumers would switch brands to one associated with a social or environmental cause” and 80% said they would “buy a product from an unknown brand if it had strong social or environmental commitments.”

This is especially true when you donate to causes that resonate with your target audience. You’re essentially saying,  “Hey! We have something in common! We both care about the same thing. We think alike.”

People tend to trust people who think similarly to themselves.

3. Improve Your Business’ Reputation

Supporting charities is one of the most trustworthy and admirable things your business can do. And it can make a big difference in terms of how your business is perceived.

Giving back helps solidify your business’s identity as one that is caring, honest, and ethical; plus, it makes you stand out from the competition.

BONUS: Get Tax Deductions For Your Donations

If you live in the USA, when you donate to tax-exempt non-profits and other charitable organizations, you lower your taxes by reducing your amount of taxable income since the amount you donate is tax deductible.

This is the process to take advantage of tax deductions:

  • Claim deductions for charitable giving using SCHEDULE A (Form 1040).
  • Make sure to donate to qualified organizations.
  • Actually give cash or property (having promised to do so in the future doesn’t count).
  • Abide by specific record-keeping requirements (including saving canceled checks and acknowledgment letters and appraisals from the charities).
  • Keep your own written records of any donations you make (including the organization’s name along with the date and amount you donated).

How to Setup an Automated Donation Program

Companies like Amazon and eBay have had a lot of success with their donation programs, which also help reduce rates of cart abandonment. Personally, I love using smile.amazon.com while I’m shopping. They give back .5% of the money you spend to a charity of your choosing.

There are a variety of donation programs available online where you can do something similar. Some programs enable you to donate a portion of your pre-tax sales to charities of your choosing. Others let your customers tack on small donation amounts to their purchase costs. And there are some that allow customers to select the specific charities they’d like to support.

Here are some options:

Shopify – Checkout Donations

Shopify – Share the Love

Magento – Donations Ultimate

OpenCart – Donations Module

WooCommerce – Donation Plugin 

How to Donate When Using The Low Hanging System Model

If you’re selling on Amazon, Etsy, or eBay via the Low Hanging System model, you can obviously still donate a portion of your proceeds to charity.

eBay specifically has an eBay for Charity program where you can choose a % of your final listing fee to donate to a charity of your choice. The minimum contribution is 10%. If you want to donate another way, here are their guidelines.

Etsy doesn’t have an official program, but they have an article encouraging working with nonprofits and sharing ideas on how you can gain more exposure right here.

I haven’t found an official article for Amazon, but some forum threads suggest putting information in your “About The Shop” section would be a great place to tell people what you and your shop stand for.

It’s Really a No-Brainer

Donating to charitable causes is a stellar thing to do. We could all use a little more goodness in this world, and the fact that doing so also helps you to sell more products and earn more money makes it a total no-brainer.

I hope you found this list of donation apps and plugins useful. If you end up trying one, please leave a comment and let me know how what impact it has on your business.

3 “stand out from the crowd” ecommerce techniques to get more sales

 

3 ways to stand out in ecommerce

If you do a search for something like “how to get more sales” you’ll find a lot of the same advice: have a great product, get reviews, make a good title, and so on.

That’s helpful… AND, everyone already knows those things. ;)

In this post I’m going to share some lesser-known ways you can stand out from the crowd. 2 of these tips will help you get more first-time sales, while others will help you with repeat buyers.

The last tip is Amazon-specific, and the first two can be used on any ecommerce platform – Shopify, Etsy, eBay, or wherever you sell online. You can also, of course, take products from your other sites and put them on Amazon as another sales venue.

Let’s go!

#1: Address Customer Questions In Advance

When shopping online, customers can’t have the same kind of sensory experience that they can get from shopping at brick and mortar stores. They can’t pick up your products, turn them over in their hands, or examine them from all angles so they can be confident they’re making a purchase they won’t regret.

In order to help them out (and increase your conversions!), it’s helpful to anticipate in advance what questions a customer might have and what could hinder them from buying.

So, depending on the product, include a detailed size and usability guide in your products’ descriptions. For example if your product were a pillow case, you’d include the following information:

  • Dimensions (in both inches and centimeters)
  • Weight
  • Thread count
  • Material
  • Softness
  • Care instructions (whether or not it’s machine washable or needs to be ironed)
  • Whether or not it’s hypo-allergenic
  • Available color options

Make your customers’ shopping experience as worry- and question-free as possible. Being thorough upfront helps people now and eliminates returns later.

#2: Include a Personalized Email after Customers Purchase on Amazon

Sending a personal email each time a customer places an order is a nice touch that people appreciate. Personalization is something customers love, as it makes them feel like you care, which makes them more likely to turn into repeat customers and recommend you to their friends.

You can write letters yourself or outsource them to a VA.

An example of a post-purchase email could be something like:

Jessica,

We hope you love your mug. Creating these designs is a labor of love for us. :)

We do our best to make sure each mug looks great, is shipped quickly, and makes you happy.

When your order arrives, please let us know how you like it. If you have any issues, please say so and we can fix them immediately. 

And whether you intend to give your mug as a gift or use it yourself, thank you VERY much for your purchase and we hope it exceeds your expectations.

Thank you again,

[YOUR NAME HERE]

P.S. As a valued buyer, I’d love to offer you a discount code for your next purchase. This will take 10% off your next order: [CODE HERE]

To send this type of message on Amazon, go into your Amazon Seller Central account and view your orders. Then, click on an order ID number and scroll to where it says “Contact Buyer.”

When you click a buyer’s name, a contact page opens. Select a subject from the drop-down menu.  I mostly use the “Feedback request” option. Then, you type your message in the space below and hit “Send e-mail.”

To make a discount code, go into the Promotions tab in Seller Central.

#3: Sell Discounted Versions of Your Products Using AMZ Tracker

While Amazon no longer allows incentivized reviews where sellers can offer customers free or discounted products in exchange for their honest opinions, you can still increase your sales volume by offering discount codes.

Sometimes you get lucky and someone still leaves you a review. Either way you get another sale which increases your sales velocity and teaches Amazon to place your product higher in the search engines.

(And by the way, you can still ask people directly for feedback. You’re just not allowed to offer incentives for it.)

To create a discount code for your product, use AMZ Tracker. You can find a detailed guide outlining the process here.

I hope this helps! I tried to make the tips short-and-sweet but still powerful. Please leave a comment or “like” this if you appreciate it, and let me/us know if you have other tips to share! 

 

Customer Service Scripts: Use these to handle any problems smoothly

Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often. But, especially during peak seasons, mistakes can and do occur — whether the wrong item was received, it arrived too late or damaged, or the customer just isn’t happy despite everything running smoothly.

As a buyer yourself, you’ve likely experienced an occasion retail mishap and had to contact customer service to get it straightened out. How were you treated, how was the matter resolved? Hopefully, you were able to arrive at a solution in a quick and courteous manner. And that’s what you want to do for your own customers.

But what should you say? And how can you make your customer service as efficient as possible so it takes up less of your time?

To help with this, here are scripts for the top issues that can occur so all you have to do is fill in the blanks, copy and paste, and hit send!

…..

Script 1: When a customer receives the wrong item

Hey [first name],

We are very sorry for the mix-up and any inconvenience it has caused! We do our best to get our orders right 100% of the time. But unfortunately, mistakes can sometimes occur. We will get the correct item shipped out to you asap and make sure to send it priority.

Please accept our apologies again and let us know if there’s anything else we can assist you with.

Thanks.

Kind regards,

[your name]

Script 2: When an item arrives damaged 

Hey [first name],

We are very sorry your order arrived damaged! We do our best to package our products securely with the highest quality packaging materials. But unfortunately, sometimes things do still get damaged during the shipping process.

We will get a replacement item shipped out to you asap and make sure to send it priority.

Please accept our apologies again!

Thank you.

Kind regards,

[your name]

Script 3: When an item hasn’t arrived yet 

Version 1: If the customer did NOT pay for expedited shipping (This is 99% of cases – for example, if a customer ordered via UseGearBubble where all shipping is standard)

Hey [first name],

We are sorry your order is taking so long to arrive! Your order has shipped, however, and is currently in-transit with USPS so you should receive it within the next few days.

Here is the tracking number: [insert USPS tracking number]

According to it, your order is due to arrive on [insert the new estimated arrival date]. Please accept our apologies again for the inconvenience and let us know if there’s anything else we can do to assist you.

Thanks.

Kind regards,

[your name]

Version 2: If the customer DID paid for expedited shipping (This would be if they purchased an item on your Shopify store, for example)

Hey [first name],

We are sorry your order is taking so long to arrive! Your order has shipped, however, and is currently in-transit with USPS so you should receive it within the next few days. I have also gone ahead and refunded your expedited shipping costs since the expected delivery date has passed.

Here is the tracking number: [insert USPS tracking number]

According to it, your order is due to arrive on [insert the new estimated arrival date]. Please accept our apologies again for the inconvenience and let us know if there’s anything else we can do to assist you.

Thanks.

Kind regards,

[your name]

Script 4: When a customer just isn’t satisfied 

Hey [first name],

We’re sorry that you weren’t completely satisfied with your purchase! If the item arrived not as described or was damaged in any way, then we would be happy to get you a replacement sent out asap.

If you could please let us know more about why you were not satisfied, we will do our best to address your concerns. Or, if you would like to proceed with a refund, then of course we can do that for you right away.

We strive to create top-of-the-line products that our customers love, and we want you to be satisfied with everything you purchase from us.

Please let us know how you would like to proceed and our apologies again that you weren’t completely satisfied.

Thanks.

Kind regards,

[your name]

…..

In general, you want to try to save as many sales as you can. So if customers ask for refunds, first see if there’s a way to address their issues another way, namely by either sending them replacements if their items arrive damaged or not as described, or providing them with USPS tracking numbers and estimated delivery dates if they’re concerned about their orders’ whereabouts.

Hopefully this helps!