How Nonprofits are Enhancing the Service Experience through eCommerce
Online storefronts serve as a fantastic way for organizations to show off their products, connect with customers, and express their brand. But does your current online store measure up? Many organizations simply do not have the time or resources to fully manage an effective online store, especially in a climate where the “Amazon effect” has completely transformed consumers online shopping expectations.
But there is hope! I recently sat down with Evan Uyetake, President of Trost Marketing, to discuss his project with USA Shooting’s (USAS) online store. Evan provided some great insights and discussed how, with the help of Aegis Premier Solutions, Trost Marketing was able to transform the USA Shooting store, leading to new product offerings, increased social media engagement, and more revenue to USAS’s bottom line.
Take a look at what Evan says you could expect by revamping your online store:
LJ: You recently redesigned the USA Shooting (USAS) online store. How long did it take to get the new site up and running? What roles did Trost Marketing and Aegis Premier Solutions play?
EU: Getting the store up and running from inception to launch was approximately five months. USAS had an existing site in place, as well as existing inventory, so we didn’t have to start from scratch. We built the updated site on a newer platform and gave it a massive design update to make it more visually pleasing and easy to use. On the backend we integrated with Aegis’ inventory management system to automate the shipping and inventory process. This allowed the site to be scalable for larger volume of orders and better reporting capabilities.
LJ: What are some of the new and engaging features on the USA Shooting site?
EU: Many of the improvements to the site are not something you would immediately notice. Graphically, you will see a major difference in how you navigate the site, but we also made the site mobile-friendly to scale to any size screen. Reporting is a key part of the new site as well. The site will alert admins when inventory is getting low and needs to be reordered. We can better track product sales to help us better stock the products in the store.
LJ: What learnings did you take away from this project?
EU: We learned that there are many other customers with similar needs. It takes a lot of time and effort to create and manage a store like this, and many nonprofit organizations are faced with resource and budget limitations. Their sites accomplish basic functionality, but do not reach their full potential. A store like the redesigned USAS store can be a great way to fundraise for your nonprofit as well as help your donors show their support for your cause. With our integration with Aegis for inventory management and product fulfillment we are able to create and enhance fundraising tactics for nonprofits and we expect to see more take advantage of this great service.
LJ: How are sales looking so far? Are there any other metrics you are tracking to measure success?
EU: We are pleased to report that the first month’s sales nearly doubled USAS’ yearly average in number of transactions and revenue. Best of all, the store now has the capacity to grow and is no longer limited by the available time of the person managing the store. We were able to free up the USAS team to work on other projects and even take a well deserved vacation.
LJ: How could a nonprofit organization benefit by revamping and/or launching their online store?
EU: The world we live in today expects a shopping experience like that of a major online retailer. If your retail site is not well designed and easy to use, your donors and customers are less likely to purchase your products. Revamping and relaunching your online store could very well be the first step towards reinvigorating your donor base. The combination of quality design, virtually limitless capacity, and proper promotion is a must for today’s nonprofits. When your donor base has a professional online store at their fingertips they become ambassadors for your cause and are able to help you increase your brand awareness.
So there you have it. Improve your organization’s online presence by investing and enhancing your online store. Your customers, employees, and donors will appreciate it, ultimately serving as even bigger champions for your mission. To learn more, reach out to PS team member today!
Evan Uyetake, President of Trost Marketing