Between February and July, the number of items sold online jumped by 151%. As they attempt to fill the funding gap caused by the Covid pandemic, charity shops, which were a staple of British high streets, have begun to sell online.
According to Shopiago data, the number of items that charities sell online increased by 151% between February and July. Shopiago is a web-based platform that allows charities to go e-commerce.
The vast majority of online sales for charity shops during this period were made on eBay. This site allows charities to reach a wider audience and does not charge any fees.
Shopiago reports that pet supplies, baby products, and sports memorabilia were the top-selling items online for charity shops in the spring and summer.
The British Red Cross, Sue Ryder, Barnardo’s and the British Heart Foundation were among those putting donations received in their stores up for sale online.
“Charities all over the country are realizing that online sales can greatly support in-store revenues. Online sales were a financial lifeline for many charities during the pandemic when high-street shops closed and fundraising events didn’t take place,” stated Thom Bryan, Shopiago’s head of product.
Long-term closures of high street charity shops during successive lockdowns caused a financial blow to them. They began to search for ways to market their products to a wider audience than just the people who shop in their stores.
According to data from The Charity Retail Association (CRA), which represents more than 400 charities that manage thousands of shops, the average store lost more income than PS33,000 during the early 2021 lockdown.
Charity shops make about PS330m profit in a typical year. They take in PS1.4bn in annual revenue.
Charities benefitted from a surge in donations after their shops reopened in the spring, as consumers dropped off bags of belongings they had sorted out during lockdown, but also had to contend with a slight drop-off in volunteers as a result of the pandemic.
According to the CRA, shoppers are not always aware of the fact that they can support charities by shopping online and in-store.
Jonathan Mail, head of public affairs at CRA, stated that bricks and mortar stores will always be vital to the charity retail sector’s survival.
He recommended consumers visit charityretail website to see where they can buy items online or in-store.
Mail stated that people can now choose to shop online or stay at home. It is important to support your favorite charities more than ever.
Charities also hope to reap the benefits of increased interest from consumers in recycling and reuse items as well as the desire of shoppers to find bargains in difficult economic times.