Increasing revenue is probably the most common goal for all organizations, associations and non-profits. Staying up-to-date and in the know about new and creative ways to increase revenue can be overwhelming. One source of revenue that isn’t going anywhere soon is e-commerce. It’s continuously growing due to its convenience, speed and accessibility and there are now over 250 million online shoppers in North America alone.
Operations and sales for Social Organizations are much more complex than your traditional brick and mortar business. When you sell tangible and intangible products; activities, memberships, and classes, buyers require much more information in the buying process and more post purchase management. Keeping this in mind, we’ve come up with 5 ways to increase your organization's revenue with e-commerce.
1. Get OnlineAll Social Organizations should have an online presence; a website that provides people with information on what you’re offering, where they can get it and why they should get it from you is absolutely necessary. Your website should give visitors a sense of what your organization is all about and why it’s unique. You can showcase the activities/events you offer, provide a photo gallery of your facilities or previous event and even introduce your staff and volunteers.
2. Offer Online Payment and RegistrationOnline registration is expected by your users and it saves both the organization and the participant time and money. No one wants to juggle a hectic schedule only to wait in long lines for limited registration. With electronic and mobile commerce on the rise, most of your clients have already purchased goods online, why not purchase their registrations and memberships.
3. Offer MerchandiseOffering merchandise gives you a new revenue stream outside of tuition and/or memberships. Every single one of your participants or members is going to require some sort of gear to participate or show their support. Physical activities often require a dress code that allows the participants to move freely and ensure safety. Why not have your participants buy these things from you? Why not give your members the option to buy branded hats, shirts, lanyards and other association articles? Merchandise is not only a new source of revenue but it also makes your clients walking billboards for your organization!
4. Get SocialAn important part of any commerce is marketing. Luckily, advertising e-commerce is easy and can cost little to nothing. Social media is a great tool to get your organization out there and let people know what you’re up to. With almost 190 million social network users in North America, social media is a great way to showcase not only your organization but also the products or services you offer. Adding social sharing to your online store will allow your current clients to share their purchases with their friends. Promoting upcoming registration periods, membership periods or even promotions can all be done through social media for free.
5. Think Outside the BoxWhen it comes to what your organization can sell online, the possibilities are endless. Get creative and consider selling virtual goods as downloads to add value to your memberships or registrations. Another idea would be to approach donations like online shopping and let donors know exactly what their donations are being used for. For example, an animal shelter could offer 30 bags of dog food as a donation option. The value of the donation doesn’t change but the donor feels like their donation had a direct impact.
These are just a few ways your organization can jump on the e-commerce bandwagon and start increasing your revenue. E-commerce isn’t going anywhere and ignoring it won’t do you any good. While it can seem overwhelming, with the right tools and support, you can have it up and running in no time. Amilia can help you out with every aspect of e-commerce for your organization. Request a demo-we’d love to show you!