When it comes to corporate giving, brands need to do good and look good. The latter is a delicate balance of clearly making a statement and genuinely making a difference. Skew too far toward PR, and your charitable efforts can seem inauthentic. Make no mention of your contributions, and customers will never have a chance to recognize your commitment.
A donate-at-checkout feature in e-commerce puts your corporate giving front and center for your customers to not only take note, but also take part. It’s a proven tool for brands to look good while doing good. You’re probably (hopefully) using donate-at-checkout on your website right now. Meanwhile, a new tool takes it a step further. It’s called donation-at-cart.
What Is Donation-at-Cart?
With donate-at-checkout, your brand offers to round the customer’s purchase up to the nearest dollar and donate the difference. You might also suggest a dollar-figure donation and perhaps add a corporate match to double the funds donated. The subtle but significant switch to donate-at-cart makes the donation come from the brand via the customer’s purchase. Instead of asking them to donate, you’re telling them you’ll donate. In the process, you create a completely different experience, and one that benefits your brand more profoundly.
The fundamental difference between donation-at-checkout and donation-at-cart lies in where the proposition takes place. When a customer gets to checkout, they’re often looking to complete their purchase quickly. They could see donation-at-checkout as a hassle or they might even overlook it altogether. By instead adding the donation directly into their cart while they’re shopping, you eliminate the extra checkbox at checkout and streamline the transaction. Then, something even better happens.
After making a purchase, the customer can choose which charity they want to donate to. Again, the donation is coming from the merchant as a percentage of the sale, not as an additional amount paid by the customer.
Allowing the customer to select the charity makes the donation more personal and, oftentimes, more local. People like to donate to schools, parks, programs and places of worship in their own communities because they see the impact of donations with their own eyes. When they can support a local charity by purchasing from their favorite brand, they feel more connected to that brand.
Donation-at-cart remembers and automatically loads a customer’s charity selection each time they return to make a purchase. In addition to driving emotional loyalty in each individual customer, this creates a new landscape of collective data beyond basic demographics.
Brands can use donation-at-checkout data to understand what causes their customers care about and align sponsorships, campaigns and partnerships accordingly. For some brands, key causes are somewhat intuitive—like sustainability for outdoor brands or youth sports for athletic brands. But for others, and as new generations bring new perspectives, a snapshot of customer donations can help identify causes that align with brand ethos and values.
How do we increase average order value? What about conversions? How can we decrease abandoned carts? Every brand has the same e-commerce goals. While first and foremost a feature to visibly practice corporate philanthropy, donate-at-cart also shows real e-commerce value. Just like donations are figuratively uplifting for people, they can now be literally uplifting for sales. That’s why we call our donation-at-cart tool Sales Uplift. Schedule a demo to see how (and why) it works.