Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Charity Portals Rant

Does anyone else feel like I do about charity shopping portals?

Why would I choose to use a "customer touch" by promoting a shopping portal (they are all the same to me - insert your favorite one here....) that results in:

- taking my customer off my site
- putting them smack into one of the worst shopping experiences possible
- a few cents on the dollar return

It makes no sense to me!

That said - I feel like if I'm not listed on these portals, it's a bad thing. I want our brand to be everywhere, but what I keep telling the "founders" of these charity portals is that while my supporters want to find new ways to support the charity - that ultimately they aren't coming to my site to buy a new PC, get a mortgage or buy valentines gifts.

Alternatively, we recently launched a partnership with Cintas, who now provides us with an e-store for both consumers, and for our chapters (bulk and wholesale pricing). We're doing quite a bit of volume on this site - and it's building rapidly. I've seen other charities, like March of Dimes launch much simpler stores on free sites like Cafepress, which looks to be a very simple and easy way to get started quickly, but does have it's limitations in terms of product selection, product quality, price flexibility etc...

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