“Let’s make GoodCarts free,” Chris Dyksta, founder of GoodCarts.
“Hmmm, say more,” I said.
“Let’s drop commissions for impact brands and make GoodCarts 100% free just for them.”
Wow, I thought, that will really change the GoodCarts equation from intriguing to astounding.
Why would any sustainable or purpose-driven online store not want new customers for free? (Our definition of “shop for good” is here.)
As a response to Covid-19, we had already dropped commissions to boost our member stores through 2020. Now we’ve made GoodCarts free with no commissions central to our model.
Hi, I’m Steven Clift.
As the GoodCarts CEO, over the last two years, I’ve had the honor of working with amazing impact entrepreneurs. You inspire me.
You want to make a real difference through the products you sell and you passionately seek to grow your customer base and revenue.
You are repulsed by green-washing and skeptical of cause marketing if the impact is not deep and true to the depth of the business.
This blog post assumes that you believe that as impact committed retailers online, we can collectively grow together. You’ve put aside the outdated “scarcity on the shelf” mentality that Chris challenged us to overcome recently.
You are tired of bidding away your margins to digital behemoths, especially when trying to introduce your brand to new conscious consumers.
In short, you are ready to try something different, but you need to know more about GoodCarts before you decide it is worth even the only 15 minutes it takes to get completely set-up via our new Shopify app (or the 30+ minutes it takes to get set-up on other e-commerce platforms.)
How GoodCarts helps you get more customers
The GoodCarts discounts page with your offer is accessed after prospective customers purchase something from one of our member stores.
What is amazing for businesses in the network is generating new customer leads for free.
The discounts page introduces new products and companies to potential customers. We have aggregated an important base of conscious customers who are introduced to your brand for the first time for free. Even if they don’t pick your offer, your brand awareness is increased.
By offering a discount via GoodCarts, when collected from our site, you are likely to more than double customer purchases compared to the 1-2% that usually convert; that’s the kind of success we have in our target market.
And, once they convert, they become your direct customer without Amazon.com et al taking a percentage forever and not allowing you to market directly to your product customers. GoodCarts’ network is a direct link to a target audience of ethical consumers.
How does GoodCarts work?
Let’s see it in detail.
The heart of GoodCarts’ success lies in the ability to generate free traffic. After a customer checks out of a store in our network, the customer is taken to a discounts page of other impact-driven stores in our network.
Here’s what this experience looks like from the customer’s perspective.
Example store receipt with very modest “As thanks…” box added:
We call this box the “Thank You Banner.” The text, “Click Here to Choose” button text, and button color can all be edited to fit your brand.
This post-payment moment in retail is rarely tapped. With our green spirit in mind, we are recycling unused web exhaust. 🙂
GoodCarts then generates a huge click through rate from our member stores’ receipts to our discounts page:
This is a brand discovery moment!
On this exciting GoodCarts discounts page, consumers pick the one exclusive digital coupon for the product and store that interests them most. Your future customer enters their email to collect the deal.
Customers then claim their coupon:
Email is required in part to keep discount codes out of Google. We focus on new first-time customers.
While an email is sent with the discount code to your new potential customer if they claim your offer, most will come straight to your store online by clicking “Use your discount now”:
Imagine a circle of stores all sending a large portion of their post-checkout traffic to a shared network. That’s the GoodCarts magic – conscious consumers with their credit cards still out in a buying mood rewarded with an exclusive discount from like-minded impact loving stores.
Don’t you want your brand in that mix? We sure hope so.
As a reciprocity powered network, this of course means that your store will have to invite your customers post-check to view discounts from other stores.
Our How it Works page and FAQ will answer more of your questions (like how we will make money to support this venture with your input on bonus features). For now, we want to add that:
- Coupon order is mostly random, but over time our system will get smarter and smarter about coupon matching to increase redemptions.
- Stores sending us the most traffic will have their coupons higher up in a still randomized mix. Even the smallest stores can be right up top.
- We have a rarely used advanced feature called the “Blocklist” that allows you to select stores (likely a direct competitor) that you do not want your post-checkout customers to see. It only makes sense to use the Blocklist if you are the larger of the stores – because you’ll be turning your site off to their customers as well.
The GoodCarts discounts page is targeted marketing for good in the e-commerce world.
What do you need to be successful on GoodCarts?
First, you need to join by installing our GoodCarts Shopify app or by joining with other e-commerce platforms.
The Shopify app automatically sets up the whiz bang technology with an easy click of a button. With other platforms, we have a Network Code with guides to help you or your tech lead get set up within an hour.
If your store has its own web domain, you should be able to technically integrate with GoodCarts. If you have any trouble, we offer one on one help along the way.
After you technically join …
While GoodCarts offers your store – whether you are a small business or a well established impact brand – a platform to promote their products and engage with potential customers, there are four key factors to snag new customers.
1. Great product(s).
Let your product shine and weave in the impact story through your text and images. A great product, with a good impact. Both have the potential to be shared emotionally. Your customers have many alternatives to your product. So what makes your product better, a must-have to a potential customer? This is your chance to show why your product is the right choice.
2. Good feature image for your coupon.
This image is your first impression. To capture the attention of customers, a great image can help your offer stand out. Consider trying your best performing image that shows off your product from Instagram. Grab a square image or crop one square before you upload for the greatest impact. We can of course handle images of various dimensions.
3. Attractive discount offer.
People are more likely to buy a product or try a new company for the first time if the product is at a price point that has greater parity with their expectation for traditional, sadly often far less sustainable goods. The goal with a first time customer is to turn them into a repeat customer. Most impact retailers can’t afford to sell at a loss even the first time, but deep pocketed ones do all of the time. Your discount is the sweetener to cinch a potential long-term relationship.
4. Your impact.
The benefit of the GoodCarts network is that these consumers share sustainable, mission driven values, therefore, are inclined to purchase products that align with those values over time. We are not flooded with customers just looking for a deal.
This is our simple Coupon Creator from our Shopify App – this is the ONLY step that is required to gain free exposure and traffic after joining GoodCarts/installing the Shopify App:
The (?) bubbles in the Coupon Creator include help text to guide you on your way. Some additional points:
- You determine your discount value. % off or $ amount off. Some stores have a minimum purchase floor they set up in their discount code section of their e-commerce platform. Make sure your discount on GoodCarts is slightly higher than what they can get just by signing up for your newsletter. If it is the same, they will have no reason to use it now.
- “Coupon extended text” is your opportunity to go further in-depth on your impact. It is only visible after a potential customer first clicks on your offer as they are prompted to enter their email. A word or two in the main 100 characters of coupon text on your impact mission can help.
- Pick a unique discount code. You can change it as needed.
- The “Expiration days” number generates a reminder “come shop at your store” email from GoodCarts the day before they are told your coupon expires.
- Coupon collectors are taken to your store’s home page unless you direct them to a specific page. Some stores limit their discount to certain items or their clearance section. That is when a specific landing page on your store makes the most sense.
- The vast majority of stores keep “no end date” – this really is a “set it and forget it” auto-pilot marketing opportunity.
- Our dashboard displays statistics on coupon views, collections, and redemptions. Rule of thumb – if you have had 25 coupons collected, but no redemptions, consider adjusting your offer.
- While digital advertisers will gladly take all your money as you test which creative works best, GoodCarts allows you to run multiple discounts at the same time. Your coupons are served up randomly within your slot. Test one thing at a time starting with your feature image with everything else held constant is best.
GoodCarts is committed to helping our member stores gain new customers in an ethical way that works. Why? Our free Shopify app is an e-commerce engine for free traffic that’s powered by post-checkout traffic from customers who care about impact and awesome products. That’s why we host Zoom-based lesson sharing and inspiring meet-ups among our store founders and leaders as well as share tips via our free Impact Retail e-newsletter on weekdays.
The opportunity that exists through the discounts page is for large and small businesses alike to grow their profits and customer bases collectively. This is the power of reciprocity. And as we grow the network of GoodCarts member stores and their customers, that growth will multiply our collective impact as we empower more people to shop their values than at any time in history.
When you win, we all win! Let’s grow together.
Contact us if any of your questions remain unanswered.