Thursday, August 30

Goodwill Started Selling Online in 2006: On Track to Exceed $2.5 Million Annually

Goodwill SF Warehouse

For nearly a century, Goodwill Industries has created solutions to poverty through the businesses it operates and the jobs it provides. Most recognizable are the hundreds of Goodwill stores throughout the United States, which sell donated clothing, jewelry and household items, and are staffed by individuals seeking to overcome barriers to employment to get a fresh start in life. But these days, Goodwill is embracing 21st century technologies to advance its mission. This trend is evident at Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties, where they have established an eCommerce point of sale.

Background.   According to Johnny Cochran, eCommerce Manager for Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties, online sales have become popular options for shoppers seeking to easily and quickly search for and purchase Goodwill items. Especially popular are books, movies, music, games, clothing, collectibles and other products, which are most often sold through eBay, Amazon, ABE Books, and other online marketplaces.

“With the additional revenue from online sales, we are able to further expand our services,” explained Cochran. “So it is important for us to run our eCommerce channel as cost effectively as possible.”

But efficiency was a challenge when the San Francisco-area Goodwill operation began its online channel in 2006. Initially, the online store – with both auction and fixed price options – only accounted for a handful of orders, five or so, each day. But as order volumes grew, the eCommerce team wouldn't have been able to keep up without implementing software automation. Cochran explained that originally Goodwill processed each order taken through their eCommerce marketplaces manually, and it required about five minutes of time to weigh, enter in shipping information, print out a packing slip and finalize each order. Then, an employee would take the shipments to the Post Office™, where postage would be affixed and the items – finally – shipped.

“We realized that when our order volume increased, we needed to be ready to handle it much more efficiently – or we would never be able to keep up with demand,” recalled Cochran.

 “eCommerce is a key initiative for our sales and program growth, and we view DYMO Endicia as a true partner,” Cochran said. “Its Label Server technology is an important resource, and the added productivity and efficiencies help us in our ongoing efforts to find and implement solutions to poverty.”

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