Why Goodwill Regions Are Tapping Into Digital Marketplaces

https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2019/goodwill-digital-marketplaces-ecommerce/
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To bring their merchandise in front of millions of shoppers through eCommerce, several Goodwill regions are teaming with mobile marketplace OfferUp. More than 100 Goodwill store locations ranging from New York to San Francisco are uploading products like collectibles, clothing and furniture to the platform to drive in-store and online sales. With the tie-up, the items are listed under handles for regional Goodwill locations. Shoppers can then buy products that can be picked up at a local store or delivered to them.

OfferUp Senior Manager of Business Development Daniel Azoulai said in an announcement for the partnership, “More than half of OfferUp’s 44 million annual users are millennials, and as our most engaged customers, are incredibly aware of their impact on the planet and the value of recommerce.” Azoulai continued, “Goodwill prioritizes sustainability over ownership, and we’re proud to bolster their rapidly growing eCommerce operations by making it easier for people to purchase items from across the country.”

The marketplace works with the Upright Lister tool from Upright Labs to help make inventory uploads. Employees of Goodwill will be able to track inventory and provide real-time insights into the flow of finances, data and products through one interface. At the same time, Goodwill can manage item listings, product images, shipping, financial reporting, auditing and order management. According to the company, “Goodwill sellers using OfferUp’s API [application programming interface] can leverage OfferUp as a sales channel without significantly changing their fulfillment operations.”

Goodwill San Antonio eCommerce Manager Michael Anthony Morse said in the announcement that the tie-up has given the organization exposure and helps it work toward its mission. “The partnership between OfferUp and Upright Labs has allowed Goodwill San Antonio to reach a national audience on the OfferUp marketplace,” he said. “The increased efficiencies gained from the integration allow us to maximize support to our mission of helping change lives through the power of work.”

OfferUp noted that currently, the API is “only available to select partners until its public launch later this year.” According to the company, it is the biggest mobile marketplace in the U.S. for sellers and buyers. Upright Labs allows secondhand retailers to streamline and bolster their online commerce operations while listing inventory on multiple eCommerce marketplaces. According to the announcement, “operators who have a wide breadth of inventory with limited quantities for each SKU [stock keeping unit]” experience “great success” with the Upright Lister tool.

Price Comparison Shopping

Goodwill organizations have worked with other tech companies to help sell their merchandise online. Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, for instance, teamed with Price.com. The organization is using the online platform’s browser extension to show shoppers less expensive selections on its website.

Goodwill NYNJ Executive VP for Retail Operations Lennox Thomas said, per a report in April, “Our goal is to offer affordable shopping options to customers using the Price.com for Enterprise white-label browser extension. People who shop at Goodwill triple their impact. They find unique pieces; their purchases create jobs locally, which result in positive environmental outcomes for the global community.”

Other Goodwill member organizations are also tapping into technology platforms. Goodwill of Orange County, which created the ShopGoodwill.com eCommerce auction platform, is harnessing solutions from product authentication technology company Entrupy. The organization uses a device that includes a high-powered magnification lens that works with an iOS device to take a picture of the material of a handbag. That photo is sent to a service that analyzes the material using machine learning technology and gives an opinion of the product’s authenticity.

A certificate is created when an item is deemed authentic. Shopgoodwill.com, in turn, includes the document in a picture of the item on its platform, with the goal of increasing consumer confidence. As a result, Goodwill of Orange County Senior Director of Online Operations Ryan Smith noted in a previous PYMNTS interview, shoppers might be willing to bid more for a product, which could mean higher sales prices. But if consumers are looking at an item and are not sure it is authentic, he noted, “they’re not going to be super invested in that item.”

With the help of technology to determine the authenticity of goods as well as other separate tools to list products on marketplaces, Goodwill organizations are working to promote their products through eCommerce in the digital age.

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https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2019/goodwill-digital-marketplaces-ecommerce/