Answers to the most common online store questions
If online fundraisers aren't an important part of your brochure sales strategy you’re missing out on additional income potential. As more people continue to adapt to the ever improving technology, online selling is now considered by many to be an essential component of school fundraising. Successful groups are able to get more students to sell from their brochure as well as online. They emphasize showing the brochure to their local friends and family and then reaching out to others online.
As more schools embrace online selling there are inevitably questions that we end up getting. Here are answers to common online store fundraiser questions.
Is there a Simple Way to make Online Fundraisers Work?
It used to be that family members had to make a phone call and direct people to the online store to make a purchase on the student’s behalf. While this is still a viable method, there are easier methods.
Most school fundraising companies that offer an online store option invite parents to go to the website themselves and register. Each school has its own access code. Once registered, parents can simply click on a button and send personalized emails out to friends and family directly. This is a much faster and easier way to reach more people.
Can Brochure Items be Purchased Online?
This is probably the most common question that we get. Many people think that the same items found in their brochure can also be purchased online. Or, people mistakenly assume that online store items can be ordered through the brochure order form.
The best way to address this is to inform people that the items in the brochure verses what’s found online are completely independent of each other. Therefore brochure orders cannot be made online and vice versa. Therefore they need to be handled separately.
With that said, there is one exception to this that we know of. When doing a Charleston Wrap fundraiser the customer has an additional option with certain items in their brochure. They can either order these items as is through the brochure, or go online, have it customized and then place the order. Even this way, online ordering is still completely separate from the brochure order form.
Do Online Sales Count towards Prizes?
The short answer is yes. However, to receive prize credit, most companies require that the following things are in place first:
- The student must be registered.
- The buyer must assign credit to the student.
Some company stores allow buyers to select a ‘support the school’ option instead.
What About the Online Shipping Cost?
Just like with most other online sales transactions, the buyer pays for the shipping at checkout. However, many companies offer free shipping if customers order over a certain dollar amount.
Some companies are now offering a ‘ship to school’ option when ordering online. Instead of shipping to their home or business, customers can avoid the shipping cost altogether by having their items delivered to the school along with the rest of the fundraising merchandise. People who choose this method should receive a delivery notice.
How Do We Promote our Online Store?
There are many ways that you can promote your online store. Here are just a few ideas:
- Leverage social media by providing a link to your online store on your social media pages.
- Remind people that your online store and school code information can be found in your parent letter.
- Place posters in high traffic areas, like the front office, cafeteria and gym.
- Announce the store at your next open house or parent night meeting.