When Covid hit, the going got tough for brick-and-mortar stores. And when the going got tough, the tough got going… straight to ecommerce platforms. Meet the ever-tough MIND Charity. This organization is dedicated to helping anyone who is experiencing a mental health problem by campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
MIND is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, with Stephen Fry as their President. They’re a big deal. But even MIND became concerned when Covid lockdowns led their charity shop profits, which go directly to the charity’s work, to take a nosedive.
The foundation knew that they needed to take action to weather the storm. While moving to an ecommerce platform was the obvious solution, MIND, which has over 160 charity shops across England and Wales, knew it wouldn’t be easy. Thankfully, they didn’t have to go it alone.
MIND trusted ShipStation to help them tackle the process of moving their business online. While implementing a new system across so many stores could seem like a daunting process, ShipStation’s simple integrations made it easy. With the help of Charity Retail Learning, MIND was able to facilitate a smooth transition onto the web. This team came to every location to train each team member on how to use ShipStation in a way that is best for their store.
“We knew that Charity Retail Training and Support Services could offer us the expertise we needed,” says Kristin Kamming, Retail Marketing Manager at MIND.
“It’s so easy to implement and it’s so easy to use,” Kristen says.
Now that the team is fully versed in the ways of ShipStation, MIND uses the software to make easy work of shipping out online orders for their charity shop.
MIND uses the ship-from-store feature to dispatch their eBay sales. Using this method, the team can skip trips to the post office and instead make a mini-shipping warehouse out of their own shops. In addition to saving labor and time, ShipStation has offered something even more vital to MIND: a liferaft.
Ship-from-store has allowed the charity to expand their market and brand awareness, even during the Covid shutdowns. MIND’s quick pivot to ecommerce has allowed the charity to keep incoming flowing so that they can keep providing services and hope to others.
Now, MIND’s shipping process couldn’t be simpler. Once an item is sold, a team member will print the package label directly from ShipStation’s interface with one easy click, pack up the item, and send it with a mail carrier.
“It’s more important than ever to ship-from-store,” says Kristin. “The managers at the charity shops have got such big jobs. Being able to ship-from-store has just made their lives so much easier.”
A New Chapter
MIND’s staff aren’t the only ones who are looking forward to this successful pivot to ecommerce.
”Myself and my team are really excited to be a part of the next phase of charity retailing,” says Sam Cocksedge, Charity Retail Training and Support agent. “To be able to offer them the ShipStation software to really grow their own business.
This next phase includes even more of an impact made by MIND thanks to the flexibility of online selling.
“I think ship-from-store is the way forward for charities,” says Kristin. “It gives us the opportunity to sell those precious little items that would maybe sell in the shop for £10, but we know on eBay there’s an audience who will pay much more than that. It’s allowing us to raise even more money for the charity.”
With a charity like MIND embracing life’s (and the market’s) changes, the future is looking a little better every day.