How GoodCarts Is Helping Purpose-Driven E-Commerce Stores Scale Their Impact

GoodCarts is an innovative new platform for mission-driven e-commerce stores to build loyalty, scale their impact, and gain new customers for free.

Purpose-driven e-commerce stores sign up FREE, when customers make a purchase, they get access to an exclusive discount for other shop-for-good stores in the GoodCarts network.

I caught up with CEO Steven Clift to learn more.

Afdhel Aziz: Steven welcome! Please tell us a little about what GoodCarts is and how the idea started?

Steven Clift: GoodCarts is a radical new way for e-commerce stores to grow their sales and social impact with zero customer acquisition costs. It’s free for brands.

We’re powered by our member brands who have embraced post-purchase cross-promotion! Conscious consumers earn discounts and discover brands that give back. Our post-purchase “recycled traffic” model has even grown into an active community of like-minded impact entrepreneurs. 

Since the launch of our Shopify app a year ago, GoodCarts quintupled its membership and greatly accelerated growth with the global explosion of e-commerce activity. 

We started several years ago when founder and entrepreneur Chris Dykstra had an idea to create a platform where impact entrepreneurs could promote each other and grow their profits and the impact economy as a whole. Talk needed to be followed up with action and GoodCarts was born. 

Post-alpha, I was recruited to lead a “stealth beta” through to our big public launch with our Shopify app in late 2020. 

Our “grow together, win together” story is now a reality and is taking off. 

Aziz: Congratulations on reaching 100 member brands! Can you share some of them so we can get an idea of who is on the platform?

Clift: Sustainable products and processes, Fair Trade, buy-one-give-one, social enterprises, B Corps — these are all categories of retail that make a positive social impact. 

GoodCarts is proudly celebrating the milestone of surpassing more than 100 purpose-driven retailers in our e-commerce network. GoodCarts makes it easy for retailers to share the love and for conscious consumers to discover new ways to shop their values. 

This image is a sample from our discounts page. After consumers check out from member stores, they earn access to this page to discover other GoodCarts member stores. 

We are so inspired by the Impact Stories shared by our members in our new showcase. These founders, their teams and their brands make a tangible impact each and every day. 

Member stores include: 

  • Dean’s Beans 
  • Women’s Bean Project
  • Ornaments 4 Orphans
  • Passion Lillie 
  • Jali Fruit Company
  • Ash & Rose
  • Catspring Yaupon
  • Fair Anita
  • Bean Products
  • Eco Dog Care

and many more!

Aziz: How does the platform work and what is the functionality?

Clift: Conceptually, we “recycle” post-purchase traffic back into the network of brands. Why spend all your margin on increasingly expensive digital ads?

For interested brands: With our Shopify app, you can get your store set up in minutes (literally). We actually serve most e-commerce platforms and WooCommerce plugin is coming soon.

  1. E-commerce stores choose the “circle” that best describes their business — we are best known for our powerhouse for sustainable and shop-for-good brands. But that’s just the start for growing customers based on affinity.
  2. From there, retailers create a discount offer, which is vital to converting new first-time visitors into paid customers. 

That’s it, that’s all that’s required to get started. We have optional customization features and a selective blocklist feature that helps members avoid promoting their most direct competitors. 

Participating stores have been very pleased with the success they’re seeing — we have a 95 percent retention rate among stores in our shop-for-good circle. Discounts that are claimed with an email address post-checkout have a redemption rate over 10 percent. 

We just launched our Made in USA circle and our small business entrepreneurship network is open to traditional retail products. With potential partners, more circles including BIPOC-owned, all vegan, a Premium DTC circle, an ethical retail circle for the UK and potential co-branded networks are in the works. 

People often ask, with the free model at our core, is this too good to be true? It’s both good and true. Listening to our members, we are working on paid bonus options from featured coupons to channels for extra exposure via traffic partners. We’ve even had conversations with impact investors about how we can help connect them with ascendant brands.

Aziz: What invitation do you have for other brands who would like to partner with you?

Clift: Explore and check out the demo

For entrepreneurs with an e-commerce retail store, install the Shopify app and get started by creating a customized offer in a few minutes. It’s free. For other e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, SquareSpace, Magento, etc., just send us a message through our JOIN page and we can get you set up quickly.  

When a conscious consumer makes a purchase from a GoodCarts member store, they see a custom thank you message with an invitation to grab exclusive, limited time discounts for other stores in the GoodCarts network. This builds awareness, offers a qualified referral, expands impact and costs nothing for participating stores. No risk, all reward. 

If you aren’t an e-commerce brand, please subscribe to our Impact Retail newsletter if you’re interested in retail sustainability, the impact economy, social entrepreneurship and e-commerce. 

And, if you’re in the process of launching a new sustainable brand (or even just considering it), don’t miss our in-depth articles and how-to GoodGuides.

Aziz: Finally what does the future hold next?

Clift: GoodCarts is on a mission to help 10,000 or more purpose-driven entrepreneurs use commerce to create change. Consumers have spoken and overwhelmingly prefer brands to take a stand and lead with purpose. Increasingly, they are putting their money where their values are. We are working to unite purpose-driven retailers and to expand the impact economy.

We hope everyone will take a few moments to meet our community of changemakers at the ‘100 Stores, 100 Stories showcase.

The future is sustainable and ethical, the impact economy will eventually just be known as the economy. The time to tap into the needs and desires of conscious consumers is now.

Candice Cearley

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