Case study: Boosting online shop sales helps SPANA save more animals » Charity Digital News

Case study: Boosting online shop sales helps SPANA save more animals

Robert Hughes TigerfishIn this guest post, Robert Hughes, director for ecommerce website builder Tigerfish, explains how the launch of SPANA’s new mobile-friendly online shop at the end of 2015 led to a rise in seasonal sales of nearly 25 per cent for the international animal charity.

SPANA (Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) provides free veterinary care to the world’s hardest working animals. The donkeys, mules, horses, camels and oxen they help would have absolutely nobody without SPANA’s committed group of vets and technicians. More than that, SPANA’s work supports the communities that rely upon these animals for their livelihoods. For this reason, and many others, Tigerfish was incredibly proud to work with the charity to redevelop their online shop, Happy Hooves.

Tigerfish has worked with SPANA on a number of projects over the years, always aiming to make as big an impact as possible with technological and creative innovations, and the online shop was no different. The aim was to give supporters a way to express their passion for working animals through a website that was not only engaging, but easy to use.

Happy Hooves desktop

The design was based on that of the main SPANA website, with greatly increased functionality. In order to avoid any abandoned sales, there was a big emphasis on building an easy to use checkout system. This was linked directly to a fulfilment house, meaning that every sale was automated.

SPANA has always been keen to react to the differing requirements of its supporter base, and in recent years has seen a big shift towards mobile web users. As with all clients, Tigerfish developed a site that was reactive to any device and worked just as well on mobile and tablet as it would on a desktop computer.

Beyond your usual charity gifts, SPANA also wanted the capacity to create unique virtual gifts and e-cards. This not only added to their selection but expanded their reach to a different generation of gift buyers. And, as with all of our projects, Tigerfish provided the SPANA team full training on the system, along with ongoing support.

SPANA’s Digital Communications Manager, Laura Tosney, said:

Working with Tigerfish meant we were able to make our shop into exactly what we needed it to be, quickly and on budget.

“Tigerfish worked well with both our design agency and fulfilment house, ensuring that the back-end was fit for purpose, and not an afterthought.The functionality is great, and our supporters are able to place their orders easily, which is fantastic for both them and us.”

The development saw an almost 25 per cent increase in online purchases during the 2015 Christmas period, compared to the year before. This is an increase that could theoretically save thousands of animals. The money raised also benefits those families who rely on working animals to provide their only source of income, and a brighter future.

With over 17 years in the web industry specialising in marketing with content managed websites, Robert is now using his expertise to take charities forward in the new digital world. His knowledge and skills have helped VSO, ICS, SPANA, Blue Cross and Africa Relief to name a few.

For more information on creating a responsive ecommerce site that fits perfectly with your requirements, contact Tigerfish on Or, if you’re looking for a complete digital fundraising package which includes a microsite, social media strategy and digital marketing support, visit

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