Charity retailers failing to connect online with Gen Z

Cybertill report finds that too many charity shops are ignoring the increasing importance of Instagram to attract young shoppers, volunteers and donors.

Joe Lepper | 21st Sep 18

Charity retailers are failing to effectively promote themselves online among 18 to 24 year olds, according to a report into the sector’s use of social media.

The Charity Retail and Social Media Market Research report by retail software firm Cybertill found that just 2% of charity retailers are linking their online shop via a key platform for this age group, Instagram.

In addition, while all charity retailers have an account on Facebook and Twitter, 15% still do not have an Instagram account.

The report says this is hampering their ability to connect with so called Generation Z, who were born in the mid 1990s and early 2000s and are among Instagram’s key users.

Almost a third (31%) of all Instagram users are aged between 18 and 24, says the report.

Cybertill adds that Instagram is also an important platform for charity retailers as this year saw the launch of its shopping feature for brands in the UK.

Generation Z are future shoppers, volunteers and donors

“Charity retailers need to engage more on social media with Gen Z, these are their new volunteers, shoppers and donors,” said Rob Finley, Business Development Director and Head of Charity at Cybertill.

“They need to make the most of these free social media tools to enhance their ecommerce and extend their reach across all people of all ages. Charities have goods that are simply not available anywhere else, you have unique products but they’re only available in one charity shop.

“If you have an item that has a particular personal value to someone, then they won’t see it unless they walk into that one charity shop.

“If we can take that item and have it in store, online, on eBay, on Amazon then you can ensure you’ll get the maximum value for it. Promoting this on social media with ‘shop now’ features, particularly on Instagram will reach a wider audience and can only benefit the charity.”