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55% of Gen Z would place a charity shop on their ‘ideal high-street’ according to a YouGov survey. Surprising? Maybe not.

Charity shops in the UK and Ireland provide this group of under 25’s with valuable work experience that many Millennials and Generation X were probably too busy to think about.

Largely misunderstood, and much like Millennials, Gen Z are pigeonholed by the media. Lazy, selfish, swipe zombies, insatiable in their quest for makeup tutorials, gaming and cat videos. But what are they really like and how can charity retailers adapt to meet the needs of this generation, whether shopping, volunteering or donating?

So, what has Gen Z got to do with charity retail?

More than you think. Gen Z are your volunteers, your future donors, avid supporters and chances are they’re more likely to donate their time to a good cause. With over 11,000 charity shops operating in the UK, transcending social boundaries, charity retailers need to adapt their offering to ensure that all targets are offered a variety of ways to shop, donate and volunteer.

It’s easy to say, but Gen Z are the social media generation, they are more aware of the World than we give them credit for and see themselves as part of a global community. It’s why it comes to no surprise that they spend most of their days trawling through feeds on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram – steering away from the once popular Facebook. When Cybertill asked Gen Z about Facebook for their recent research, Gen Z were not shy in their thoughts, with Rachel, 23 explaining, “I never use Facebook. My mum is on there!”

This is why it’s so important for charities, in particular, charity retailers to branch out when it comes to their online presence and not put all their eggs in to one basket. Facebook is a clear favourite of the charity sector with 87% having an active presence on the social media channel and although Facebook has dominated the social network market in the UK, it’s these under 25’s who are less inclined to use it.

Social media is such an effective way to reach Gen Z, but as new Cybertill research discovered, out of the 85% of charities who have an Instagram account, only two have a link to their online shop and none of the charities made use of the free Instagram shopping features available, where retailers can tag and link directly to products from posts. Although 100% of those charity retailers researched have a Facebook account, Less than 20% link to the online shop or shops section of their web page. But what did we find most interesting of all? Less than 50% of charities have an ecommerce shop.

Getting charity retailers online

Charity retailers have goods that are often not available anywhere else. There are many high street retailers who have unique products, but think about those items that you can’t get anywhere else, those one-of-a-kind, meaningful and often quirky items that are only available in one charity shop. If a charity puts that item on an ecommerce website, or uploads it to eBay or Amazon, they immediately widen their reach and the potential for getting the maximum price for that product.

But imagine the impact charities would have if they started linking directly to these products on social media, linking to their marketplace listings, providing quick and easy access to all your high-ticket donations in one place?

The possibilities are endless and Gen Z, with ever-growing spending power and penchant for charitable causes, await.

Find out more about how charity retailers can use social media to gain new supporters and donors – download your free copy of Charity Retail Social Media Market Research today!

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