Roger Swannell

Author: roger (page 1 of 98)

Charities need to apply an ecommerce mentality

Ecommerce is the ‘digital and physical exchange of value between an organisation and an individual’. The customer gives the organisation something they value (money) in return for for something the customer values (goods (although it isn’t really theĀ  goods that hold the value it’s the emotional reward that comes with them)).

When a charity asks for a donation without providing any value in return they force the individual to derive their own value. This reliance on the individual to maintain the one-way relationship leads eventually to reduced loyalty as the individual realises that they don’t need a particular charity to get that emotional reward and that any good cause will do.

Traditionally, charities have considered and referred to the individuals they interact with as ‘supporters’, which implies a one-way process of the individual supporting the charity. Increasingly, there is a shift to considering these individuals as ‘customers’, which conveys the idea that there needs to be a value exchange between the organisation and the individual in order to develop the relationship and maintain loyalty. It’s a good shift.

How Hallmark UK does ecommerce for cards

Cards are a difficult thing to sell online. The average basket value is likely to be very low and customer expect low delivery costs and fast delivery, not only because that’s what most customer expect from online retailers but also because people only buy cards when they need them. Very few people buy cards in plenty of time, more people and more likely to think about buying cards just a few days before they need it. All of these things make selling cards online a challenge.

Hallmark UK website

Back in 2014, if you visited the Hallmark UK website you could buy all kinds of cards and gifts.
Hallmark Website 2015


Since 2015, and if you visit today in 2017, the Shop page is just a big link to Amazon.

Hallmark UK Website


The website banner links to a Greetings Card Shop page on

Hallmark Amazon

The page on Amazon is called ‘Greeting Card Shop’, so Hallmark doesn’t even link to it’s brand page on Amazon, which suggests that perhaps they have found it more profitable to supply Amazon with greetings cards rather than sell them themselves.

If a retailer like Hallmark finds supplying Amazon more profitable than running their own ecommerce site, then it lends more weight to the opinion that Amazon is taking over ecommerce.


Copyright © 2017 Roger Swannell

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