E-commerce strategy with Drupal, Ubercart and CiviCRM

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Nonprofit organizations have been implementing online stores for years. Product sales are an integral part of an organization's annual fundraising program. On average, nonprofits raise 33%+ of their annual budget around the holiday season. E-commerce is a valuable addition to any nonprofit's online fundraising program.

Proprietary systems are expensive and tend to lack the flexibility organizations need to tailor their online store to their specific e-commerce strategy. Open source e-commerce solutions have been available for years, but the adoption rate among organizations has been low for two reasons:

  1. Lack of integration with nonprofit CRM solutions
  2. Lack of options for NPO-specific fundraising strategies

To meet the needs of nonprofit organizations seeking to open source their e-commerce strategy, we will be releasing two modules in the coming weeks – UC Additional Contribution and UC Honorary Gift.

UC Additional Contribution in an Ubercart module which allows organizations to configure an option on the Ubercart checkout screen allowing individuals to make a contribution in addition to the purchase they are making.

This field presents a custom ask string of amounts that can be set to your desired ask and an optional "Other Amount" box to allow customers to enter their own contribution amounts. Organizations can source these contributions to any source code they like for better tracking of donations. The module writes the additional contribution into your CRM as a separate contribution entry from the purchase itself for better donation tracking.

UC Honorary Gift is another Ubercart module that allows individuals to purchase products in honor of a friend or family member. This is a great option to offer to your constituents around the holidays – what better gift to give to a person that the gift of charity. Customers will be able to send a personalized message to the person they seek to honor, which will include an image and description of the gift. Organizations will also be able to enter a customized message as part of each email that will go out in order to market other products, services or campaigns they may offer.

Out of the box, these modules will integrate with CiviCRM, so those using the powerful open source CRM system can just install the module and configure their e-commerce site without the hassle of custom integration work.

With the power of Drupal to drive your e-commerce campaigns, you open up new opportunities for engagement. Ubercart provides powerful e-commerce tools for gift certificates, coupons, promotions, gift baskets and even online auctions. Ubercart provides for all of your reporting needs - inventory management, shipping reports, customer management, sales reporting and conversion tracking through Google Analytics integration.

With very little configuration, you can set up:

  • Holiday or promotion specific pages or block regions that dynamically populate with products
  • Promotional regions on product pages that list other products of a similar type or price, or other products bought by people who have bought the item a customer is viewing
  • More customizable product page layouts with Lightbox overlays and tabbed product descriptions
  • Allowing constituents to comment on products, becomes fans of or vote on products, sharing products with friends and other members of your site, and sharing photos or video of products they purchase
  • Integrating social bookmarklets to allow your constituents to share their favorite products or promotions all over the web, expanding your reach beyond your base of supporters
  • Integration with any CRM system without having to download and upload spreadsheets of data for better donation tracking and reporting

Look out for these modules to be released in the coming weeks and feel free to contact us if you are seeking to open up your e-commerce strategy to a new world of possibility.