Question: What’s better than a retail store that sells great products?
Answer: A retail store that does it for a good cause.
This week, we’re thrilled to put the spotlight on ACTSmarket, a non-profit organization that combats poverty through commerce. ACTSmarket empowers various communities in Asia by:
- implementing projects that create jobs for needy individuals
- educating consumers about ethical shopping
- raising funds and resources
- building capacity for social enterprises
ACTSmarket sells products through its website, ACTSMARKET.com, but the organization also engages in physical retail through its pop-up shops with the help of Vend.
The organization worked with Vend partner EISOL to get its retail system up and running. We recently caught up with the ACTSmarket team to learn about their experience with pop-up stores and Vend. Have a look at what they have to say:
1. Can you tell us how ACTSmarket got started, what you do and what products you offer?
Our mission was to create an e-marketplace for social enterprises to set up shop and sell their products directly to consumers. In early 2016, we adopted the idea in an incubator of the National University of Singapore and launched our pilot on 9 August 2016.
After our pilot, we pivoted our biz model to a wholesale-retail distribution model, using ecommerce as a sales channel and productivity tool. Pop-up stalls are currently the primary sales channel for B2C and to build awareness of our e-shop. Our goal is to have a proper retail shop and to drive more B2B and B2C traffic to our Ecommerce site.
ACTSmarket Ltd is a non-profit social enterprise. Please take a look at our website: www.actsmarket.com
2. Who is your audience? What causes do you support?
Our audiences are socially conscious shoppers and retailers. We support about 11 social enterprise producers in India, Cambodia, and the Philippines,
3. You also have pop-up stores. How have they gone? How has Vend changed how you prepare and run pop-ups?
Vend has changed how we run our pop-ups by allowing us to implement faster cashiering using barcode scanning. Vend also enables us to keep better tracking of brands and products that are popular, which in turn helps us in forecasting orders.
Vend POS also syncs with our Shopify website and we are using Vend POS to manage our inventory.
4. What systems and/or technology were you using before you switched to Vend? What is your setup like now in store?
We used Ezyinvoice, a $200 POS software bought online as a POS, invoice generation and stock inventory system. We used this before we switched to Vend.
5. What do your staff like most about using Vend? What’s been the biggest benefit or change?
Our staff appreciates that Vend syncs with Shopify in real-time, and can generate more reports than our previous system.
6. What was the experience like working with EISOL? How did EISOL help you with choosing your POS and assist with your setup and training?
They rendered satisfactory service in terms of setup and training. When we inform Eisol that we cannot afford the yearly subscription rate because we have not built enough sales and we are a charity that’s still dependent on donations, Eisol was quick to respond and offer a solution to us.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.