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The state of social impact in 2023: More consumers are turning to businesses creating societal change through impactful commerce

by | Sep 7, 2023 | Public Relations

With the holiday-shopping season now squarely on communicators’ radar, it’s a good time to take a look at another seasonal pastime—the act of giving. New research from social impact commerce platform ShoppingGives takes a closer look at giving patterns for consumers and businesses over the last year, analyzing how pivotal moments like the ongoing Ukrainian invasion, the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and natural disasters like Hurricane Ian and Fiona are driving philanthropy.

The firm’s new 2023 State of Social Impact Report, in partnership with Coresight Research, features analysis of 500 eCommerce and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands on the state of social impact in 2023, in addition to outside research. The state of social impact in 2023: More consumers are turning to businesses creating societal change through impactful commerce

“Consumers are increasingly looking towards businesses to lead social change as their spending decreases and global issues rise,” said Ronny Sage, ShoppingGives CEO, in a news release. “It’s becoming more important for businesses to implement any form of social impact strategy into their operations. Brands can create a giving strategy that is in alignment with their customer’s values and implement it either year-round or periodically to suit their business and goals.”

Key findings from the report include:

More brands are adopting charitable giving into their ethos

A significant majority (58 percent) of surveyed merchants say they are integrating social impact strategies into their business, and regularly remind customers. And two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents also have a team dedicated to social impact initiatives within their organization.

Increasing contributions

Of the 500 merchants, 75 percent hope to increase the amounts donated to targeted charities in the coming year.

The state of social impact in 2023: More consumers are turning to businesses creating societal change through impactful commerce

Despite recent economic conditions, customers are willing to give to their preferred causes

The firm’s community of merchant parents reported that average sales with donations per merchant were up 67 percent YOY, and the average amount of donations per store were up 58 percent over the same period.

Giving Tuesday initiatives showed growth in 2022 with more brands jumping onboard

Despite market predictions, the spirit of giving during the holiday season increased 50 percent in 2022 compared to 2021 when merchants offered a matching donation. There was also an increase by 145 percent of brands that directly mentioned on their homepages their involvement in Giving Tuesday. [This survey was based on data taken from 500 internet retailers and the top 500 direct-to-consumer retailers]

Providing various organization options is important for consumer engagement

Nearly 3 in 10 (28 percent) of merchants reported partnering with 1-5 nonprofits, and 46 percent reported collaborations with 5+ organizations.

The state of social impact in 2023: More consumers are turning to businesses creating societal change through impactful commerce

“Regardless of the pullback in consumer spending and corresponding marketing dollars by brands, we feel it’s still important to represent the causes we believe in and are authentic to the brand,” said Josh Krepon, president of Direct to Consumer and Global Digital at Steve Madden, in the release. “Further, we know, from the analytics, that our customers are aligned and that it’s contributing to growing lifetime value.”

Download the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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