REUSE NETWORK | E-commerce - online sales of reusable essentials.



Why the work is being done

This challenge: To create a digital e-commerce platform so that 100+ reuse charities can provide access to furniture and electricals online. The solution will enable people in a situation of crisis to make a house a home.

This project is part of the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response funding initiative; a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund and CAST, supported by the Catalyst network.

Problem to solve

Throughout the last four months “E-Commerce” has been the second item on the agenda at our 3 weekly Member Zoom meetings. Up to 100 managers and CEOs from Reuse organisations each week are saying how crucial it is to get online. 

We will create a digital e-commerce platform to provide access to furniture and electricals even when shops are closed. Enabling people in a situation of crisis to make a house a home.

100+ member reuse charities desperately want the Reuse Network to come up with an E-Commerce solution that provides a national hub and spoke system. Joining them up to network with each other, there is demand for a solution that communicates with  and updates their various sales platforms with their shop floor stock, EPOS, and CRM systems.

There is potential for more than 100 charities to use the tools we develop with this funding support. We need to work with an e-commerce platform developer to design, develop, and set up an online sales platform and marketing site for Reuse charities across the country. 

We would work as a conduit between the reuse stakeholder group and the developer to finalise and develop the correct system for all sector e-commerce needs and maintain the administration of the final platform

People in need were/are unable to access essential furniture and electricals when charities were closed during the lockdown. There is no joined-up digital infrastructure allowing members from within the reuse network to distribute essential furniture and electricals to those most in need.

Who are the users and what do they need to do

“As a Reuse charity CEO, I need to maintain the supply of essential items to beneficiaries and customers so that I can maintain sales and sustain my organisation during this crisis when our shops are closed.”
“As a low-income customer in crisis, I need to find and secure two beds for my children at a low cost so that we can move into my new secure accommodation.”
“As a Reuse retail manager, I need to ensure that products are identified as sold so that I do not double sell what is in-store or on-line.”
“As a social worker, I need to find a low-cost fridge for my client so that he has somewhere to store food he has received from the foodbank” 
Key Outcomes/Outputs/Deliverables:
  • Presented with best software/platform for nationwide e-commerce solution
  • Central UK online sales platform for Reuse Charities
  • One brand/design for all with option of individual logos in profile portal
  • Compliant Terms and Conditions of use by third party sellers
  • Use to be managed and monitored centrally by Reuse Network
  • Portals for 100+ charities to professionally upload and manage product sales
  • Online payment system that integrates with various accounts software and epos system
  • Option for stating local or national delivery based on size of product
  • Option of future integration with other platforms such as ebay and fb marketplace, plus sellers own website if has correct webhooks/APIs. If not possible during initial development
  • Integration of e-marketing tools to sales and sellers

Key project resources

Discovery files
Work already completed during discovery