By Aimee Chanthadavong

The Salvation Army is the first charity to launch its online shopping website in Australia.

The online Salvos Store has been launched to coincide with the charity’s ‘Shopping with a Conscience’ campaign, which aims to inspire Australians to shop with the environment and community in mind.

Speaking to Retailbiz, Salvos Stores general manager Neville Barrett said the Salvation Army recognised that Salvos Stores needed to be more easily accessible within all communities across the country.

“The online store was request by the community. It’s also a great way for us to engage with the online community. Some people are housebound, others are time poor and some simply prefer to shop on line. We are meeting the needs of the local community,” he said.

“We also believe that some people love to browse through Salvos Stores and may never buy online.  But because we only featuring a few items from each store we are not limiting what is available to those customers.  In fact, we believe that the placement of where the items are discovered on the website will assist to drive additional customers to that particular store.”

According to Barrett, the new website strengthens Salvos Stores online community, which also spans across Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

“It is a great mechanism for customer relations. Word of mouth can spread quickly and effectively, accompanied by pictures of the products,” he said.

Salvos Stores have also increased their product range to include new household items including toiletries and cleaning products. Salvos Stores developments are in response to increasing consumer demand for quality goods at affordable prices.

“Product offering is increased by popular demand. This includes the increased ranging of the recycled products available, as well as the introduction of new communicable items which we offer at competitive prices everyday. Initially, we expected that these were of most interest to those less fortunate in the community but also have been well received by our wider customer base,” Barrett said.