GoodCarts spotlight

MindfulCommerce Member Spotlight: Q&A with Steven Clift, GoodCarts CEO

By Krissie • 21 September 2021

Steven Clift is a very active member of MindfulCommerce and we adore him, he gets up at an incredibly early time to make our meetups - legend! He loves to connect with likeminded entrepreneurs in the ecommerce space and of course, loves to talk about the huge benefits GoodCarts offer mindful, conscious merchants.

Let's see what they're up to...

Hello there, Steven! Can you start by telling us what GoodCarts is? How does it work?

GoodCarts is a new way for ecommerce stores to grow their sales and social impact with zero customer acquisition costs. It is powered by post-purchase cross-promotion where consumers earn discounts and discover brands that give back.

With our free Shopify app, you can get set up in minutes (literally!). Our WooCommerce plugin is coming soon and we also serve most other ecommerce platforms. 

Ecommerce stores choose the “circle” that best describes their retail business -- we are best known for our powerhouse sustainable and shop-for-good brands. We are launching circles for Made in USA, BIPOC-owned, all vegan, Premium DTC as well as our Founders Circle for small business entrepreneurs bootstrapping traditional retail online.

From there, retailers create their discount offer, which is vital to converting new first-time visitors into paying customers.

That’s it, that’s all that is required to get started! 

Participating stores have been very pleased with the success they’re seeing - we have a 95 percent retention rate among stores in our shop-for-good circle.

GoodCarts isn’t just an app social impact brands can use to create exclusive discounts to reach conscious consumers for free. It’s so much more.

Our post-purchase “recycled traffic,” pay-it-forward model has grown into an active and dedicated community of like-minded impact entrepreneurs.

Since the launch of our Shopify app a year ago, GoodCarts quintupled its membership and greatly accelerated growth with the global explosion of ecommerce activity. 

As brands increasingly recognize the benefits of making a social impact, entrepreneurs -- particularly Millennials and Gen Z members -- are finding GoodCarts provides customer acquisition, networking and skill building opportunities along with broad exposure.  

Who’s idea was it to build GoodCarts? What’s the story?

Several years ago, founder and entrepreneur Chris Dykstra had an idea to create an online platform where impact entrepreneurs could promote each other to grow their profits and the impact economy as a whole. The community talked about it all the time, after all, and he decided it was time to back up those intentions with action. 

GoodCarts was born. From there, serial social entrepreneur Steven Clift was recruited to lead a “stealth beta” through to the big public launch with our Shopify app in 2020. Our “grow together, win together” story continues to evolve as we listen to feature ideas from our members and build on the hard-earned trust we are generating one member at a time.

I heard you met a HUGE milestone recently, can you tell us about this and what this means for mindful ecommerce brands? 

We’re thrilled that the GoodCarts community recently surpassed 100 member stores!

We are rapidly proving this model is effective -- these purpose-driven entrepreneurs are finding that their business expands and impact multiplies when we all work together.

Our 100 Stores, 100 Stories showcase celebrates not just the stores and their products, but the social issues each addresses. Their one-of-a-kind entrepreneurial stories go in-depth with videos, podcasts and advice for new founders. We want to get these changemakers seen, heard and in front of new customers and their peers across the movement for good via retail and sustainable products.

With our new “Circles” technology, we are creating a range of “good” that inspires founders to join. We’re also reaching out to ecommerce retailers in the UK, Australia and other countries across the world to build a critical mass for cross-promotional circles globally. 

How is GoodCarts helping the world to become a better place?

Sustainable products and processes, Fair Trade, buy-one-give-one, social enterprises, B Corporations - these are all categories of retail that make a positive social impact. 

We want everyone to know that consumers really can make a difference by carefully choosing where they spend their dollars. GoodCarts makes it easy for retailers to share the love and for conscious consumers to discover new ways to shop their values. 

We are so inspired by the Impact Stories shared by our members in our new showcase. These founders, their teams and their brands make a tangible impact each and every day. 

What are some big success stories from your 100 store owners? How has GoodCarts helped their business grow?

We’ll let them tell you in their own words! 

“Each of us can make a difference, and these differences begin at home with our individual choices. But we can make a much larger difference banding together. Being a part of GoodCarts allows us to work with other great companies committed to sustainability, forming a community of people dedicated to changing the world for the better.” - Abianne Falla, CatSpring Yaupon

“Being a part of GoodCarts means that we get to be a part of a community of changemaking businesses. We love cooperation over competition!” - Joy McBrien, Fair Anita

“It feels great to know and trust that my customers will be presented with like-minded, impactful businesses when they check out from my store and it is a gift to receive orders through GoodCarts.” - Carla Scholz, Soak It Up Cloths

“Being on the GoodCarts platform enables me to stand on the shoulders of giants in the social and environmental impact space and to have my products listed alongside of them. GoodCarts provides a common storefront for consumers that are looking for a way to make a positive impact in the world by buying products that are making a real difference to create a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative world.” - Jennifer Moreau, World for Good

GoodCarts is all about sustained success. Recently, one of our member stores told us they can attribute 10 percent of their direct sales to GoodCarts. Everyone can maximize their sales opportunities by utilizing GoodCarts A/B testing functionality for a discount’s creative to increase collections and redemptions. Currently, shoppers may only choose one earned post-checkout discount, so it pays to stand out! 

Where can our readers learn more about GoodCarts? How can they get started?

Explore and check out the demo

For entrepreneurs with an ecommerce retail store, install the Shopify app and get started by creating a customized offer in a few minutes. It’s free! For other ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce, SquareSpace, etc., just send us a message through our JOIN page and we can get you set up quickly.  

Subscribe to the GoodCarts Impact Retail newsletter if you’re interested in retail sustainability, the impact economy, social entrepreneurship and ecommerce. 

And, if you’re in the process of launching a new sustainable brand (or even just considering it), don't miss our in-depth articles and how-to GoodGuides.

What’s next for GoodCarts? Anything exciting on the horizon?

In the immediate future, we’re sponsoring the Impact Retail and Sustainable Products Summit with Social Venture Circle and the American Sustainable Business Council. Admission is free and it’s a must-attend event for mission-driven and sustainable retailers. 

Beyond that, GoodCarts is on a mission to help 10,000 or more purpose-driven entrepreneurs use commerce to create change. Consumers have spoken and overwhelmingly prefer brands to take a stand and lead with purpose. Increasingly, they are putting their money where their values are. We are working to unite purpose-driven retailers and to expand the impact economy. 

Will we see you at the next meetup?

Definitely. And every MindfulCommerce meetup that I can make when I am awake in the bold north of Minnesota.

 Final words from Steve:

GoodCarts is about belonging. So is MindfulCommerce. 

If you want to learn from your passionate impact via ecommerce peers, join MindfulCommerce.

Their online groups are great, but the network really comes to life with their meetup networking events and special speakers on Zoom. Don’t miss them.

If you have an online store then join GoodCarts too.  

Now, you need to be open to radical new ideas involving shared cross-promotion and “recycling” customers ...If you'd rather just give all your profits to FB, Google, and Amazon and bid against other impact brands to reach the same conscious consumers, you can keep all your eggs in that basket. Seriously, give something new a try. We’d love to have you in the GoodCarts network.