Gemma Cruttenden, Ecommerce and Communication Manager reflects on her first full year of working in online sales and shares her aspirations for the future.

Gemma's reflections

“Back in the very first lockdown, a small group of staff returned from furlough to re-look at how we could utilise our online offering at a time when we were unable to open our high street shops. Our eBay store was dusted off and re-branded, we set up a new Depop shop and energy was focused on gaining what retail income we could through our online shops.

“Fast forward to December 2020 and I took the new role of Retail Ecommerce and Communications Manager; focused on having online sales as a 'shop' in its own right, and championing everything retail through social media and positive messaging.

“In the last 12 months, our eCommerce department has gone from strength to strength. We gained ‘top seller’ status for both our eBay and Depop shops (which is no easy feat) and will see our own Depop push notification heading out to over a million users in January through the 'Depop for Charities' scheme. We’ve also launched our very first online shop on our website, offering Christmas cards and our ‘new goods’ range which proved even more successful than we expected, and we’re excited about plans to expand this with niche, donated items, in the coming year.

“We’ve also had some fantastic support from our corporate partners, the most memorable being the Kate Spade Bluewater team who descended on us with bags of energy, fun and donations, and even took part in a styled shoot for us! The eye-opening that happens when our corporate partners arrive and see the logistics that go on within our warehouse and eCommerce team never fails to bring a smile to my face, and their help on the day is often invaluable to us.

“Since last year, we have gone from a part-time lockdown project to a fully-fledged department, with four members of staff and a team of fantastic volunteers who help us list, photograph and research every item that comes our way, as well as the daily post on social media. We work alongside every one of our 27 shops to support their sales, as well as so many of our other Demelza teams, like marketing and fundraising, to get the job done - and things are only looking to get even bigger and better for 2022!”