For Organizations, Offices And Households Fair Trade Shopping Just Got Easier Than Ever – Thanks To Equal Exchange

WEST BRIDGEWATER, Massachusetts - April 17, 2013 - Increasingly Americans are putting their values, and their dreams for a better world, into action through their shopping choices, and Fair Trade is the best known example.  People also want to do more of their shopping online. Through a new, totally re-imagined online web store, shop.EqualExchange.coop, Equal Exchange - the Fair Trade pioneer and nation’s leading Fair Trade brand - has just delivered a solution to meet these needs where they come together. More specifically with their new webstore Equal Exchange has made it much easier for individuals, small offices, schools and congregations to find and purchase a wide variety of Fair Trade and organic products in a quick, easy, and even automated manner.

Before embarking on a nearly two-year cross-departmental project to completely recreate the online store user experience Equal Exchange was already serving hundreds of elementary and high schools, thousands of households, and approximately ten thousand places of worship nationwide.  The schools and other organizations use Equal Exchange products as an alternative fundraiser that benefits their own organizations and communities around the world at the same time. Faith-based organizations and other groups often serve Equal Exchange coffee and other products for fellowship hour or resell the products within their communities for a host of purposes. And while about half of these customers were placing their orders online Equal Exchange recognized that the old webstore could be inconvenient, cumbersome or worse. This meant that thousands of small-scale farmers in dozens of countries were missing out on potential Fair Trade exports. And an even larger number of American shoppers were finding it too hard to apply their values through buying their preferred coffee, olive oil, cocoa and other goods.

The new store incorporates many of the most popular shopping features that people have come to expect, plus other tools and options uniquely designed to help the Fair Trade shopper:

  • New category filtering options – to help you find the Fair Trade product you’re looking for.
  • Multiple account option – you may now create one account for your household and a separate one for your business, school or organization.
  • The ability to apply coupons at any time while shopping.
  • New quick order form– allows you to add products quickly to your cart if you are ordering from a catalog or know the SKU* of the product you’re interested in. (*Shelf Keeping Unit number)
  • Single page checkout– for a smoother and faster checkout experience.
  • All customers will be able to pay via PayPal Express.
  • A subscription option –your favorite products can be shipped automatically every month so that you never run-out or need to place another order.
  • Option to create a wish list for future purchases.
  • A single, unified store for all customers, whether you are shopping for your home, school, office or congregation.
  • Additional equipment and supplies to help our business-to-business customers serve or sell Equal Exchange products.
  • An updated design to better communicate the impact of Fair Trade for farming communities.
  • Instructional videos help customers take full advantage of the site features.

+ New features to come later this year:

  • The ability to buy and redeem gift certificates.
  • The option to save your credit card information, to simplify check-out

In addition to the videos and comprehensive FAQs to introduce the new webstore, Equal Exchange encourages new or existing customers who still have questions to contact our friendly customer service department Monday – Friday 9am–5pm EST at 774-776-7366.

We know from our 27 years in Fair Trade that how one shops can make a world of difference. And since we’ve already changed how coffee, tea and chocolate are traded, it was time to change the shopping experience itself. Now it’ll be super-easy for any person, or group, in the U.S. to easily get the Fair Trade products they want.  - Gary Goodman, Equal Exchange Online Sales Manager

Equal Exchange, a pioneer and U.S. market leader in Fair Trade since 1986, is a full service provider of high quality, organic coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas and other foods to customers across the United States. 100% of Equal Exchange products are fairly traded, benefiting more than 75 small farmer co-operatives in 40 countries around the world. In keeping with its Fair Trade mission Equal Exchange is a worker co-operative, owned and democratically controlled by its employees. Thanks to its unorthodox business model, and dedication to social justice Equal Exchange enjoys twelve partnerships with faith-based organizations, with whom it collaborates to promote Fair Trade and to make Fair Trade products available in every community.

Contact: Rodney North, 774-776-7398, rodney@equalexchange.coop

http://Shop.EqualExchange.Coop

Product samples, photos and interviews are available upon request