Lifestyle & Ethical Products · · 4 min read

Meet goodbuy, the Ecommerce Startup Making Conscious Shopping Easy

Frustrated with the lack of options that met their standards, two moms determined to make a change created goodbuy– an innovative online shopping tool connecting shoppers to small businesses whose values align with theirs. With 70% of all US digital purchases happening through just 15 mega-retailers

goodbuy get instant alternatives to mega-retailers

Frustrated with the lack of options that met their standards, two moms determined to make a change created goodbuy– an innovative online shopping tool connecting shoppers to small businesses whose values align with theirs.

With 70% of all US digital purchases happening through just 15 mega-retailers before goodbuy’s advent, this revolutionary platform is sure to make waves in creating more opportunities for sustainable shops while making it easier than ever before for conscientious consumers.

With years of experience in tech startups, and nonprofits, coupled with a family legacy of independent business ownership – Cary and Cara combined their knowledge to create goodbuy.

This online platform gives consumers direct access to small businesses whose values align with their own; bridging the gap between shoppers and independently owned brands.

Below is a Q&A with Cara Oppenheimer, Co-founder of goodbuy.

Cara Oppenheimer and Cary Fortin – Co-founders of goodbuy

Q: What was the light-bulb moment for starting goodbuy?

A: It really started here… I (Cara) am the child of small business owners. I grew up keenly aware of how the rise of e-commerce mega retailers has impacted small businesses across the country. Ultimately landing independent brands on page 10 of your search results; as they try to compete with the SEO and marketing budgets of big box ecom.

During the pandemic, as local stores were shuttering their doors, everything changed for consumers – buying even a sandwich from a local restaurant made you feel heroic.

This shared experience of countless Amazon boxes arriving at our doors, paralleled with incredible social justice movements, truly put everything into perspective. Where we put our money matters.

The issue was, conscious shopping was NOT easy.

It seemed to take an extra 2+ hours to find that reef safe sunscreen you needed from a sustainable business. How can we make conscious shopping easier?

So the story for the spark goes… I had purchased a few water bottles from (ahem) a certain online mega retailer. Later I visited my parent’s store, and saw the same water bottles at their POP display – There are literally thousands of businesses out there carrying the same products we need, we just can’t see them.

Enter goodbuy, (a concept I text to Cary at 4:15am while awake with my baby), A browser extension that meets consumers with instant (cool, conscious, small biz) alternatives to mega-retailers: Begin your search on any mega retailer, and watch the same products (or better) pop up right on top.

goodbuy shopify app

Q: What is the goodbuy mission and vision?

A: We’re on a mission to make shopping feel good by making conscious shopping easier.

For consumers looking to shop in alignment with their values, we easily aggregate thousands of independent brands into one place, so that they can easily redirect their purchasing power.

For small businesses, we’re creating innovative channels to find new customers, redistributing opportunity to growing brands and creating visibility for incredible brands getting lost in the shuffle.

With 191K Monthly active users (and growing) and over 30M+ products from 100K small businesses, we’ve got the scale and the opportunity to start shifting consumer behavior, changing the dynamic for small business and conscious shoppers everywhere.

Q: How does goodbuy impact lives and/or the environment in a positive way?

A: goodbuy is on a mission to advance economic prosperity and provide resources and awareness for small business owners (and their respective communities).

While more than 60% of consumers’ online searches begin directly on mega-retailer sites (you know the ones), goodbuy helps intercept and redirect online shoppers directly to small businesses that align with their values (think: certified sustainable, certified ethical, cruelty-free, women-owned, LGBTQIA+ owned, and more), making it easier than ever before for folks to use their purchasing power to support the communities and causes that matter most.

In addition, goodbuy is currently awaiting notice of their formal certification as a B Corp (businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose), and is already incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation, through which the company balances stakeholder interests to generate social and public good, prioritizes socially and environmentally responsible decisions and practices, and actively works to advance their public mission.

Q: How can emerging brands and small businesses get added to goodbuy?

A: goodbuy is an affiliate program that promotes participating Shopify stores. Small businesses just need to install the goodbuy app for Shopify which requires $0 set-up fees, $0 product click fees, $0 selling fees, $0 monthly subscription fees and only 10% of each sale you make via goodbuy. goodbuy only makes money when our small businesses do!

goodbuy app for Shopify for small business

In addition, directly after installing the application, businesses will set-up a quick profile to verify their business’ value tags. A member of the goodbuy team will verify the application and their products will show within the goodbuy search engine almost immediately.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to current and emerging social entrepreneurs?

A: We’re inside a pretty incredible point in time, where impact is at the center of consumer’s expectations. Pushing brands small and big to consider how their business impacts the lives of the communities they serve.

When Cary and I started out on this journey, we had no idea what building this business would entail; the high-highs and the low-lows. What we did know was that we were creating something with meaning and with heart, that would hopefully make a real difference for so many people.

For advice, I’d say first, ensure your business, your idea has a “heart”; to keep you steady in the storms. And finally make sure to unabashedly and unapologetically trust your own intuition as you navigate your journey!

Q: What is your tech stack you use to run goodbuy/ What tools do you use to run your company?

  • Webflow (for our main domain)
  • Slack (for internal, vendor, and agency comms)
  • Hubspot (for emails and CRM)
  • Amplitude (for data)
  • Figma (for Product/creative design)
  • Mural (for team brainstorms, and visual documentation)
  • Linear (for product)

Check out more tools to start, grow, and scale your social enterprise here.

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