Recommerce: The Next Phase of Omnichannel

E-Commerce|Blogs
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This blog is an excerpt from our latest ebook “Turning the page: Preparing for the next frontier of e-commerce” by a recommerce solution enabling brands to integrate multiple resale models into their storefronts. You can check out the rest of the e-book here.

The fastest-growing brands are the ones that have mastered “meeting the customer where they are.” This means reaching online shoppers through e-commerce, in-person shoppers in-store, social shoppers on TikTok, and more.

But there’s another place customers are shopping, and that’s secondhand marketplaces: Poshmark, Vinted, The Real Real, Vestiaire Collective, Depop…the list goes on!

These shoppers are still your brand’s shoppers–yet the channel itself is being managed outside of your brand. When looking at what trends will prevail in 2024, brands participating in the resale and reuse of their own products will be table stakes. For consumers, participation in the secondhand economy has become ubiquitous–In OfferUp’s latest resale report, 85% of consumers said they had bought and/or sold used items within the last year.

Circularity as an acquisition and retention strategy

For brands that haven’t tapped into “recommerce” by enabling customers to shop and sell second-hand directly, they’re missing out. For those who have–from enterprise brands like Steve Madden and Michael Kors to digital natives like Clare V., Mansur Gavriel, and Rhode–they’re adding a new channel to their omnichannel toolbox while embracing circularity in an industry that demands it.

For brands like Mansur Gavriel, shoppers can browse a collection of pre-loved pieces alongside their new items. Meanwhile, past buyers can head back to Mansur Gavriel’s site to resell items they no longer use in exchange for credit toward another purchase.

Brands benefit twice over because every resale purchase has two customers: the buyer and the seller. 50% of resale buyers are new to the brand, and the primary reason for shopping secondhand is to try a brand at a more accessible price point. The seller of the merchandise is also ushered into a fresh sales cycle when brands are paying out in-store credit, who see up to 2.5x average up-spend on that payout.

The power of branded resale

However, creating a “branded” resale channel needs to be more than checking a box. Launching branded resale shows that brands stand behind the longevity of their products, incentivizing them to produce higher-quality items and change the way they think about the post-purchase customer journey.

Peak Design, a brand that sells bags and gear for cameras and every day, sends out “purchase anniversary emails” to buyers after 1, 2, or 3 years, inviting them back to resell items if they are no longer using them in exchange for store credit towards a new purchase. Similarly, when a new iPhone is released, they send out a marketing email to remind their customers that their pre-loved phone cases “still have legs” and can be sold on their resale marketplace.

Other brands have taken to creative in-store activations to reach their resale-forward customer base, such as 7 for All Mankind, a premium denim brand that hosted a weekend-long in-store event across multiple locations during Earth Month. Customers could drop off pre-loved denim and receive credit. The items were later listed for resale on 7 Revival, their online marketplace. For Clare V., who sells handbags, apparel, and bright-colored accessories, their pre-loved “Le Resale” marketplace has provided the brand with creative win back strategies. Clare Vivier herself has listed personal items in a micro-closet called “Clare’s Closet,” donating the proceeds to a local charity.

Resale shopping is only getting more popular, and the stigma that once surrounded “used” items is fading substantially. For brands striving to keep up with consumer shifts, unlocking a resale channel pays dividends in customer acquisition and lifetime value (without having to produce any new product!) Even more importantly, as the retail world continues to move towards waste reduction and reuse, brands that fail to adapt their practices will be left behind.

In our latest e-book, we into what e-commerce businesses should be thinking about as we turn the page and head into 2024. Ryder and a handful of our top partners are bringing clarity to an uncertain landscape where recession is looming and customer retention has never mattered more. Download “Turning the page: Preparing for the next frontier of e-commerce.”

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