The growth of recommerce is booming. Both retailers and consumers are fueling this trend of buying pre-owned and pre-loved books, sports gear, clothing, jewelry, and furniture. Our mystery shoppers saw multiple recommerce initiatives and programs while testing functionalities and features on 115 websites for the 2022 Omnichannel Retail Index report.
Why has recommerce become so popular? Sustainability and price seem to be two of the most common reasons. Both consumers and retailers/brands agree that extending the life of a product or garment is important and the right thing to do for our earth. Reusability helps cut down on waste in landfills and reduces the carbon footprint. Lower price is a benefit for the consumer. As inflation continues to impact the customer, price-conscious shoppers will continue to spend their dollars on deals.
How big will it get? thredUP’s 2022 Resale Report predicts the second-hand market is projected to grow 127% by 2026, reaching $218 billion.
When talking about recommerce, brands like eBay and the RealReal are often mentioned. Our consultants shared examples from sites like ASOS Responsible Edit, Allbirds Rerun, Levi’s SecondHand, and The North Face Renewed—all offering used products to buy, with several providing trade-in options for consumers to mail in their items.
Other brands have looked to partnerships for recommerce. For example, Target and thredUP have joined together for a second time. Target is testing a second-hand apparel marketplace, leveraging thredUP’s “resale as a service” platform. The offer includes about 400,000 women’s and kid’s items from Target’s owned brands as well as national and premium brands curated from thredUP’s assortment.
Vera Bradley is also partnering with thredUP. The consumer can order a Clean Out Kit and turn pre-loved items into Vera Bradley shopping credit that can be used toward their sustainable collections.
Timberland has a unique partnership with Community Recycling. Its mission is to highlight the personal experience inherent in recycling clothing, shoes, and accessories. The company offers free shipping for consumers to mail in and recycle their gently used clothing, footwear, and accessories from any brand.
Recommerce will continue to grow, and retailers, brands, shoppers, and the earth will all benefit.
Want to read the entire Omnichannel Retail Index? Access the report.
Chelsea Mueller is a Senior Consultant in OSF Digital´s Strategy group. She has two decades of experience in ecommerce transformation and growth. She has extensive knowledge in ecommerce leadership, crafting loyalty strategy, building teams, constructing ideal tech stacks, expanding omnichannel offerings, and boosting customer confidence and conversion rates through payment enhancements including Buy Now Pay Later, alternative payment methods, and fraud mitigation.