08 Aug, 2018

Poshmark, Online Retail Community on the Rise


The retail mobile marketplace was founded in 2011 and is considered to be a “social shopping experience.” Poshmark was originally a place for women’s fashion, but since its start, they’ve expanded to men’s and kids. Sellers can post their items and buyers can swipe through to buy said items. The platform is mobile only and earlier this year, they reached the $1 billion mark.

CEO, Manish Chandra, wants users to feel like they are scrolling through a friends Instagram feed, hence the social shopping experience. Going through millions of different products right from your phone (and for a great price) enhances the digital experience and keeps users coming back. The company even created “Posh Parties,” which are specifically timed events on the app where users can attend this party to shop specific categories based on the theme of the day. Chandra describes these parties as, “tupperware meets Facebook Live meets a Gilt flash sale altogether.”

“That experience has sort of disappeared from the physical world. The big-box retailers have not been able to simulate that experience and it certainly doesn’t happen on big sites like Amazon and eBay. So what we’ve done is brought that back at scale.” Manish Chandra

Poshmark aims to create customer loyalty and an overall retail community, but will they be able to beat their competition? How will they separate themselves from Etsy, eBay, Amazon and Alibaba?

The Facts

The average user is on the Poshmark app for 20-25 minutes a day. These users open the app 7-9 times a day. The company found that these numbers aren’t far off from other top social platforms. Most sales come from about 75% of ‘repeat shoppers,’ proving the social community is quite an appeal. Shoppers come back to the app, interact with the same sellers, ask questions about the products, and ultimately keep buying.

Clothing & Beyond

Right now, Poshmark covers women’s, men’s, kids, boutique and luxury and in the future, we may see an added home section. With new categories, and maybe even celebrity partnerships, Poshmark may outweigh their competitors.

“We’ve found numerous other brands, and frankly numerous other channels, trying to duplicate that real-world experience in the virtual world to limited success. Now we’re tipping the point where we’re talking about the tailend of the millennials and the beginnings of Gen Zs, where their entire community has been on their phones in a social situation, so perhaps [Poshmark] will find some measure of success there because they’re skating to the puck.” Jon Reily

Full-Time Sellers

One user reported $1 million in sales since her start in 2012. She started off on Poshmark selling her used clothes as side money, which lead into creating her own clothing line and full time selling on the platform. She now is at the point where she reaches out to users individually to tell them what products she has that may fit them best. The seller also uses personalized pictures of herself in the clothing items so that the buyers can really see how the products fit. 75% of her sales comes from repeat buyers – so she is obviously doing something right. She started this endeavor five years ago, and since then, she’s generated $400,000 in sales from her personal line and around $700,000 from her own closet.

The online retail experience is going to be an interesting journey to follow. The stigma of buying used clothes has diminished, and with the help of our smartphone, we can be apart of a community with just the click of a button (and a credit card ready to buy).

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