Shopping pre-owned is certainly not a new concept. The re-commerce market has evolved from the garage sale image of the past. The trend is booming just like any other re-selling commodities business like vehicles and electronics. There are a few different re-commerce subsets that have exploded in popularity, including thrift, boutique goods, luxury items, and upcycling.
Even though reselling goods has been around for a long time, the industry is hitting its stride thanks to the internet and shifting shopper preferences. A big part of re-commerce is supply and demand and the internet opens up the possibility for something that is highly sought after in one place to be met by someone somewhere else, especially in the fashion industry.
Previously, secondhand fashion items could only be purchased at flea markets, garage sales, and thrift shops. Thanks to technology, however, more consumers are embracing buying and selling used – but quality – clothes through websites like e-bay and social media platforms like Instagram. People are buying twice as many clothes and probably wearing them half as long. Fashion re-commerce is not only changing ways of shopping online, but the trend is also very popular among offline retailers. Big apparel global brands are actively involved and are encouraging consumers to do so too with attractive return offers and recycling discounts.
The rise of re-commerce is largely being driven by tech-savvy, smart-saving, eco-friendly millennials, and Gen Z shoppers who have gained more buying power over the years. They are monitoring the benefits of spending more efficiently and are more responsible towards the environment. The motive for embracing re-commerce differs based on what part of the social divide these groups of consumers find themselves.
The first category of young consumers has attained some degree of financial independence and are more tuned into the circular economy concept and more interested in environmentally friendly solutions. They have become more mindful and knowledgeable about the impacts of fast fashion and their consumption habits on the overall environment and are taking deliberate steps to reduce their consumption, to mitigate the negative impact on the environment.
Tough economic times and budget restrictions have made the second category of equally important young consumers consider the re-commerce option. They are more budget-conscious, especially with the pandemic hitting incomes, yet still have an eye for aspirational brands and are more likely to shop via digital channels to comply with social distancing guidelines. They are always keen to bag a bargain.
So, is re-commerce here to stay? It certainly is!!!!! The lust for possessing the new is strong among young consumers and secondhand is not only a good price alternative but has also become an ecologically sustainable way to satisfy that lust. Environmental sustainability and smart saving are going to continue to play a prominent role in consumer decisions in the future. Pandemic anxieties could also make the trend linger for longer in the post-pandemic world.
While the younger crowd may be driving the trend, Nielsen’s 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report revealed that 66% of people across generations would be willing to pay more for sustainable products while 73% of global millennials are willing to do the same. Therefore, the potential of re-commerce and trade with used products is enormous and it would not be surprising to see more niche companies entering re-commerce in creative ways. The internet will obviously always make it easy to create profitable supply chain networks. So, whether you’re an individual or a company, you have an opportunity to get involved in re-commerce. Do your research on the market and explore your interests, and you could be reselling in no time. And next time you are rocking a pre-owned fashion item, do it with all sense of pride.