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Why brands should get involved in re-commerce, according to Recurate

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Recurate

A new report by Recurate has highlighted the growing consumer popularity within resale, thrifting and vintage shopping. In the report, entitled ‘Circular Fashion is Now’, the resale platform outlined the results of a survey it carried out with 1,000 adults in the US and Canada, with further data from an additional 11 markets curated from GlobeScan’s 2021 Healthy and Sustainable Living survey.

According to the resale platform, 74 percent of people across the global already shop re-commerce, most of which are in Australia, Canada and the US, with mid-priced brands being the top favoured for both sellers and shoppers.

Out of those that resold clothing, sustainability was not a prime factor. 23 percent of those surveyed said they were selling because pieces were unused, while just 15 percent said it was because it was good for the environment. Meanwhile, for shoppers, the motivation was mostly to save money, with sustainability taking third place in the list.

In its report, Recurate highlighted a prominent customer in the re-commerce space that it called ‘Circulars’, defined as the 73 percent of re-commerce sellers that also shopped resale. The platform described the group as “young, urban, high income” and marked the motivation behind their behaviour down to frequently refreshing their wardrobes. It added that 48 percent of the group purchased with the intention to resell.

What is there to gain?

The main benefit of re-commerce, according to Recurate, is the ability to attract new customers without producing more products. Across all segments surveyed, trying a new brand was a prominent motivation to purchase re-commerce, with 85 percent of the ‘Circular’ group also stating that they would try a new brand if resale was offered. Additionally, seven out of 10 people in the survey said they were shopping or selling pre-loved apparel at least once every two to three months.

A re-commerce model that is brand-led also provides shoppers with flexible shopping options, low prices to try a brand and the ability to shop and sell in one place. Furthermore, the report stated that 75 percent of re-commerce participants said they would be more loyal to brands with resale options, while 47 percent said they would return within a month to shop again.

How to get involved

Brands looking into adopting a re-commerce model need to provide both sellers and shoppers with the motivation to take part, the report said, with 62 percent of surveyees saying they felt brands could do more to help them participate in re-commerce. To make re-commerce a virtuous loop, Recurate added, brands need to streamline the process for sellers through simple sell-back options, take-back programmes or digital IDs for products.

For sellers, the biggest tipping point in participation was to earn back up to half the original price on resale, while 64 percent said they wanted to sell items individually rather than in bulk in order to earn greater value per item.

However, while value for money was the most important motivation for many, sustainable living was still a significant element, with 71 percent of shoppers stating that they cared about their impact on the planet. “Consumer desire to reduce their environmental impact is high across the board,” the report read. “And this desire is increasingly influencing their lifestyle and purchasing decisions.”

Circular Fashion