Many brands that offer pre-owned merchandise through their own retail channels initially do it for sustainability reasons — to keep useful products out of landfills. While that is an important benefit of recommerce, thinking of it only in those terms is overlooking major business opportunities.
Recurate, a leader in branded resale technology, has released the inaugural Recurate Resale Report — the first-ever resale report to provide brands with key tools, information and insights on how brand-owned resale program is key to sustainable growth, inspiring meaningful brand engagement and loyalty, and positioning themselves to succeed in the growing circular shopping economy.
Founded in 2020, Recurate offers integrated resale marketplaces on brands' ecommerce sites, allowing their customers to resell items previously purchased from those brands. Recurate powers resale platforms for over 50 fashion, outdoor gear, electronics and equipment brands. The Resale Report is an important component of Recurate's larger mission to empower brands with the support and technology they need to meaningfully participate in a circular economy.
The market for secondhand goods has exploded in recent years, for a variety of reasons: The 2021 Resale Report by leading secondhand apparel marketplace thredUP — which projected that the now-$36 billion apparel resale market will double in the next five years, to $77 billion — found that 1 in 3 consumers surveyed say they care more about wearing sustainable apparel than pre-pandemic and 1 in 2 care more about seeking value; eBay credits a younger generation of sellers and buyers for driving increased demand for secondhand goods on its global marketplace — eBay searches for “pre-loved fashion” went up 700 percent following its recent partnership with popular reality TV show “Love Island.”
Released in partnership with social impact agency BBMG, the Recurate Resale Report surveyed thousands of adults in 11 key markets globally, including a mix of non-active and active recommerce customers, to understand their shopping habits. While it also highlights the goldmine that is resale, it goes on to focus specifically on the benefits of brand-owned resale — an undeniable business opportunity that more and more apparel brands (think Levi Strauss, The North Face and Timberland, to name but a few) are already seizing. Key insights from the report include:
Resale is not niche and not just for Gen Z: 74 percent of people across all major markets, ages, genders and socioeconomic statuses shop recommerce.
Brand loyalty will increase with brand-owned resale: 75 percent of all recommerce shoppers said brand-owned recommerce would increase their brand loyalty and frequency; but for the most part, third-party marketplaces such as thredUP are their only option.
Increase customer base and decrease production: Being able to try a new brand is the number-one benefit of recommerce, according to all segments: 85 percent of people who shop and sell pre-owned would try a new brand if recommerce was offered.
Frequent fashion without fast fashion: 72 percent of recommerce shoppers shop at least every 2-3 months.
Brands aren't doing enough: 62 percent of individuals interested in reselling pre-owned items feel brands could do more to help them participate in recommerce.
Customers are demanding brand-owned resale: 9/10 people who shop and sell pre-owned want to shop peer-to-peer recommerce directly from the brand.
thredUP’s 2021 report echoes the strong business case for brand-owned resale: 43 percent of respondents said they are more likely to shop with a brand that lets them trade in old clothes for brand credit; and 34 percent say they are more likely to shop with a brand that offers secondhand clothing alongside new.
Recurate's Resale Report findings show that as the resale market continues to grow and outpace traditional retail, forward-thinking brands should seize the opportunity to leverage resale as a driver of both sustainability and revenue. The findings assert that for brands, recommerce is key to unlocking the next chapter of growth, engagement and loyalty.
"This consumer report quantifies the tremendous opportunity of brand-owned resale," said Karin Dillie, VP of Partnerships at Recurate. "The numbers are clear — brands who launch in-house resale programs can create substantially more loyal, more frequent customers than brands who don't."